When I was a kid playing basketball a lot of my coaches would say, “Hold nothing back.” This would be in reference to the level of my effort and focus while playing in the game. It was a challenge and I can remember a few games where I did this. When I left it all on the court, I knew I did my best. This left me with a sense of fulfillment and closure because I had nothing to regret. These were powerful moments, but I didn’t always play like this. My performance was hindered by distractions, focus and mental hurdles. More times than not, I felt something was left on the court and that my best was withheld for some weird reason. Now, looking back there’s no doubt I would approach these moments differently and I would be determined to hold nothing back.
But, this illustrates something deeper about our lives and it connects to our faith.
Have you noticed that hindsight is always perfect? Meaning, we can look back and see things clearer, versus when we were in the moment. This helps us to see what we should have done differently. What’s tough about hindsight is that once we see it, we can be too late and the moment has passed to make it better.
Unfortunately, too many people find themselves with missed moments, incomplete plans and a wounded heart. It doesn’t stop there. This directly impacts our faith in Jesus because when we hold back, we are held back from what He can do in our lives. It’s the small things like jealousy, holding grudges, anger, fear, and strife that we hide so no one sees them, but this can erode our abilities to love God and love people.
But, why do we hold back?
I believe it comes down to fear, selfishness, and pride. Now, I know there are many reasons why we would hold back but these three are universal and sinister in our lives. Sometimes we feel justified to feel these feelings, but they will hurt our faith, our family and our friends. I’ve been here and I’m sure you have too in some form, but there’s a better way and that’s to hold nothing back.
But, what does that mean?
It means we give Jesus everything we got, leaving nothing on the table. It’s letting go so we can grab on. It’s dying to our way so we can have His way. It’s giving our lives to Him as a living sacrifice, so we can see the power of His sacrifice in our lives. However, this is challenging because we’re all grappling with fear, forms of selflessness and pride. Pining these feelings down on the mat of faith, is intense. In fact, it can be life-long challenge but we know that through Jesus, we can do all things. So, there’s hope!
Jeremiah 29:13 says –
“And you shall seek me and find me when you search for me with all your heart.”
Psalms 104:4 says –
“His makes angels ministering spirits and his servants, a flaming fire.”
Notice, we will find God when we search for Him with all of our heart. This speaks of passion, focus and desire for Him. It’s a willingness to step over fear, lay down selfishness and choose humility that changes our posture with God. It’s clear that when I’m ready, He’s waiting and willing to do amazing things. Our part is to hold nothing back.
When this happens, we can experience being a flame of fire for God that burns within our hearts and never goes out. This is what we want and this is what we need because we were made to hold nothing back. Moreover, this is how we should live life with family and friends too. Loving freely, giving willingly, forgiving quickly and telling them we love them as much as we can. Because, when we hold nothing back from God, we’ll hold nothing back from those around us. But, when we hold back from God, we’ll also hold back from those in our lives, which causes regret and missed moments, and life is to short for that.
So I ask you, are you holding back?
Whatever your answer, whip fear, tell selfishness you won’t live that way and choose humility over pride. Life is better when we hold nothing back. I also encourage you to forgive someone. Love someone. Give to someone and don’t hold back, especially with your family and friends. Today is the day and now is the time. Let go of pettiness and reach for purpose! Jesus has so much more for you!
William Wallace said –
“Every man dies, but not every man lives.”
It’s time to live! Give God your all, hold nothing back and watch what He does in your life.
The best is yet to come,