Nothing

I am completely surrendering this year to God. I won’t be able to accomplish anything without His help. Resolve will not be published if I don’t trust Him to help me and to work out all of the details.

May 2012:

John 15:5 (NKJV) says, “Apart from me you can do nothing.” I will never forget the first time I stumbled across this verse. It gave me such freedom! Jesus was talking to his disciples and basically saying that we do everything through Him living inside our hearts.  A lot of us struggle with being dependent upon God and taking care of ourselves. Where do we draw the line? I mean, we trust God, but we are still responsible for our lives, right? Where’s the balance when everything seems to be out of control?

I tend to struggle with this concept, as freeing as it is.  I mean, it sounds great, Jesus.  I can do nothing without You. That no matter what I do, it’s not enough. Jesus, of course, would say “Exactly.”

Anything we do in ministry, relationships, etc, is God working through us. We are not in control of our lives and God is actively working in them. Where we live, the neighbors we have, the jobs we have, the kids we have, the spouses we married are all His doing. God does care about the details of our lives which is why Jeremiah 29:11 is so important.  It’s true! We don’t have to worry about whether we’ve “missed” it. As long as we’re always seeking His will for our lives, we are in His will. Now there is some argument over: “Well God doesn’t care about what job you have or who you marry.”  In some ways, I can understand the confusion.  God puts you where you are (which doesn’t matter what it is) as long as you’re doing it for His glory.  He allows us to make our own decisions (free will) and sometimes we make the wrong one, and instead of obsessing over it, we can trust God to figure it out.

The decision may be one not as important in the grand scheme of things, but are we sensitive to our co-workers? Do we respect our bosses? If someone has a personal problem, do we ignore them or allow them to confide in us? God will use us anywhere so long as we are willing. If He didn’t put you in that particular office, or that particular house, maybe the people around you wouldn’t know Christ through you. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve even had a conversation with them. By allowing Christ to live through you, they know that you’re different. We do have an influence, and we do control whether we are a positive or a negative one. If you still feel like you don’t matter…ask Him.  He absolutely has a purpose for you, which you will accomplish through Him.  He may not show you the answer to the “why” question, but your perspective will change and that’s when the blessing comes.

Anyway back to my original thoughts for this post.  We’ve been going through a difficult financial situation for some time now.  Well in my devotion this morning, I come across the same Scripture, John 15:5.  The whole devotion brought me peace; and this is what struck me the most:  “When we find ourselves in circumstances that are beyond our control, frustrated from our lack of effectiveness, we can know with certainty that we are to realize our weakness and rely on His strength.  God often places us in situations in which we are in over our heads–even letting us fail miserably, sometimes–in order to teach us this.  He must break us of self-reliance.  We are never to depend on our own strength and strategies.  We are to be utterly dependent on the power of God that works in us and in our circumstances.”

I’ve often said that I feel like I’m drowning in my financial circumstances.  It’s definitely out of our control no matter what we do.  Another month goes by, and when we think it’s going better, we find out we’re back in the same place.  I must learn that my efforts aren’t too effective. I must recognize my inability to help us out and rely on Him. God has allowed our situation to teach us, well mostly me, how to trust Him. Okay, God, you’ve gotten my attention yet again. I’m done trying to fix everything. There’s only so much I can do. I will go to work, do a good job (with His help), and be responsible with my paycheck. I will trust Him to do the rest. What a relief! He will work things out better that I could ever imagine. I can’t fix it.  I’m tired of trying.  I give our situation back to Him for good. (I’m glad that I did because He has proven to be faithful again.)

I can’t believe I still haven’t gotten this self-sufficiency out of my way of thinking and doing.  Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever get it, but God is good. He’s helping me grow. I’m not learning by my own efforts. I need to remember John 15:5. When Jesus said “nothing,” that’s what He meant.  Out of all the words He could use, he chose “nothing.”  Apart from Him, we can do NOTHING.

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