Thursday, August 21, 2008

Utter Dependence

The older I grow, the more I realize how utterly dependent I am upon God. Life hands us many incredible changes, some of which we never expected. New situations challenge us to find deeper faith, deeper understanding, and deeper love to cope. Yet even with all of our training and effort, we realize our own human weakness and limits. We can't measure up on our own abilities; we utterly need God.

Paul was right when he found his sufficiency not in himself but in the Lord (2 Cor. 3:5). So must we. We aren't wise enough on our own; we aren't strong enough on our own; and we do not have the resources enough on our own to do all that God has assigned us to do. We need God's help.

It is certainly better to take up the yoke of Christ than to try to labor on our own strength. His yoke is bearable and his load is light (Matt. 11:28-30). The yoke of Christ was designed to help us bear what we could otherwise only do with great exhaustion.

It has always been interesting to me to study Paul's discussion of grace (the favor of God). While Paul realized his salvation is by grace (Eph. 2:5, 8), he also knew that his ministry was by the grace of God. God put him into place (Acts 26:18-20; 1 Tim. 1:12-16). Paul didn't earn a spot; God gave it to him and enabled and strengthened him to do the work (1 Cor. 15:8-10). Paul had this understanding that he really did not deserve the ministry he received; yet, Paul was not going to receive the grace of God in vain. He would be obedient to his heavenly calling and walk worthy of it. So should we all.

What a blessing the guidance of the Word is! What a comfort it is to engage the God of heaven in prayer! What consolation to know the Holy dwells in me, and I am never alone.

I am utterly dependent upon my Father to help me, my Lord to save me, and the Holy Spirit to strengthen me.


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