So, I joined a gym for 2017. Yay me (rolls eyes).
Man, it’s hard work – not the actual working out part – but the discipline and commitment part.
If you are anything like me and countless others, one of your primary goals in the new year is to lose weight, right? According to Statistic Brain Research Institute, losing weight is the number one 2017 new year’s resolution (as it was in 2015 and 2016).
But if you’ve got this weight, healthy eating, and gym thing down pat, you’re probably tickled at how crowded the gym is in early January. Perhaps you’ve even had to wait longer for your favorite exercise machine – with the newbies and all.
Why are we so consumed with weight loss? Is our real problem stubborn belly or back fat?
As we, the body of Christ, take a deeper look at this phenomena, I think there’s a very specific reason why losing weight dominates the “new year, new me” department. Let’s dissect this thing…
Did you know that the weights on your heart can put extra weight around your gut?
Does your heavy heart easily seek comfort in fried, fatty foods, decadent desserts, and/or salty treats?
Have you ever been so weighted down in your mind that you sought “retail therapy”, and then capped the night off at your favorite restaurant to splurge – because you deserved it?
See the cause-and-effect pattern here?
While we, especially Americans, begin with our belly fat, the word of God tells us as followers of Christ to start with our heart and mind.
Obesity of the Heart
Is your heart fat, Team? Unfortunately, yes. For some, obese even.
Ask yourself, like King David. Why is my heart and soul cast down? What’s bugging me? What’s eating at me making me eat everything? Why does my heart ache? Why am I so angry? Why can’t I find joy? Make it personal.
And, dare I ask generally – why is depression running rampant in the church?
Many of us are fighting for our literal lives through the mines of mental warfare. Some of you may be feeling as if you can’t catch a break, that you’ve been down too long, and you haven’t seen or felt Hope in years.
While I’ve had my own tour of duty in the War on Depression, everyone’s journey will be different.
However, though we all fight our own personal battles, we have access to common weapons that are tailored to win any spiritual battle.
The word of God – it is our weapon! And, while you may not feel strong enough to wield this sword like a pro, if you can just whisper a scripture to yourself when you’re feeling your lowest – you are planting seeds of victory that will produce a harvest to feed your soul for the journey.
So, let’s take a look at what the word of God says, and how we can lose this weight.
The Revelation of “Cast”
The beauty of our play book, the Bible, is – we can trust that if we follow the instructions, we can expect a predictable, favorable outcome.
In order to activate the Word, we have to “do” something – that’s what a play call is, right? A command, an instruction, a directive.
The common play call throughout the word of God for dealing with the weights on our heart and mind is “cast” or “throw”:
Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved. Psalm 55:22
Cast [throw] all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7
All is not lost just because we’re feeling down at the moment. Depression, sadness, and frustration is not the final word for the Believer. Get your good throwing arm and keep reading…ready?
The 3 Elements of a Successfully “Cast” Care
The Greek word for “cast” in 1 Peter 5:7 is translated epiriptó – to throw upon, or place upon. What does it take for us to actually cast our cares upon Jesus? Refer to the picture above on how to throw, and remember G.A.P:
Get a good grip on what’s been gripping you. Remember the questions I asked earlier? Identify what’s on your heart, scrape all the pieces together – be honest. Touch it as it touches you. Don’t leave one fragment of it behind. See, if we’re going to be thorough and cast “all”, gather your family concerns, your job frustrations, your health worries, your financial cares – all of it! Got it all gripped together? Now…
1 Peter 5:7 gives us specific guidance on direction. We’re not instructed to cast our cares upon people – no matter how much we believe they care about us. Some cares are only meant for Jesus!
Has that been our problem? Has your aim been off? Have you been trying to pile your cares on your Mama, best friend, your home boy? Or, likewise, have you been carrying the burdens of others that were supposed to be cast upon Jesus?
Look to the hills where your help comes from! Take aim at Jesus; He’s your divine target.
Take another look at the graphic above. Cast is a forward motion with force. And, anything that is propelled forward, with force, shifts from its position of origin. Once cast, that care is no longer in your firm grip or under your control.
Note, we are not encouraged to simply place, drop, or release our cares to Jesus. Anything of the sort would leave said care in too close proximity for us to pick it up again! When you cast your cares and worries upon Jesus, they cannot live, breath, and thrive in your heart and upon Jesus at the same time. So, pick a place, Team! When you’re ready to truly cast, you’re ready to evict and relocate the pain and worry for Jesus to handle as He pleases.
What Happens After You Cast?
It’s worth noting that the word epiriptó for cast is mentioned in one other place in the Bible:
“And they brought the colt to Jesus: and they cast their garments upon the colt, and they set Jesus on it.” Luke 19:35
This is a glimpse of the preparation for the triumphant entry of Jesus in Jerusalem, when the crowds cried, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord.”
When we cast our cares upon Jesus, likewise, He will take them away in triumphant exit! The cares will no longer leave us distressed, but they will leave us as the King of Kings takes His rightful place in victory over our cares, worries, and frustrations.
The Heavy Heart Diet Plan
While King Jesus handles our cares, here’s how we can maintain a healthy heart and mind weight – with the sweet words of our play book, the Bible (Psalms 119: 103).
You and I can lose that stubborn care weight and keep it off our hearts with the following diet plan meditations:
Romans 8:28: And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Matthew 6:25: Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
Psalm 37:5: Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, and He will do it.
Psalm 84:11: For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.
Psalm 55:22: Cast your burden upon the LORD and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.
Jeremiah 29:11: For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
BONUS SNACK (eat any time of the day)
2 Corinthians 4:8-9: We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.
So, What’s the Play Call?
Get to casting those cares and lose that heart weight! You don’t need a new year to find your G.A.P. Throw your cares upon Jesus today, do it NOW!