Do you cast your cares onto the Lord, only to pick them back up again?
It can be difficult to give it to God and leave it there.
Maybe you feel stuck in a situation that’s getting the better of you. Or maybe it’s a person that’s pressing on your last nerve.
You typically know how to handle yourself, but every time you so much as think about it, you react in ways you’re not proud of.
The Apostle Paul said it best in Romans 7:15: “ I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do, I do not do, but what I hate, I do.”
I get it. As a former control freak, I used to fool myself into thinking that my environment was safe if I was in control of it. Until it started to clash with my faith.
How can I say I have faith in God but then get bent out of shape when someone or something isn’t going my way? How can I say I trust God’s timing when I still feel sometimes that God is dragging his feet?
In Phillippians 4:6-7 Paul shares with us some vital instructions when he says: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Truth be told, that scripture gives me peace as I lay all my burdens down at His feet. Yet inevitably, I end up picking them back up one by one.
Here’s what goes through my head. “Thanks God, I trust you, but there’s gotta be something more you want me to do, right?”
Or, “I think I’m good now. I got this. Thank you for holding things for me while I figured it out.” And then I head off to make an even bigger mess than what I started with.
It’s hard to give it to God. But it’s even harder to leave it there.
So I find it comforting to have a formula to follow when I’m floundering—a list of dos and don’ts that keep me on the right track.
For all of my fellow “doers” out there, let’s talk today about 3 things you can do to give it to God and let go.
Don’t be anxious. In Phillippians 4:6, Paul warns us to stop being troubled. By anything. Not the things that are too big, not the people who are just too much to handle. Not for anything.
We equate worry to care and love. This is a distortion of the truth conjured up by the enemy to keep you trapped. So the first step in giving it up to God is to stop anxiety dead in its tracks.
I don’t know what ‘stop’ looks like to you. Maybe it’s taking a moment to reflect. Or, if you’re anything like me, stop means telling yourself to shut up.
Yes, I need to be that harsh with myself, because I can be a bit thickheaded. Perhaps your self-talk is a little more gentle. Whatever you do, find your STOP; it’s always the first step in giving whatever it is to God.
I realize this sounds like a Christian copout but prayer is your greatest tool for inviting the plans of God to prosper in your life.
In prayer, we can praise the power and attributes of God. With supplication, we make our humble requests known to Him, and we do it all with thanksgiving.
Just remember that we don’t pray to get God to do what we want, we pray to be active participants in God’s already ordained plan. When you pray, it may not work out the way you hoped but your prayer can ensure that it will always work out according to his perfect will.
God’s peace awaits you. All you need to do is receive it. Paul reminds us that when we stop the anxious thoughts, when we turn to God in prayer, then “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
When we lack peace, it’s not because it’s not available, it’s because we don’t appropriate it. Much like the blood of Jesus cannot wash away our sins until we receive it for ourselves, God’s peace will be sitting on the sidelines waiting to be applied to your life.
You must receive God’s peace regardless of what you’re thinking or feeling. I don’t know about you but my thoughts can run amok and my actions are not always glorifying to God. I need that hedge of peace surrounding my heart and mind to keep me from myself.
So the next time you are battling with a difficult situation or an even more difficult person, remember how the Apostle Paul taught us to give it to God: Stop – Pray – Receive
My friend, there are few things and even fewer people in this life that you can control.
If you are going through a difficult season with a difficult person, just remember, the battle is not yours, it belongs to God. Lay it at His feet and walk away