Rendered Helpless

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (2 Corinthians 12:9).

We want to be able to control our lives and our destinies. We want to be able to make things happen, seize the moment and grab that opportunity. What happens in those times when situations are outside of our control? I had a thought some years ago about how God works in our lives and it goes like this. ‘At times God will render us helpless, so that we have to rely completely on him. When things work out as they generally do, then we have no choice but to give him the glory, because we know that what we accomplished was not in our own strength.’ In other words, “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts” (Zechariah 4:6).

There are seasons when I have felt extremely frustrated, when it feels like things aren’t going the way that I wanted. I have often prayed and cried out to God, only to get a response to “be still.” My feelings have been, “really God, just be still. You mean I don’t need to write a letter, lodge a complaint, resign my job, tell somebody about themselves?” Just be still and wait and wait for me to act, is what God usually says.

“And Moses said to the people, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again” (Exodus 14:13). This bible story is one of the most extreme examples of God asking people to be still. Israel was caught between a Red Sea and an army in pursuit. God was telling his people to stand in the knowledge of who he is; omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, almighty, powerful and mighty to save.

As long as we are busy trying to do things our own way, then God will let us try. He won’t force himself into our situation. We have to invite him into our circumstances and learn to surrender. Knowing that our help and our strength comes from the Lord.

“I can do all things through him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).


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