I Peter 5:7
(KJV) Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
(NIV) Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
(AMP) Casting all your cares [all your anxieties, all your worries, and all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares about you [with deepest affection, and watches over you very carefully].
When life gets overwhelming, it is human nature to assume the responsibility becoming anxious, beginning to worry until bound by stress. One of my goals this year is to put my trust totally and completely in Jesus Christ including every single detail naturally, physically, emotionally, financially and every other feasible manner. I want to believe that His Plan and Purpose will take care of every detail and that the Lord is faithfully working it together for my good. (Romans 8:28) As believers, it is a lifestyle that one should seek to obtain. The separation in our heart and mind between heaven and earth becomes apparent when we only believe God for the unseen and not every day things. Maybe it is the separation of church and state that has so effectively changed our mindset to believe that God is interested in forever but not relevant for today. Or perhaps, our image of God as Sovereign Ruler of All makes Him much too important for the cares and burdens of life. The lie of the enemy has permeated society to make everyone think that it’s all men (and women) for themselves.
I can feel it when it begins to come close to me. Anxiety, worry and fear. It sets off an alarm in my spirit born of years engaged in this process called casting my cares on the Lord. At times, I am much more efficient at the task especially when the stakes are really high. It is in those moments of monotony that I am caught off guard. My husband is away on business. Our routine and schedule is interrupted. The Lord has done many “new” things coming into this year. It is all good. He has spoken things into my heart and mind that I know are in the days ahead. Rather than continuing to be excited, it happened. The anxiety began to creep in looking for access to my mind. Stress made me feel uneasy. Worry wants a hold of my heart. Immediately, I opened the Word of God that seems to quiet my soul in moments like this and I am lead to I Peter 5:7. It is one of those common cure verses relied on and read so much that we do not think about the words or meditate on the meaning.
“Casting all your care upon Him for He cares for you.” Reading this last night in an attempt to wrangle in wild thoughts, empty philosophies and fortify the Truth in my heart, mind and soul once again, the Lord told me to read it again. So I did…probably ten times until I got past the first part and allowed the second half of the verse to sink in – “for He cares for you.” He cares for me. God loves me. Everything He does in my life from salvation to redemption is an act of love on my Creator, Father and Friend’s Part. The Amplified Bible says, “for He cares about you (with deepest affection and watches over you very carefully). We miss that sometimes. Forgetting we do not get what we deserve within the parameters of grace, but that grace allows us to “grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:18-19) Everything accomplished in our life by the Lord is a direct result of His Love for us. To begin to fathom and understand the greatness of His Love for us will impact our ability to trust Him with every detail of our life. If you are worried, stressed, overloaded, overwhelmed and anxious, it is a trust issue that must be resolved.
(NIV) Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
(AMP) Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your [specific] requests known to God. And the peace of God [that peace which reassures the heart, that peace] which transcends all understanding, [that peace which] stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus [is yours]
“The blessing of the Lord makes one rich, and He adds no sorrow with it.” (Proverbs 10:22) IF this scripture is true (which it is) than nothing of God in our life will bring us stress, worry or anxiety with it. The Lord says, “Do not be anxious about anything.” This includes husband, wife, kids, family, friends, people, responsibilities, work, bills, health, church, hobbies…including everything in our natural life. The Peace of God that is greater than all human understanding should stand guard over our heart. Our heart and mind need to agree that God’s Love and Care is bigger than any “detail” in our life. I hear you. “You don’t understand?” Yes, I do. “You don’t know what I am going through?” You are right, and you do not know what brought me to this place. The place of pursuing a God who made all these promises. We will go through trials in life. Most of the time, they are produced in circumstances and consequences that we create, cry out to God, and He works it all together for our good. God is not in the wind, rain and earthquakes of life. He is the still small whisper that says, “I love you… now come home!”
I Kings 19:11-13 (NIV)
Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice. So it was, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. Suddenly a voice came to him, and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
One of my favorite stories in the Bible is that of Elijah hiding in the cave. He had triumphed over almost a thousand false prophets. Many people repented and turned to the Living God. He should have been on the mountain of celebration, but instead he was on the mountain hiding in the cave. Where was the man who taunted the prophets of a dead god and called down fire from Heaven? Cowering in fear, stressed out and worried over one woman’s threat to kill him. How can this be? Is the Lord whispering your name today? Is He asking what are you doing here? Hiding in fear? Bound by worry? Overcome by stress? You say you believe but do you?
