How does one put a problem in God’s hands and not steal it right back, more often than not, unintentionally? This question was asked a few weeks ago on my Author Susan Gaddis Facebook page. Who doesn’t put something in God’s care and forget to leave it there? Guilty—all of us have.
Usually when we neglect to leave a problem in God’s hands the “stealing it back” comes in the form of mental musing over the problem. You know, those anxiety conversations that we have with ourselves in our mind, act out in our imagination, and eventually spill over onto someone else’s peaceful day.
Therefore we have to catch those little though starters of doubt or anxiety before they become long conversations in our self-talk. This is what 2 Corinthians 10:5 is referring to when it tells us to take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ Jesus. Here are some tips on how to do that:
1. After you leave your problem with the Lord, tune into your self-talk throughout the day. Identify any little thought that wants to hang out with the problem you left with God. After all, this isn’t your problem any more; it is God’s—so stay out of God’s business and mind your own business.
2. Mentally grab the invading thought and hold it up against the truth of God’s Word. Quote a Scripture promise at the sneaky thought such as Psalm 138:8, “The Lord will perfect that which concerns me; Your mercy, O Lord, endures forever; Do not forsake the works of Your hands” (NKJV).
3. Pray the Scripture promise, talk it over in your self-talk, and use it to rebuke the enemy if necessary. Personally, I like to find a Scripture promise for every problem that I leave with the Lord. I keep them on flip cards, which makes them easy to keep next to my bed or in my purse.
4. Put the problem behind you. Where you place your focus will determine if your mind and emotions fixate on the problem or on something more productive. See my post on How to Put Your Problems Behind You.
If the problem seems to continually follow you home—out of the Lord’s hands and into your living room—perhaps you never really left it with the Lord in the first place. Maybe you just had a discussion with God about the problem, and then you tucked the problem under your arm and left his presence. Consider spending some quality time with Jesus talking the problem over and getting all your fears, anxieties, and concerns expressed.
Emotions are real and need to be processed. So process them with the Lord before you leave the problem in his care. Then go back to #1 above and begin again. Honestly, what I’ve outlined here takes practice and doesn’t come easy. Give yourself a little grace and keep at it.
What do you do that helps you leave your problems in the Lord’s hands and not steal them back? Which of the above tips do you practice, and which one might be a new tool for your personal growth toolbox as a follower of Christ? I’d love to hear from you in the comment section below.
In Him together, Susan Gaddis