We church people love cliches.
It’s true. We’ve got our own vernacular going and when you decide you want in, we are happy to teach you our lingo.
I’m pretty much convinced we say some things and don’t even really know what they mean. True story.
Today we’re going to pick apart something you and I like to say every time we know someone who is going through a particularly difficult time.
We look at them with love and sincerity and say, “Give it to God.”
Now, that’s not bad advice. The Bible says to cast your care on Him. God is big enough, strong enough, and powerful enough to handle any problem we have, but sometimes the phrase itself is a little vague. When our friend or loved one is weighted down with anxiety, grief, pain, or fear, they don’t always have a clear enough mind to interpret our good advice and put those words into action in their own life.
They go home, maybe they get down on their knees, and they start praying, “God, I give you my _______ (you fill in the blank). Please take away this pain, fear, anxiety, etc. Amen.”
When they get up from their knees, they may feel better for a few minutes, but probably sooner than later, all the former emotions they gave to God come flooding back over them and it hurts.
What happened? Weren’t they sincere enough? Didn’t God want their cares?
It seems like He gave them right back.
What does it even mean to give it to God?
I am a parent, so when I think of something that is extremely important to me, or valuable, I think of my children.
I would only leave my kids in the care of someone I trusted, and I would only trust them because I knew them well over a period of time.
I’m not going to trust someone I don’t know well with the things or people I care about most.
It’s pretty much the same way with us and God.
We need to know who God is before we’re going to trust Him.
When we’re hanging on to our problems, worries, fears, or cares, we hold tight because these problems are near and dear to our heart. We’re not just going to hand them over to anyone and trust that they’ll be responsible with the things that are important to us.
The better, more intimately, we know God, the easier it will be to trust Him with our problems.
David didn’t fight giants because he gave his fear to God. David fought giants because he knew his God was bigger than any fear he would face. He knew his God intimately and trusted Him. David saw what God did for him in the past and trusted God with his present and future.
Jesus did all the giving on a cross about two thousand years ago. Now you need to start accepting. He’s offering you love, peace, acceptance, forgiveness, grace for each new day, strength, comfort, fullness, and power.
I’m not downplaying the significance of laying something down on the altar, literally or figuratively, but this act of allowing God to fully take on whatever we are laying at His feet is about so much more than anything we can do. It really is all about Him.
Do you trust Him?
When we tell you to “give it to God”, what we’re really saying is “go get to know your God, experience His love, receive His grace, and allow His spirit to empower you. Then bring your troubles and lay them at His feet, knowing He is big enough, trustworthy enough, and powerful enough to carry your burdens. Tell Him about your heartache and be confident He will care for you. Notice I didn’t say trust that He will solve all your problems and give you the outcome you desire, because God is not your genie in a bottle waiting to grant you three wishes.
Quit focusing on the giving. Open your hands and heart, because you need to do a whole lot of receiving.
Your God is bigger, stronger, and more powerful than any giant you are facing.
If you’re struggling with ‘giving it to God’ than you need to draw close to Him, open His Word, and learn who God is and what He is capable of doing.
So then faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God. – Romans 10:17
Long before David was crowned king and long before he fought any giants, David was a friend of God.
Become a friend of God. Your faith will grow. You’ll learn to trust Him more.
Then the next time you’re in a situation where you have to ‘give it to God’, you’ll be able to trust the One to whom you are giving your cares, and fears, and troubles. God will be a little more real to you and you’ll be empowered by His Spirit and strengthened by His promises.
Like David, you will know that your God is bigger than any fear you face and stronger than any weakness you feel. It will be just a little bit easier to accept His peace and comfort and trust Him with your very present troubles.
Go ahead, cast your care upon Him; give it, whatever “it” is to God, because He really does care for you.
You can read the entire story of David and Goliath in 1 Samuel chapter 17.