Saddle Up


                                   By

                              Phil Scovell





                          Copyright (C) 1997/2003

                            By Phil Scovell

                          All Rights Reserved



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          Phil Scovell, if such reproduction is done in the spirit in which
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          Scovell.  Electronic  formats may be distributed  freely but this
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          CONTACT INFORMATION

          Phil Scovell
          840 South Sheridan Boulevard
          Denver, Colorado  80226-8017
          Toll Free:  888-936-0001
          Voice:  303-936-2188
          Fax:  303-936-1841
          Email:  Phil@RedWhiteAndBlue.ORG
          Web:  WWW.RedWhiteAndBlue.ORG





                                              SADDLE-UP


                                   By

                              Phil Scovell



               A common topic of radio and television talk shows is "Coping
          With Stress."  "stressed out, stress  level, stress zones, STRESS
          TOLERANCE, stress  analysis, stress  syndrome, stress  critical",
          and  "stress  fatigue"   are  but  a  few  buzz   words  used  to
          characterize the pressure faced in today's society.

               The coping  with, or handling  of, such stress has  become a
          multi-million dollar industry.   Books, magazine articles, stress
          clinics,  counseling, cassette  recordings  of ocean  sounds with
          subliminal messages,  relaxation tapes, meditation,  drugs, diet,
          music,  hobbies,  exercise programs,  seminars,  and even  herbal
          compounds all are promoted and prescribed in various ways to deal
          with stress.    Specialists  are  hired  by  companies  to  teach
          employees how  to deal  with stress problems.   Radio  talk shows
          feature psychologists  who offer  advice to  those who  call with
          problems on a daily bases.   Psychics, once called "mediums," now
          "channelers,"  furnish  counseling  services  to assist  troubled
          individuals  by looking into  the supernatural for  a substantial
          fee.  Even churches have  succumb to hosting "Christian" seminars
          so pastors, church leaders and laity  can learn how to cope  with
          the effects of stress upon  the Christian life.  Fortunately, the
          Bible offers  a simple solution  for the Bible Believer  and it's
          free.

          I Peter 5:7

               CASTING ALL YOUR CARE UPON HIM; FOR HE CARES FOR YOU.

               This was a peculiar thing for Peter  to say!  He, Peter, was
          compulsive,  zealous,   argumentative,  pertinacious,   critical,
          capricious, fickle, sometimes faithless, impulsive, aberrant, and
          even violent.  He lied, forsook his calling, denied his Lord, and
          often  seemed  to  be  plagued  with  discouragement.    Yet,  he
          encourages us  to "cast our cares" upon the  Lord.  This can only
          mean two things:  Personal deliverance had been experienced,  and
          he was led of the Holy Spirit when he wrote.  Since Peter's words
          are  inspired of God, let's consider the  meaning of the words he
          used.

          CARE

               We are told to "cast all our care" upon the Lord.  The Greek
          word for "care" is rendered  (solicitude).  In another words, all
          our concerns, fears, apprehensions, and anxiousness is to be cast
          upon the Lord. This word, "care," is used five other times in the
          New Testament.



               In Matthew  13, we find our Lord's  parable on the sowing of
          seed.  Actually  it is a parable of the four types of soil rather
          than just of a sower planting seed.   The soils in which seed was
          planted are described  as:  way side soil,  stony ground, thorns,
          and good  ground.  The seed dropped on  the earth by the way side
          was quickly DEVOURED  by birds.  Those falling  into stony ground
          failed to  produce because of  shallow roots.  The  seeds planted
          where thorns grew were "choked"  and thus became unfruitful.  The
          seeds  planted  in  the fertile  soil  produced  prolifically and
          predictively.

               The  word "care"  from  I  Peter 5:7  appears  first in  the
          reference to the seed planted among the thorns.  

               He also that received seed  among the thorns is he that
               heareth the word;  and the care of this  world, and the
               deceitfulness  of  riches,  choked  the  word,  and  he
               becometh unfruitful.  (Matt. 13:22).

