Sometimes my biggest needs have nothing to do with finances, health, safety, or success. In fact, more often than not, the biggest needs in my life are much more internal and intimate than that. It's my personal mistakes and failures that weigh me down, discourage me.
Do you grow discouraged with yourself when you make the same mistakes over and over? For instance, I struggle with having consistent faith in God when the circumstances seem daunting. I also seem to mess up with my children a lot, losing my patience with them, raising my voice in frustration--when I long to be patient, loving, and gracious.
Sometimes I feel wrought with inadequacies and character flaws. And that really bums me out.
But today I came across a passage in the Bible that gave me great hope. Why? Because it took a lot of the burden off of my weary shoulders and put it on my powerful God's mighty and broad shoulders.
Teach me, O Lord, the way of Your statutes,
And I shall keep it to the end.
Give me understanding,
And I shall keep Your law;
Indeed, I shall observe it with my whole heart.
Make me walk in the Path of Your commandments,
For I delight in it.
Incline my heart to Your testimonies,
And not to covetousness.
Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things,
And revive me in Your way.
Establish Your word to Your servant,
Who is devoted to fearing You.
Turn away my reproach which I dread,
For Your judgments are good.
Behold, I long for Your precepts;
Revive me in Your righteousness.
Living the Christian life is not about good intentions and will power. It's about giving yourself over to a God who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly beyond our imaginations in us. We are weak and stuck in ruts. He is able and above all things.
I am encouraged by the psalmist's request for God to do some strong-arming in his life. He asks God to teach him, give him understanding, incline his heart in the right direction, turn his eyes away from the wrong direction, revive him, establish God's Word in him, and reestablish him in righteousness. He even asks God to make him walk on the path of His commandments.
We can't, but God can.
I can't, but God can.
And that's the difference in being a Christian and following any other religion. Christ in me.
Are you struggling with some inadequacies, guilt, frustration over personal sin, ruts of behavior? Don't give up. Just ask God to do a mighty work in you. Confess your inability and acknowledge His ability. And let Him take over.
Ask God. He'll do it.
And here's one more promising Scripture to assure us that God can do mighty things in our lives:
I am confident of this very thing,
that He who has begun a good work in you
will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.