Monday, March 26, 2007

Lay aside your cares

Psalm 55:22

Cast your cares on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.

What a wonderful promise. God asks us to take the burdens of our lives, and lay them upon the back of Jesus Christ. If we do this, He promises to sustain us and never let us fall. There are two things I want to point out about this short verse:
1) This promise does not apply to everyone. It applies to the righteous. If you are living a lifestyle of sin addicted to pornography, cheating on your spouse, dabbling in homosexuality, neglecting your family, failing to minister to the poor and needy, then you are NOT righteous. I see many people who are living a lifestyle of sin and then trying to relate to God as if there is nothing wrong. You cannot live in direct opposition to the will of God and the Law of God and then expect him to bless your life and ease your load. It doesn't work that way. If you don't believe me, read through one of the following books of the Bible: Jeremiah, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, etc... In these books Israel wanted the covenant blessings of God (The right to live in the Holy Land/God's presence and provision), while ignoring their covenant responsibilities (worshiping the only One God). In the same way, many of us have adopted a view of God that is incomplete. We see him as a great big grandpa that lives up in the sky only to bless us and shower down upon us goodness. Only we neglect our end of the bargain and fill our lives with all kinds of false gods and idols. If you are not living up to your end of the agreement (i.e. righteousness), the don't expect God to live up to his end of the bargain. That's not the way it works. It was this thinking that precisely put Israel in captivity in Babylon.
2) It is easy to say, "cast your cares upon the Lord." It is a quite different thing to do it. As I worked through this text I wrote out the cares that I have. Part of the list I compiled is below:
  1. I want to be a better husband and father
  2. Finances
  3. Job stuff
  4. Jodi's job stuff

I wrote two pages worth of burdens that are on my heart, stresses that I have; things that make my back hurt. As I look over the list I prayed, "God please take these things, because I don't know that I have the will power or the strength to give them to you."

As I continued to pray I realized that my problem was a lack of trust in God. It is difficult to give some of these gigantic things in my life to God because, ultimately, I didn't trust that he wouldn't let me down. It sounds sacrilegious to say, but I'm just being honest. Do you have trouble trusting God with the cares of your life? Would you rather rely on your own strength and determination to get you through hard times? The truth of the matter is, many of us struggle with trusting God with our lives, but in reality, he has proven himself trustworthy over and over again in my life, and I venture to say that he has proven himself trustworthy over and over again in your life as well. When you have trouble casting your cares upon the Lord, take some time and remember what he has already done for you, and how he has proven himself to you over and again. Then, take a leap of faith and cast your cares upon him who promises not to let you fall... the load is much lighter when you do!

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