November 07, 2018

My Most Powerful Deliberate Spiritual Practice

Written By Cary Schmidt

Are you ever overwhelmed by circumstances beyond your control? Do you, like me, tend to default to manufacturing your own solutions? When things go badly, my immediate instinct is to solve, avoid, escape, or forge my own solutions to my situation.

This is a really bad habit—for several reasons. Why is it a bad habit?

First—because I’m not in control, so my solutions are merely my “best guess” or worse, maybe my rash reaction.

Second—because I’m not knowledgeable enough to know the purpose of my circumstances or exactly what God has in mind to accomplish. When I act my own solutions, I’m making the problem bigger!

Third—because my solutions usually prevent God’s bigger, better idea from unfolding. While I’m working “my plan,” I’m preventing His plan. 

So, there is a single “most powerful,” deliberate spiritual practice in my life. I wish it were more instinctive. I wish it were always my first response. I wish I didn’t have to “learn the hard way.” But I have to say—the times I’ve made this a deliberate practice, it isn’t long before I see God intervene and unfold His bigger, more beautiful, and more ultimate plan.

Take whatever problem you are facing right now, whatever challenge, whatever burden, and deliberately differentiate it from the rest of your life. Look at it. Step away from it. Get some distance. Loosen its grip from your heart, your emotions, and your mental energy. Look at it objectively.

Now… here it is.

Once you have differentiated that problem from your life, and you can objectively look at the challenge, deliberately do/say this:

“God, this is not my problem, this is your problem. I am not the victim of this problem, I am the child of your loving heart. You are my faithful Father, and you have promised to care for me. You have invited me to cast my care upon you. So here it is, God. I am too small for this problem. I can’t solve or resolve it. So I am giving it to you. Thank you for it, now here it is. I’m giving it back! Show me what to do. Lead me in wisdom. Direct my steps and my decisions. I am choosing to be held by you, not by this problem. Show me your solution, and until you do, I will wait with patience, endurance, faith, and dependence.”

There it is. My single most powerful deliberate spiritual practice is to look objectively at a problem and intentionally place it back into God’s hands.

The outcome? I can say definitively, every single time I have done this, my emotions have been radically transformed, my problem has ceased “being in control,” and before long, God’s solution blew me away. 

So, wherever this post finds you, go for it. Perhaps your challenge was handed to you simply so you can hand it back to God and experience just how great a Father He really is. Do it. Cast in back into His hands, and mean it. He’s big enough to take it!

Psalm 37:5 “Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.”