               Here we  gain perspicacity  to the true  nature of  the word
          "care" used later by Peter in his epistle.  It is that pertaining
          to  this "world"  which "chokes"  our intimacy  with God.   Jesus
          includes "the  deceitfulness of riches"  in his story;  Thus, the
          riches of this  world, rendered (wealth), can and  do choke, [the
          Greek word is  (strangled completely]), our fellowship  with God.
          I might add that such can  happen whether one is opulent or  not.
          It is the  love of money which  is the root of all  evil, (I Tim.
          6:10),  not the possession or  lack of which chokes/strangles the
          Word.

               Mark also makes reference to our Lord's parable of the sower
          and thus the second use of the Greek word "care" is found.

               And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as
               hear the  word, and  the cares of  this world,  and the
               deceitfulness  of riches, and the lusts of other things
               enter in, choke  the word, and it  becometh unfruitful.
               (Mark 4:18-19).

               Mark's  account  includes  "the lusts  of  other  things" as
          compatible with the "cares of this world," and the "deceitfulness
          of riches."   The word "lusts" actually  is translated (longing).
          This (longing) of other things "entering in" is a worldly mundane
          intrusion which sidetracks  one's personal relationship  with our
          Heavenly Father.   Thus again our fellowship  is choked/strangled
          by the care of this world.

               Luke  likewise records this  parable in his  Gospel but adds
          something more to bring the picture into definite focus.

               And that which fell among  thorns are they, which, when
               they have heard,  go forth, and  are choked with  cares
               and riches  and pleasures of  this life,  and bring  no
               fruit to perfection.  (Luke 4:14).

               "Pleasures"  is interpreted as (sensual delights). This same
          word is found  four other times in  the New Testament  and simply
          refers  to those  things of a  physical/fleshly nature  which are
          done to  please body -  senses.  In modern  vernacular, (sensual)
          implies  sexual; but such is not  the case in Greek.   It is true
          that  such could refer  to the sexual  nature but the  Greek word
          includes, rather than refers,   to the sexual.  Thus,  that which
          pleases,  gratifies,   in   deference   to   the   spiritual   or
          intellectual.   Such  are the  "cares" of  this world.   It  also
          should  be noted  that Luke  says that  these things,  the cares,
          riches,  and pleasures, of  this world hinder  one from producing
          fruit  of "perfection."    This  word,  "perfection,"  refers  to
          (maturity).   Such  worldly  cares and  conduct  are inimical  to
          spiritual maturity and thus growth is impeded.

               Again  in Luke's  Gospel, our  Lord  makes use  of the  word
          "care" in reference to His return:

               "And take  heed to  yourselves, lest  at any  time your
               hearts b overcharged  with surfeiting, and drunkenness,
               and  cares of  this life,  and  so that  day come  upon
               unawares."  (Luke 21:34).

          "Surfeiting" is our word for (headache) and "drunkenness" is self
          interpretive.   Headaches,  whether from  stress or  drunkenness,
          are;  in this  case, associated  with the  "cares of  this life."
          They are,  perhaps,  symptomatic  of the  "cares"  and  may  even
          perpetuate the "cares" of this life; but they are related.

               Paul   likewise  made  reference  to  such  "cares"  in  his
          epistles.   In  II  Corinthians 11:23-27,  Paul  offers a  rather
          lengthy list of those things which he had  suffered for the cause
          of  Christ. His  experiences included  ship wreck,  imprisonment,
          beatings,  stoning, hunger, pain, cold and  nakedness, as well as
          conflict with many  who tried to stop  his Gospel preaching.   We
          could certainly say  all such would bring stress to  his life but
          in light  of such  hardship, (stress) seems  to be  an inadequate
          description.  He  concludes, however, by saying  sententiously in
          verse  28 that  he  likewise  shoulders the  "cares"  of all  the
          churches.

               From viewing all the passages where the Greek word "care" is
          used, we should  be able to grasp  Peter's usage in I  Peter 5:7:
          "Casting all  your care upon Him..."  The  "cares" we are to cast
          upon  our  Lord   as  Christians  are  those   circumstances  and
          situations  which bring stress,  fear, doubt, discouragement, and
          even defeat to the Christian's life.  The symptoms of such stress
          -  headaches,  sleeplessness,   obesity,  anorexia,  nervousness,
          depression, anger, and a  host of other pernicious infirmities  -
          all would likewise fall into the category of "cares" which are to
          be cast upon  the Lord.   Additionally, all  such things used  to
          override these "cares" - alcohol, drugs, tobacco, sleeping pills,
          tranquilizers -  would find  less prominence in  our lives  if we
          could just  learn to  "cast all  our care  upon the  Lord."   The
          question is, how do we learn to "cast" our burdens/cares upon the
          Lord?







