Friday, March 29, 2013


Cast your burdens on the Lord, and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved. Ps. 55:22

I had this verse hit me at two different times, from two different sources on the same day a few days ago.  Definitely has me thinking.  It has helped put a lot of what I have been getting from the Lord recently into perspective.  It also generated several questions.

David tells us to “cast our burdens on the Lord” and he tells us why we should.  I think we would all agree David had his own share of burdens.  If God sustained David through his burdens, why wouldn’t He sustain us through ours as well?  That would make this a promise we can count on.

A burden is defined as that which is carried or that which is borne with difficulty.  We all have burdens, those things we acknowledge as burdens, but we also have those things in our lives we don’t call burdens.  We have a variety of other names we use.  Names like rejection, sin, addiction, illness, guilt, bad memories, and betrayal just to name a few.  Why do we avoid calling them burdens?  Are we trying to hide something?  Trying to avoid them?  Or, do we just not think of them as burdens?   When you look back at the definition it is easy to see that they all fit.

I find myself looking at the “things” in my life that cause me pain, that cause me difficulty, that make me doubt myself, and ask myself the same questions. I never really thought of some of them as burdens before.  With others I realize I am avoiding addressing an issue.  It will go away if I ignore it, right?  When I ask God to reveal burdens to me and I realize I am hiding things.  Hiding them from myself and, strange as it may seem, hiding them from God (or at least trying to).

Could it really be so simple?  Cast my burdens on Him.  Free myself from the pain and anguish. Live the life God wants me to live. 

So I cast my burdens on God, I pray about different burdens and seek solace in His promise.  And when I do actually let them go I feel freedom from the burden.  But I have come to realize something.  Although I gain freedom from these burdens, for some reason I take some of them back and throw them up on my shoulders again and then try to move forward in my journey. What am I doing? Why do I do this?  In the past I have berated myself for once again doing something I know I shouldn’t do but have found there is no benefit in this.  When I do this I am believing the lies of the enemy that I am not worthy, but this just isn’t true.  Now I am beginning to understand the importance of taking my thoughts captive.  When I dwell on the things of the past, it starts a downward spiral that eventually leads to another failure. But when I take the thought captive and seek out God, I am successful and don’t take the burden back.

Of course this leads us to the next question: Why do we insist on holding onto our burdens? They cause us pain.  They affect our relationships.  They prevent us from accepting who God made us to be. So, why do we hold on so tight?  When we won’t let them go we hinder God’s work in our lives.  God wants the best for us, why do we resist this?  Is it a control issue?  Are we so intent on controlling our lives that we are not willing to surrender even the things that cause us pain to the one who can help us most?

Take some time and think about your burdens.  Why not ‘cast them on the Lord’?

Jesus said “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Mt. 11:28) 

Claim your freedom, release your burdens to Him and take your life to another level.  Claim the rest that Jesus promises.  Live the life God wants you to live.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Seeking Him

Welcome to my blog.
What does it mean to seek God with my whole heart?  That is what I want to explore here as I continue in my journey with Him.  It is my hope that as I make this journey I can help you in yours.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Then you will call upon Me and come to pray to Me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:11-13

This is part of a promise God made to the nation of Israel. If He promised Israel they could find Him, why wouldn’t this promise apply to us as well?  He is telling us we can find Him.  All we have to do is seek Him with all our heart.  Easier said than done you say.  I don’t think so.  We have made seeking God hard.  I believe we have complicated it and made it difficult. 
Why have we done this?  I believe there are many reasons that have led to this difficulty; lack of faith, lack of trust, fear, selfishness, and believing the lies of the enemy to name a few.  These things filter our view of God and who he really is, they interfere with our growing closer to Him, they form boundaries in our lives.  We may even use these things as a means of hiding from Him (as crazy as that sounds). 
So in seeking Him we find all these other things in our way, what do we do about them?  That's part of the beauty of it, in seeking Him we address these issues, not on our own, but with His help.  That addresses another part of why we have made it difficult, we think we need to do it ourselves.  We don't!  He will help us, we have but to ask.

How do you seek God with all your heart?  Early 18th century pastor, Matthew Henry had this to say: “In seeking God we must search for him, accomplish a diligent search, search for directions in seeking him and encouragements to our faith and hope. We must continue seeking, and take pains in seeking, as those that search; and this we must do with our heart (that is, in sincerity and uprightness), and with our whole heart (that is, with vigour and fervency, putting forth all that is within us in prayer), and those who thus seek God shall find him, and shall find him their bountiful rewarder, Heb. 11:6. He never said to such, Seek you me in vain”[1]

Wow!  This isn’t a casual approach. Look at some of the terms used here: “accomplish a diligent search, take pains in seeking, in sincerity and uprightness, with vigour and fervency,” and look at this one “putting fourth all that is within us in prayer.”  I’ll say it again, WOW!  How often do we apply words like diligence, uprightness, and fervency to our lives, much less to our pursuit of God?  Looking back I can see there were times, I can say I have done this.  Unfortunately this is the exception and not the rule.  And the last one, “putting fourth all that is within us,” that definitely takes it to another level.  As I think about what Matthew Henry is saying, I find myself getting excited about the possibilities. In pursuing God in this fashion I can take my relationship with Him to a whole new level. Wow!

But it is even more than seeking Him and finding Him.  Henry references Hebrews 11:6.  But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. (emphasis mine)  So not only do we develop our relationship with God, we find that He rewards those who diligently seek Him.  Looking back at Jeremiah 29, God is telling us He has “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  He has plans for us, not that we will eke out an existence and sort of get by.  He uses words like Prosper, Hope, and Future.  This is bold, by human standards one might even say generous.  From a loving God who wants the best for us we probably don’t have words that are big enough to really express the enormity of what God has in store for us.

How can this be anything but a win-win situation for us? 
Will it take some time?  Yes.
Will it be worth it?  Absolutely!

Why not seek Him with your whole heart?  Why not accept God’s promises at face value?

We serve an awesome God.  Seek Him out, let Him be a part of your life, it really is a win-win deal.

[1]Henry, Matthew: Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible : Complete and Unabridged in One Volume. Peabody : Hendrickson, 1996, c1991, S. Je 29:8