Today’s Scripture:  “25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?”  Matthew 6:25-27

Series Introduction:

Welcome to the beginning of the 21 Day “Living the Surrendered Life” series.  It’s been a little more than a week since we ended our “Why Read The Bible?” series, and what a series that was.  I really got a lot out of that series, and I don’t know if you enjoyed reading the messages as much as I enjoyed writing them…but I feel like it was a really good series…and that there was a lot of good messages in that series.  I hope and pray that this one turns out to be the same…and that you’ll join me in this 21 Day journey to see how we can be better at “Living the Surrendered Life.”

This series is going to be done a bit differently in the sense that there’s commentary already written by the writer of this devotional.  By the way…if you wish to follow along you can find it on the YouVersion Website…or you can just follow along here.  Either way I hope you’ll follow along…and I hope we learn some good stuff along the way…Amen!?!

Message Introduction:

We begin this series talking about surrendering our worry.  When we worry we’re saying that we don’t believe or trust that God is going to meet the need or circumstance that has us worried.  Therefore, I know not many of you may have made this connection, but when we worry we’re calling God a liar…and saying that He’s unfaithful.  So, let’s take a look at worry…and find out why we’re opening this series talking about worry.

Today’s Message:

Worry is really just a smaller way to say we don’t know if God will come through. It’s our inability to trust Him to do what He says He will do, which is to make all things work for the good of those who love him (Romans 8:28). We somehow think that if we add a little worry to His holy mix that things will work out better.

I like what’s written here.  “Worry is just a smaller way to say we don’t know if God will come through.”  God’s faithfulness isn’t based upon us, but it’s based upon Him.  He’s faithful to us not because we need Him to be faithful…He’s faithful to us because He IS faithful.  He’s always available to us to meet our needs, desires, wants, and circumstances.  The problem comes when we’re unwilling to completely surrender our lives to Him.

Listen, there’s not anything going on in our lives that God cannot take care of, that’s got Him by surprise, and that He doesn’t know about.  There isn’t anything that we cannot or shouldn’t be able to lay down at the altar of the Cross…including our lives.  That’s what it means to live a surrendered life…we have to lay down us…and pick up Him.  Remember John the Baptist’s saying:  “He must increase, but I must decrease.” John 3:30 (KJV).

John the Baptist was trying to give us an illustration of what a surrendered life looked like.  He must increase, but we must decrease.  In other words, the more of self that we have…the less surrendered our lives are…and the less surrendered our lives are the more we’ll have cause and reason for worry.  Why?  Because a life that is not surrendered does not come because we don’t love God, but because we don’t trust Him to take care of us.

See, when we’re fully surrendered to God then there isn’t anything that comes into our lives that we don’t completely trust Him to take care of, and that’s what Jesus is getting at here when He’s teaching us to “take no thought for our lives”.

The writer of this devotional shares a story about a friend, and at the end of this story gives us a little nugget of gold that they received from the Spirit of God.  I wasn’t going to include this story…but it will help illustrate today’s message.

Just the other day a friend of mine, who was going through one of the most wretched times in her life, kept asking me questions. What should I do? How long should I wait? When do you think I’ll see some change? What should I do if this happens again?
I felt terrible for her. I wanted to make her wounded heart all better, add some Neosporin, a bandage and call it good. Then, very quickly, the Spirit of God prompted me to tell her this: Don’t borrow trouble from tomorrow.

It’s always easy to surrender and trust God when things are going well…isn’t it?  It’s another story completely when we’re going through difficult times…isn’t it?  The funny thing is that we think that we’re more equipped to help God during the times we struggle.  However…as we see here in this picture…God doesn’t need our help for anything.

I’ve always liked this little saying.  I don’t know where it originated from, but it’s a neat little reminder that God doesn’t need us to help Him do anything…but what He does need is for us to yield to His Spirit…and get out of His way.

Today, you and I need to make a stand against that worry monster who creeps up next to us and wants to steal away our tomorrows. Don’t let him. He’s our spiritual enemy and all he desires to do is see us flounder in our lives to the point where we make no progress whatsoever.

It’s interesting that what we think we can do by worrying really doesn’t happen at all.  I know from my life whenever I was worried about things I thought that by worrying I showed that I cared, and that I was getting something done.  However, the more I think about it the more I realize that worrying never really accomplishes anything.  In fact, it actually goes to hinder us more than anything else.

I’d like to add this bonus piece of information as well.  Worry is linked to many physical health problems.  So not only does it hinder and injure us spiritually, but it also causes us physical problems.  So…worry isn’t good for us spiritually, physically, or emotionally.

Friend, I don’t know what you are facing or what lies ahead in your path. But I know that we serve a God who effortlessly created the world in six days and still knows how many hairs you have on your head.

I agree.  I don’t know what you’re facing.  I don’t know the situations or circumstances in your life.  However, I know the One who does know.  He knows all about you, your life, and the situations you are facing.  He doesn’t need us to help Him…but He needs us to surrender and get out of His way.

I know in my life that once I began to learn to lay down the things that I was so worried and concerned about, and asked God to take over…He did.  What’s unsurprising is that once He did take over…things turned out a lot better than they did or they were while I was trying to take care of them on my own.

Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.” Psalm 55:22 (KJV).  Let us not take for granted the Lord’s great invitation:

28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30

As Christians we ought to be able to rest, and know that the God that created us doesn’t need our help…He needs us to surrender.

Action Steps:

In what areas of your life do you worry the most? Try to pinpoint why you tend to worry about this instead of trusting God. Commit Matthew 6:25-27 to memory and the next time you are tempted to worry about this or anything else in your life, replace the worrying thought with the truth of this scripture.

In Closing:

It’s taken me a long time to learn not to not give in to worry, but what took me the longest to learn was to surrender the things I worried about to God…and allow Him to take care of them.  The more I seen God do in my life the more I learned to trust Him, and the more I learned to trust Him the easier it was to surrender.

Today…I find that whenever I am in worry I’m there because I’ve yet to surrender what I am worrying about, and it’s also because I think that some how I’m more capable of taking care of what I’m worrying about then God.  The interesting thing today is that God will allow me to worry and try to do things on my own for a while…before He sweetly asks me if I’ve had enough yet.

God’s a gentleman, friends.  He’s never going to force Himself into our lives or our circumstances.  He’s always going to wait for you to come to Him for help.  Some times He will prompt you a bit to reach out to Him, but the truth is He can’t do anything in our lives until we surrender them to Him.

I don’t know about you, but there are always areas of my life that I can surrender more.  I’ve readily admitted to you that I’m not perfect, and I certainly haven’t figured all there is to figure out about the Christian life…but one thing I have figured out is life is much easier when I get out of God’s way.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, I thank You for leading us into this series about living surrendered lives.  Father…show us what a surrendered life looks like.  Father…show us what areas of our lives we need to surrender.  Lord…help us to see those areas and surrender them to You.  We give You all the glory and honor Lord…and ask that You would teach and speak to us during this series…and lead us to have more surrendered lives so that our relationship with You can be more intimate.  We love You Lord…In Jesus’ name…Amen & Amen.