Sometimes when we face difficult circumstances and feel we can’t go on, someone will say, “Be strong. You have the strength. You can do this!”
This is not a message for life with God.
When it comes to pleasing God, I don’t have it in me. I can’t make myself pleasing to God and I don’t have the strength to live a life that pleases God.
Following Christ is not difficult; it’s impossible! This is where living the life begins!
A message God wants us to learn
You will never have enough strength in yourself to be what God calls you to be or to do what God calls you to do.
This truth was emphasized long ago to God’s people
“Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord” (Deuteronomy 8:2-3).
A pattern emerges
Throughout the Scriptures, a pattern emerges on this emphasis. We see it in the call of Moses (Exodus 3:1 – 4:17), in the call of Gideon (Judges 6:11-24), and Isaiah (Isaiah 6:1-8), Jeremiah (Jeremiah 1:4-10), and Ezekiel (Ezekiel 1:1-3:11).
The repeated message is clear
You are not competent or sufficient in yourself. Your strength must come from God. It’s not about you and how adequate you feel — it’s about God and His grace that will give you the strength and provision you need.
Remember this truth
This is the lesson God has for us. Our sufficiency and strength must come from God. “Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God” (2 Corinthians 3:5).
Are sitting in front of a river?
Human extremity is a most suitable opportunity for God to display His power.
Why do you think God made his people gather for three days in front of the Jordan River before they entered the Promised Land? We learn that they sat there during harvest season when the river overflowed on all its banks. Before God miraculously split the raging river to allow his people to enter the land, he let them sit in front of it to absorb the clear sense of their own inadequacy. Unless God does something for us we’ll never cross this river!
Are you sitting in front of a raging river?
This is one more opportunity to confess you inadequacy and your complete dependence on the Lord. Be still and know that He is God!
- “The Lord is good,
a refuge in times of trouble.
He cares for those who trust in him” (Nahum 1:7)
- “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today” (Exodus 14:13).
- “God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging” (Psalm 46:1-3).
- “… work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose” (Philippians 2:12-13).
Rest in the Lord and His strength today!