Thursday, January 6, 2011
Life gets overwhelming in a hurry. Even when you diligently try to simplify life, somehow it finds a way to complicate things on its own. Without much effort, we can find ourselves disillusioned with the reality that faces us. If we’re facing financial struggles, we diligently seek job opportunities with better pay. If we’re struggling with relationship issues, we seek out an “expert” that seems to know how to handle the situation. If we’re desperate to see a loved one who is chained to addictions set free, in fear, we decide that it’s time to take matters into our own hands. Each and every burden we face brings with it an opportunity to live out our faith, or become overwhelmed and reap the consequences of acting as if we’re more sovereign than God. If Jesus couldn’t do anything without God’s help, how can we expect to? If Jesus depended upon God to make the decisions in His life, why don’t we? Our lives should reflect a sign into heaven that simply reads, “Help Wanted!”
God doesn’t intend for us to live this life in our own strength and in our own resources. Jesus spoke plainly on this issue:
"I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself.” (John 5:19 NLT)
“For apart from me you can do nothing.”
(John 15:5 NLT)
Jesus He made it clear that he did NOTHING on His own. Jesus lived His life around this truth. And we should, too. If we will come to a place of realizing that we are to completely depend upon God for everything, we will find God in everything. He tells us if we will seek HIM, we will find Him.
(Jeremiah 29:13; Matthew 7:7) We’ll find Him speaking to us, leading us, opening doors and closing others, working in hardened hearts, tearing down walls, bringing light into darkness, and pouring out His amazing grace that flows like a roaring river. We can’t live out God’s will for our lives without depending upon Him for every breath we take and every step we make. (We can, but it doesn’t yield the results we desire.) At any given moment, we will face the unthinkable; a set of impossible circumstances that threaten to destroy our faith. We will all face moments of reality, so overwhelming, they take our breath away and we’re certain we can’t carry on. In those times, we can thank Jesus for the secret that He shared with the world. His secret when He was overwhelmed was: prayer.
At a time when Jesus had been doing countless miraculous healings, endless teachings, and traveling continuously, He knew He could not do it all in His own strength. We learn that before the day had even begun, He found a quiet place where He could pray.
“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” (Mark 1:35 NIV)
In times of despair, when you’re crying out to God and it appears that He either doesn’t care or He simply isn’t there, it is in that moment of sweet surrender where God’s grace will flood your soul with the truth: He is there and He does care. We’ve been given the promise of His presence. (Matthew 28:20) And it is through prayer that we can be still and know that He is God. (Psalm 46:10) You see, there’s no such thing as God being “almost” sovereign. If you feel that God is out of touch and distant in your life . . . who moved? His promises say that He is a very PRESENT HELP in times of trouble” (Psalm 46:1) . . . believe what is true, trust in the promises God has made to you. Seek Him, lean on Him; depend upon Him for everything and in everything. Don’t take one more step without being still before God . . . pour out your heart to Him . . . believe that He can do all things . . . trust in Him completely . . . and then wait patiently for His help.
“Fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed,
for I am your God;
I will strengthen you,
I will help you, . . .”
(Isaiah 41:10 ESV)
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