Friday, July 31, 2009
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I spoke at a conference where the director decided to take me backstage by means of a route worthy of the Secret Service. The meeting was in a hotel conference room, and the director guided me through a back hallway, into the kitchen area, and then through a series of twists and turns that are usually navigated only by their waiters I think. I don't usually expect to find great wisdom at times like this, but this time I did. It was a sign on the wall, obviously designed to minimize employee injuries. Five little words that struck me as great advice for my everyday life "Bend knees for heavy lifting."
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Heavy Lifting Without Injuries."
As some people have learned the hard way, when you don't bend your knees for heavy lifting situations, you get unnecessary pain, and strain, and even injury. It's the same with all of life's heavy loads.
That's why God tells us what to do with the things that are weighing us down in Psalm 55:22. It's our word for today from the Word of God. Here's what He says, "Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall." That is a great promise if you claim it. I guess the implication is that if you don't cast your burden on the Lord or bend your knees to pray to Him about it, God isn't obligated to sustain you. You're on your own with a heavy load by your own choice. I think that's what the hymn writer was talking about when he said, "O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear; All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer."
Sometimes the heavier the burden, the more we neglect or forget to unload it on the shoulders of our all-powerful Lord. We're so busy trying to fix it, to carry it, to solve it, that we neglect taking it to God. Sometimes when we're hurting or discouraged, we just don't feel like praying. Great! That's exactly when we need to pray the most.
Someone might say, "Well, I pray about my burdens, but I still feel under it." I might take my car to Dave the mechanic and tell him all the things that aren't working right. Then I drive away muttering to myself, "I told him what was wrong, and nothing happened!" Of course not! It's not enough to tell the mechanic what's not working; I've got to leave it with him for him to fix it. It's not enough for you to stroll into God's Throne Room and just tell Him what's wrong. He already knows that. You have to leave it with Him. "Cast your cares on the Lord." That's the only way He can fix it. When you've really brought something to God, you walk into His Throne Room all bent over from the weight on your back, but you walk out of His Throne Room walking tall because you left it there!
So don't make prayer your last resort when all else fails. Make prayer your first resort! What's wrong with us when we say, "Well, I guess all we can do is pray"? Yeah, all we can do is enter the Throne Room from which a hundred billion galaxies are governed and leave this with the One who rules it all! Life will be much more powerful and much lighter if you'll determine that prayer is going to be your primary method of getting things done, not just something you do to help all your other plans and methods succeed.
You've carried your burdens by yourself long enough, haven't you? And the load may be causing pain and strain and even injury. It does not have to hurt like this. It doesn't have to crush you like this. Bend your knees for heavy lifting!