Tag Archives: Ephesians 1:20

Whose Battle Is It?

26 Jul

Life is hard. The longer we live, the more we know that to be true. However, when we hear ourselves say, “I can’t do this,” it’s time to renew our mind with truth. I can think of at least three possible reasons life seems overwhelming. (You may think of more.)

First, sometimes we can’t do “this” because it’s not our ministry, calling, or responsibility. We may teach when we should organize, i.e. we don’t recognize our gifts. Other times we can’t stand the silence after an appeal for help. Up goes our hand, seconds before the one called by God stirred up courage to volunteer. We can’t do it all. Neither can we take the Holy Spirit’s place. We can’t force anyone to be responsible, mature, or loving. We can only set boundaries and administer consequences.

Second, we don’t realize we can do “this” because we haven’t done “this” before. Some first-time experiences come to mind. Becoming a stepparent. Giving up cigarettes, alcohol, drugs, over-eating, or any other addictions. Giving or receiving forgiveness for abuse, neglect, or abandonment. Dealing with long-term unemployment, debt, or bankruptcy. The list can be endless. Entrusting God with a tough situation comes faster and easier each time we let go.

Third, it’s true I can’t do “this” in my own strength. However, God never intended us to live life alone. (See We Need Supernatural Help) Ponder the following verses.

I can do all things through Him who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13 NASB95).

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might (Ephesians 6:10 NASB95).

This power working in us is the same as the mighty strength which he used when he raised Christ from death and seated him at his right side in the heavenly world (Ephesians 1:20 GNB).

You may have heard “God helps those who help themselves,” but you’ve never read it in the Bible. God searches for people who utterly trust Him. “For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His” (2 Chronicles 16:9a NASB95).

Our part is faith and dependence. God helps those who believe in Him to the extent of complete trust and reliance. He also strengthens those who humble themselves and admit their weakness.

But [God] said to [Paul], “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me (2 Corinthians 12:9 ESV).

Most of us have a weakness we can’t bear to disclose. As God’s teaches me to share my failures, I’ve discovered new freedom and joy and the first step in God’s process. “And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us” (Romans 5:3–5 NRSV).

So when we hear ourselves say, “I can’t do this,” let’s add, “but I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”

Are there other reasons we may feel overwhelmed? What have you learned about trusting God’s strength? Please share your insights and thoughts.