          CASTING

               We are told by Peter that the way we unburden the "cares" of
          this life is by "casting."  It means to (throw upon), but it also
          carries with it the idea of stacking one upon another as stacking
          papers or blocks.  In short...layering.   This is an unusual word
          and is found, in this same  identical form,  only one other  time
          in the New Testament.

               And they  cast their garments  upon the colt,  and they
               set Jesus thereon.   And as He went,  they spread their
               cloths in the way.  And when He was come nigh, even now
               at  the decent  of  the  mount  of  olives,  the  whole
               multitude  of the disciples began to rejoice and praise
               God with  a loud  voice for all  the mighty  works that
               they  had seen; saying, Blessed be  the King that comes
               in the name of the Lord: peace  in Heaven, and glory in
               the highest.  (Luke 19:35-38).

               This event in  the life of our  Lord is recorded in  each of
          the four Gospels.   Although  Mark uses a  similar word which  is
          rendered "cast" and is likewise translated (to throw upon), it is
          a  slightly different word  than was later  used by  Peter in his
          epistle.

               As  seen from  the Gospel  record, Jesus  was placed  upon a
          colt, a  young donkey,  and entered Jerusalem.   The  people laid
          their coats and other personal clothing on the ground in front as
          well  as branches  from palm  trees  to show  their humility  and
          submission to Jesus as  the Christ.   It is interesting to  note,
          however,  that the  word "cast" was  used to describe  the act of
          pulling  their coats  off and  laying them  upon the  colt before
          Jesus mounted the animal.   In another words, they placed several
          layers of personal clothing on  the colt before allowing Jesus to
          ride the donkey.  This gives insight as to the usage of this same
          Greek  word when Peter instructed us to "Cast" our cares upon the
          Lord.  As  they "cast" their personal  garments upon the  back of
          the colt on which Jesus was to ride, so we should,  as Believers,
          cast; or shed, ourselves of  personal cares and concerns in order
          that we might be free to worship and serve our Lord.
               It is also  interesting to note that  the "Triumphant Entry"
          of  our Lord into  Jerusalem - the  city of peace -  was not only
          preceded by  the removal of  personal outer clothing to  place on
          the back of the colt but then the same procedure was  followed as
          he road into the city.  As such was done, the  Gospels all record
          that those who did so rejoiced and praised God.

               If we are  careful to "cast all  our cares" upon our  Lord -
          placing them one-by-one upon Him  - we must assume therefore that
          we would  then be free  to rejoice and  praise God for all  He as
          done.      Stress,   personal   conflicts,   strained   emotions,
          unmanageable circumstances,  impossible situations, and  all such
          worry must be  pealed off and stripped  away in order to  be laid
          upon our Lord.  If we are unable to handle all such problems, why
          not  allow Him  to  take  responsibility for  them  since he  has
          expressed His desire to do so?



          HE CARES FOR YOU

               Often circumstances  dictate indifference.  "Does God really
          care?"    Yet Peter  confirms  He  does.   This  word  translated
          "careth" in the King James is  the Greek word (melo).  It  simply
          means (to  be of  interest to).   This  same word  is often  used
          negatively in the New Testament.   For example, when a storm  was
          causing the ship  to sink and Jesus was asleep in the hinder part
          of the boat, His disciples came and said, "Lord, don't you care?"
          [See Mark  4].  Yet Peter, in a positive  way,  uses this word to
          reveal God's deep concern for His own.

               The word for "meditation" in  the New Testament is used only
          three times  as (premeditate,  imagine), and  (meditate).   It is
          translated  (to  revolve  in  the  mind).    The  root  word  for
          (meditate)  comes from the Greek word which  Peter uses - "For He
          cares for you."   Merging these two thoughts, we can say that our
          Lord is deeply concerned about  us and we are continually in  His
          thoughts.  If this is so, why should we carry those burdens which
          He desires to bare for us?

