Over the last several months there has been a consistent theme that God keeps speaking to me in my daily devotions. It doesn’t matter where I am reading. This theme always seems to emerge: Don’t rely on your own strength, rely on God’s.
I know that this is something that I struggle with big time. I get caught up in all the “stuff” of life and then I feel overwhelmed. I try to do things in my own strength and then I feel exhausted.
You would think that a guy would learn after a while that this is fruitless but I am a slow learner. God has to continually remind me that my strength is limited but His strength is unlimited.
I am realizing that this struggle is really about a lack of faith. Ouch!
I was reminded of this recently as I was reading Matthew 14. Verses 13 to 21 tell of the feeding of the 5000. A large crowd of people followed Jesus to a remote place. As it got later in the day the disciples began to panic. The disciples realized that this large group of people would need to eat soon.
Their solution: send them away to get their own food. From their perspective (which I can relate to) it was the most logical thing to do. There was no way that they could feed all these people on their own.
Jesus’ solution was quite different. He says: “No, they don’t need to go away. You give them something to eat.” I can imagine what was going through the disciples mind at this moment: “What?!? That is impossible Jesus! It can’t be done!” This was exactly Jesus’ point. Of course, the disciples couldn’t do it on their own but they had forgotten who they were with. They were with Jesus!
It wasn’t like the disciples hadn’t seen Jesus do the miraculous already. The disciples had already seen Jesus do miracles like healing sicknesses and diseases, casting out demons and raising the dead. The disciples got caught up in the moment.
They took their eyes off the One who could provide.
They saw the impossible and forgot that they had the One who makes the impossible happen with them.
They saw the size of the problem as overwhelming and they forgot that Jesus could overcome any problem.
That may seem harsh but it is true. When we choose to do things in our own strength we are basically saying to God: “I don’t need you! (At least not right now. After I fall flat on my face then we can talk)”.
God’s strength is always available to us.
We need to reject self-reliance and turn to Him.
We need to stop saying “I can do it” and start saying “We (God and I) can do it!” or even better “You (God) can do it!”
We need to continually remember that no matter we are facing or coming against that “What is impossible with men is possible with God.” (Luke 18:27).
What situation are you facing right now that you are choosing to do in your own strength?