- (Courtesy of Joyce Meyer Ministries)
In Luke 18:27, we're encouraged to trust that "what is impossible with man is possible with God." Basically, this is saying that what we cannot do in our lives through our own strength… God can. This is especially encouraging when it comes to trying to change things about ourselves.
We all have areas where we would like to see growth and change. Many people live frustrated lives because of challenging circumstances – maybe in relationships, financial situations or some internal attitudes they want to change. But they just can't seem to experience lasting success.
I remember years ago trying to change things in my life. I tried to change my husband, Dave. I tried to change my kids. I tried to change situations I didn't like and I tried to change myself! At times I experienced a little victory for a little while…but even when it appeared that everything was alright, I was still a mess inside.
We look at others' lives, and it may look like they have it all together. People want others to know how "good" they are, so many will pretend everything is okay in order to impress someone. But the outward appearance doesn't always tell the real story. We may see people's outward success, but can't see the inner turmoil they're experiencing, or that they have no real peace or joy in life.
The Source of Power
The problem, however, is not our weaknesses; we all have them…just as we all have strengths. Someone may be able to memorize scriptures easily, but are forgetful about other things. Or maybe someone learns quickly, but they are impatient with others who don't grasp things as easily.
Psalm 127:1 says, "Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain." It is not by our power, but by the grace of God through the work of His Holy Spirit, that we change and grow in life. So, you see, it doesn't really matter what our strengths or weaknesses are if we don't plug in to our Power Source.
Let's look at the apostle Paul's life. God allowed him to have that "thorn in the flesh," something that "bugged" him constantly, to keep him humble…to keep his faith in God growing stronger…to develop tenacity. I think of it as a reminder that he couldn't do it alone. And neither can we!
We will always need God. He is the Power Source…and we must stay plugged in if we want to enjoy abundant life in Christ. The Lord promises in 2 Corinthians 12:9, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Paul even got to the place where he boasted in his weaknesses because he had learned to depend on the power of Christ at work in his life.
In his letter to the Galatians, he asks a series of hard-hitting questions we should all think about: "Did you receive the [Holy] Spirit as the result of obeying the Law and doing its works, or was it by hearing [the message of the Gospel] and believing [it]? Are you so foolish and so senseless and so silly? Having begun [your new life spiritually] with the [Holy] Spirit, are you now reaching perfection [by dependence] on the flesh?" (Galatians 3:2-3)
In other words, the grace that saved us is the same grace that empowers us to live victoriously. So why do we waste so much time trying to be good…trying to look like we have it all together…trying to prove our worth? Only God can make us truly successful – the kind of success that comes with peace and joy.
Yes, God's grace not only saves us, but it also changes us, guides us through trials, gives us favor and open doors in our circumstances, and so much more. No matter what is going on in our lives, God's grace is sufficient to help us. You simply cannot have a problem He cannot solve.
What, Then, Are We to Do?
You may feel like the people felt in John 6:28-29, when they asked, "What are we to do, that we may [habitually] be working the works of God? [What are we to do to carry out what God requires?]" And Jesus gave them the same answer He gives us today, "…Believe in the One Whom [God] has sent […cleave to, trust, rely on, and have faith in His Messenger]."
We do not have to bow to pressure to do something. If God shows us something to do by His Holy Spirit, then by all means, we should do that…but even then, by His grace. We have no need to impress anyone, compare ourselves to anyone else, or compete with any other person on this earth. Because God has a plan for each individual, we can simply trust Him. He will lead us according to His purpose for us.
So then, the next step is to obey His lead. For example, if you have hurt someone and He prompts you to go and apologize…do it. The results are in His hands. That person might not be willing to forgive, but that's not the point. It is only up to you to obey the leading of the Holy Spirit in your life. Anything else is between them and God. Do what He tells you and leave the results to Him.
Finally, spend time with God. He wants to fellowship with us…but we need communion with Him! Time in God's presence is for our spiritual growth and nourishment. We need time to worship Him and pray to Him. It refreshes and empowers us. We need to study and meditate on His Word. It is medicine for our souls.
Don't look at studying the Word as an obligation…remember, it's like medicine! If you have a headache, you would go to your medicine cabinet and get some aspirin. If you're facing a specific issue right now, then study that subject. Look up verses with a concordance and let God speak to your heart and guide you through His Word.
My last bit of advice: Don't wait until you feel desperate. We are always desperate for God! But remember, God's grace is always sufficient!
© 2013 Printed with permission of Joyce Meyer Ministries