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Give - not in part - but in whole

Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. (I Peter 5:7)

Anxieties and worries don't just disappear - they have to be dealt with, but it isn't always our effort that is needed to deal with them. All will probably agree that the most beneficial thing to do is to take them to God in prayer. Some will think there are going to be times when you just gotta fix things yourself. I have to challenge that this morning. There is never a time when our anxieties and worries are best dealt with in our own power. As we take them to God in prayer, there will be times when he asks us to do something, but that doesn't mean we are 'fixing' the problem on our own. It means we were humble enough to recognize we don't possess all the knowledge, have all the power, or understand fully how to 'deal with' the issue at hand - then when God tells us how to deal with it, we do as we are told!

Sometimes we will be told to lay it right there at the foot of the cross and leave it alone. We are supposed to take our hands off of the issue and just let God be God. At others, he will show us where we may take action, then we are supposed to take it. Probably one other thing occurs as we take these things to God - he shows us where any of those anxieties or worries are 'unfounded' - our mind working things over and over again until we are tied up in knots. The anxiety is real - we get so emotionally invested in what is churning within our minds and hearts, that we just cannot stop it. It is like a self-fueling fire - it just doesn't burn out or go away. Those are the worries we definitely don't want to carry - for they will consume us if we continue to carry them ourselves.

Notice that God doesn't tell us to give him the worries and cares that we don't think we can deal with on our own. He tells us to give him ALL of them - the big and little ones, the real and imagined ones, the ones that leave us hurting and the ones that bring fear. ALL of them - none excluded. He may take some and work on them himself. He may show us where we can take action ourselves - but it doesn't mean we still carry the worry ourselves. It means he is enabling us to take the necessary steps to be free of those worries once and for all. For example, if we are in debt, we bring that worry to God and he may ask us to cut up our credit cards - to begin to live within our means. The debt will be worked off in time - maybe because he helps us find a debt consolidation program, or a second job, or overtime at our present one. We do what he tells us to do - but not before we take the worry to him.

Give ALL to him - hold nothing back. Don't believe the self-help gurus who proclaim "God helps those who help themselves" because that is nowhere in the Bible! Just sayin!


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