You don’t have it in you

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!

Steve Cornell

This entry was posted in Behavior, Christian life, Christian worldview, Christianity, Discouragement, Hope? and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to You don’t have it in you

  1. I’m not sure if I am in Christ; I may be one of those people I heard about in a sermon preached in about 1998-2001 or so; the words I recall were: “…they have their Christian music, they pray and read their bibles, but they do not know Him.” Sorry, there is some biterness, but I have not lived for Him; I trusted Christ and am SURE I knew Him, but never lived right. When I remarried and thought things would work out because my spouse was 100% committed to marriage, it later appeared that the violence and the hatred of my Christian “practice”, combined with my weak conscience and negative outlook brught out so much of her extreme anger and violence, that whatever faith I might have had in God’s love for me has almost completely disappeared. But it is my sin that puts me here; when I doubt His love, it does not mean I am correct in my thinking, nor does it justify my anger toward the very one who took on my sin debt, and all sin debt; and I KNOW His Word is true; I always have since I first really heard it. The problem for me is that if I am lost, there is no way for me to bring value to this world, and if I am lost, then my words should be ignored. I guess I wanted to eat my cake and praise the Lord too; I guess the honey has turned bitter on that one; as you would expect. He is good. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+8%3A4-11&version=NASB

  2. Nicole M. says:

    Thank you for sharing! Very encouraging!!

  3. Anonymous says:

    What an eye-opener…very refreshing and encouraging and what I needed to hear today. Thank you for sharing. God bless you!🙂

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