Week 2 Abide and Adhere
Let Go and Hold On
Cast "all your care;" personal cares, family cares, cares for the present, and cares for the future, for yourselves, for others, for the church, on God. These are burdensome, and often very sinful, when they arise from unbelief and distrust, when they torture and distract the mind, unfit us for duties, and hinder our delight in the service of God. The remedy is, to cast our care upon God, and leave every event to his wise and gracious disposal.[i]
s we journey toward freedom, the devil is going to bother us like a bully who pelts small children with snowballs. He stirs up memories of past sorrows and tempts us to fear the future, but adherence to the Lord leaves no space in our hearts for repressed fears and sorrows. When we praise God, we display trust in Him, and when we claim Scripture, we unleash the power of the Holy Spirit through God’s Word.
People keep addictions for many reasons, even addictions that cause them desperate unhappiness. When those addictions are redirected (such as the substitution of smoking for overeating) no spiritual progress is made; a trade of one burden for another gains nothing. Our goal is to redirect our hearts from the world’s counterfeit (and ineffective) solace to the Lord’s. He offers not only freedom from overweight, but freedom, period. The enemy will attempt to rob us of this freedom that is our heritage in Christ.
We all have remembered pain. Sorrows from the humiliation of past sin, a painful physical ordeal, or loss of a loved one all provide fodder for the enemy’s strategies against us. He wants us bound by the grief of the past and fearful of what might happen in the future. If he can keep our eyes on memories and fears (neither of which actually exists in the present moment), he might distract us from the nail pierced hands and feet of the Savior who bore these sufferings for us.
Memories of painful experiences from the past can continue to wield power over current behaviors, fears, and dreams. Here is deception-busting truth: Jesus, by taking our sins and sorrows upon Himself, severed bonds to the past that otherwise would have crippling power to influence us for the remainder of our lives. This is what it means to have our sins removed as far as the east is from the west.[ii]
Jesus has walked with us through every dark night and pain-filled moment. He never left us even during times of sin or seasons of suffering. When he didn’t remove the pain, He bore it with us, shortened its duration; and loved us through it. We may not understand the whys of difficult days but we need not be bound by past memories or fears for the future. We can choose to trust in our Savior’s love. We can cast our cares on Him.
Pray: Lord, please free me completely from any present effects of past sin: both from the wrongs dealt me by others, and also the sins I committed of my own volition. Please don’t allow the enemy to rob me of the freedom that is mine in Christ. Be in my perceptions so I see clearly how You brought me through past difficulties, and create in my heart a calm trust in Your plans for my future. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
…one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:13-14 NKJV
So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.
1 Peter 5:6-7 NLT
1 Peter 5:6-7 NLT