The Lord was not in the wind, fire or earthquake that day. He was the still small voice that after Elijah was shaken reminded the man of His Great Love. See the Lord is not the one causing chaos in your life, it is the enemy who is rattling his cage, shaking the door, and banging on the foundation of faith built in our life. He wants to shake something lose in us so that we begin to worry, stress, fear and doubt what God has promised which will chisel away at our confident hope. Our only hope is that we are secure by faith in the Love of God. Have we forgotten that God loves us more than any problem that we face, trial we go through, or test not yet accomplished? I think we have. More than half the church is on some kind of medication to help them deal with stress, battle depression, or just to sleep at night. I hear that voice ever so small but might and strong whispering, “What are you doing here, my child?” I love you. I will be your peace. I will be your comfort. I will calm your heart and satisfy your soul for one reason alone – I LOVE YOU!
Hebrews 12:25-29 (NIV)
See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks. If they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven? At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” The words “once more” indicate the removing of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.”
There is a whole lot of shaking going on. The world’s climate is changing and not for the better. Love has grown cold. Sin is rampant. Justice is perverse. I could go on and on about the state of affairs called civilization which is crumbling. There is no foundation of faith to hold on to that is credible in the natural. We must have confident hope. As the earth is shaken, just like the Lord told us that it would be. Is our house in order? Jesus warned of the house built on an unstable foundation. “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.” (Matthew 7:24-27) The foundation that a successful life is built on is faith in God alone.
Confident hope relies on the fact that God’s Word is true, His Spirit alive in us, and our outcome predetermined. When the rain comes, what do you do? When all hell breaks loose in your life, what is your response? Do you accept stress, worry and anxiety as just part of who you are? I rebuke that lie today in the Name of Jesus. Nowhere in the Word of God do I find a place that the Lord calls these weaknesses part of godly character and total trust in Him. What it does say is that in my weakness, I am made strong. His Grace is enough for me to step out of the natural conditions of life into the supernatural peace reserved for me by God who loves me unconditionally and without fail. As the Consuming Fire and Passion of God’s Love begins to burn through every doubt and fear that I have it should produce a peace in my life that cannot be overtaken by daily problems or temporary things. It is a process of casting. Over and over again until we decide not to take it back but leave it in the capable Hands of the Lover of our soul.
Psalm 139:23-24 (NIV)
Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting.
God has empowered us with tools to build a firm foundation of faith in our life. It is up to us to use them to overcome every boundary and obstacle that stands between us and following Jesus. The Word of God is imperative to understanding that turns to wisdom and knowledge of God that supersedes the world’s opinion of who He is and what He does. To know God’s Word is to build an unshakeable foundation in our life. If we take Him at His Word and know that God loves us completely and unconditionally, those promises will begin to manifest in our life because fear and doubt are no longer holding us back from living in the Presence of God. The Holy Spirit is vital to living a successful life as a believer. I know doctrinally this is a problem for the church. All I can say is that believing was impossible for me before I became to acknowledge His Existence and incorporate Him in my life. I knew the Word but it was the Spirit that gave me understanding. You must believe. Our faith in God is not separate from our natural life but rather the foundation of it. Those who endure to the end will be saved. It means those who abide in God’s Love. John 15 says that apart from the Lord we can do nothing. Without faith, it is impossible to please God.
Today I am asking the Lord to seek out every anxious thought in me, so I may surrender it to the Cross once again. God’s love for me is greater than any weapon formed against my life. I have to trust Him to see His Power. The force that binds me to Him is His Love. My life is all about God’s Love for me. How can anything make me doubt it? We do. For if we truly believe with all of our self, we would live completely free of worry, stress and anxiety. This is my goal. In 2016, I want trust to more than in word. Obedience to be more than action. Faithfulness to be unconditional. I want to believe with all my heart, mind and body that His Love is greater than anything I face to the point that anxiousness is absent from my life in the Name Above All Other Names – Jesus Christ.
Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding in all your ways submit to him and he will make your paths straight.