          SADDLE-UP

               In  Luke's  Gospel  we  read that  after  they  placed their
          personal garments upon the colt, they "set Jesus thereon,"  (Luke
          19:35).   Simply,  they saddled the  colt for the  Lord by laying
          those things personal, which they  removed from their own bodies,
          upon the colt and then "they placed Jesus thereon."  Our personal
          involvement is necessary if we are going to  "cast" all our cares
          upon  the Lord.   We  must expurgate,  strip, ourselves  of those
          things personal  to our lives  which would in  any way hinder  us
          from personal contact with our  Lord.  He is interested, willing,
          and concerned that we do exactly that but He will not remove them
          or  even carry the burden unless we  act by faith.  We must place
          Him squarely on our problems and we can only do that by prayer.


          PRAYER

               Most of  us try to  complicate prayer and make  it something
          difficult, something  hard, something unobtainable,  or something
          impractical.  Let me suggest  something you may find difficult to
          accept  at  first.   Each  day,  either  morning or  evening,  or
          whenever it is  a time in which  you can remain quiet  before the
          Lord for a few  minutes, sit, or kneel, or even  stand and simply
          think before the Lord.  Many practice  this simple form of prayer
          while walking, jogging, or riding  a bicycle.  Specifically think
          of everything  which is heavy  on your heart.   Consider yourself
          before the  Lord in uncomplicated  prayer.  Specifically  lay out
          your   problems,   worries,  dissatisfactions,   fears,   doubts,
          inconsistencies, failures,  frustrations, and  limitations before
          the  One who cares,  is interested, in  you.   Lay them one-upon-
          another.   Stack them up in thought.   If you find this difficult
          to do mentally at first, take pad  and pen and write these things
          on a page one-by-one and stack them up before you on  the desk or
          table.  In this way, you will be allowing your thoughts to become
          His.  When you have exhausted all  the things which are troubling
          you at the  moment and you have emptied yourself of all the worry
          and fear  which accompanies them;  release them and He  will lift
          them from you.  Then begin to worship.  

               "How long should I practice this form of prayer?"

          Daily!  Perhaps more than once a day if necessary.

               "How will I know they have been lifted from me?"

          Peace  will replace those  burdens.  Remember  what happened when
          they  saddled the  colt for  their Lord  and laid  their personal
          garments  before Him  as He  road  into Jerusalem  - the  city of
          peace?   They worshipped Him and  praised God with  a loud voice.
          We must  do the same if we are  going to practice casting all our
          cares upon Him.  It is during this time of  praise and worship we
          find God's  thoughts becoming  ours.  When  that occurs,  we will
          experience "the peace of God which transcends all understanding,"
          (Phil. 4:7).

               DOES IT WORK?

          Most do not experience much the first few times they pray in this
          fashion  and quickly  assume failure.   It  must be  practiced by
          faith -  "Without faith  it is impossible  to please  God," (Heb.
          11:6).  If you  remain faithful in practicing this form of prayer
          - exchanging your thoughts for God's  - you will be rewarded, not
          to mention amazed, at just how much He cares for you.

               Something to remember,  however, is that this  practice does
          not  mean  your problems  disappear.    The experience  of  those
          saddling the colt for their Lord was that "they" were changed and
          thus were then  able to  rejoice and  praise God  for His  mighty
          works.  Yes they had seen many miracles done by Jesus before this
          occurred.  In fact, John's Gospel records this "triumphant Entry"
          happened  the  day following  the  resurrection of  Lazarus.   We
          cannot, however, live  on passed experience, passed  miracles, or
          passed victories.  We must  exercise faith, and worship the Lord,
          for  what He is going to do today;  and what He is going to do is
          carry  our cares if we will cast them  upon Him.  If we will cast
          our burdens upon the Lord, exchange our thoughts for His, we will
          be free from the "cares" of this world and thus liberated; we can
          worship Him with deep spiritual intimacy.

               Cast your burden  upon the Lord,  and He shall  sustain
               you:  He shall never  suffer the righteous to be moved.
               (Psalm 55:22).


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