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Don't Trust in Yourself

Let's talk about how Jesus is the strength of your life, and why we can't handle it alone.

"Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the LORD.'" (Jeremiah 17:5)

The Bible teaches us that when we trust in the Lord, He will renew our strength and we will mount up on wings like eagles (Isaiah 40:31), meaning that we will have supernatural ability to go on and keep striving, even when it seems impossible. As long as we trust in Him, we have abilities beyond our comprehension.

This is a beautiful promise -- I certainly love it -- but sometimes I think it can go to our heads. I don't know if I'm the only one, but after a while of living strongly in the Lord, you begin to accustom yourself to the fact that truly nothing is impossible. It is a beautiful way to live, but if we're not careful, we can forget the ending of that sentence and only focus on the beginning: nothing is impossible. But actually, the verse says that nothing is impossible with God.

It's actually easier than you think to let pride climb up to the top and start telling you that you are a winner and a fighter, you are incredible and strong, nothing can tear you down. You may be reading this and think: what's wrong with thinking that? Oh nothing at all.

What we have to remember is to differ ourselves from the world's thinking. The world thinks 'I can do anything'. But we, as children of God, think 'I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.' There's a big difference. We are not to allow ourselves to think that all strength merely comes from within. Strength comes from above.

Our flesh is particularly weak when it is tempted.

Just this past week I noticed something about flesh. It is weak. As the Bible says, the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak: not only physically, but it is weak in the sense of temptation. If something you desire seems like it's about to come around the corner in a faster and better way than how God promised it would come, you'd be surprised how quickly we say yes to the new plan and bye to God's ultimate will.

I've always believed myself to be someone that hates money. And I do. I think it is one of the most destructive things in the world. However, when you struggle for a while and an opportunity for quick earnings comes along, it wasn't hard to see how quickly I began to stretch out my morals and beliefs in order to receive what I was offered. Sure, today it may only be pushing a few boundaries that don't seem so vital, but slowly, others come that then ask you to sacrifice just a little more. More of faith, more of God, more of your own integrity. All until you lose it all: but hey at least you have money!

That's what the world certainly likes to do. And it is frightening sometimes how quickly it can lure us in also. But when we remember who we are in Christ, and choose to remain in that true identity, our lives will always have much more purpose and fulfilment.

Sure, you may think, I'm stronger than that, I know where I stand with God and nothing will shake me. Look at celebrities, the thousands of talented singers, writers, actors that started out using their talents for God but losing themselves in the world and forgetting where they started altogether. Whitney Houston, Elvis Priestly, Michael Jackson: they're all clear examples. They started out singing gospel songs in the church and had the most angelic of voices. In time, yes, fame and fortune poured in and there was a lot of reward with it. But there was also so much hardship in it and the one hope that could have kept them in their strength they gave up on. All until it ate them up and from the inside out. Of course, we don’t know what truly happened in those last few moments, and God is the ultimate judge of who enters the Kingdom of God. But one thing is for sure: they suffered a lot of inner warfare when God was no longer in the picture.

All I want to encourage you today is that we understand that the world may seem like it's on our side, but let's be honest, the world hates what doesn’t belong to it. Either it tries to make you change sides so instead of belonging to Christ, you belong to the world or it works to destroy you altogether.

The greatest danger of trusting in ourselves is that we will inevitably fail.

The greatest danger of trusting in ourselves is that we will inevitably fail. Our God never fails. Even when it looks to you like a failure, He turns it into good. But when we go alone, we can turn an experiment into a sickness, a mistake into an addiction, a thought into suicide. Of course the devil does play his role when things get totally out of hand. However, it always starts with self. Therefore, the bigger we make ourselves, the more confusion, darkness and insecurity we bury ourselves under. The more we build up God in our lives, the more peace, purpose and life we find.

As God answered when Moses looked at himself and his inability to speak out against Pharaoh, "I will be with you": therefore whenever we fall short, He fills the gap. He is enough when we are not, so looking to Him takes away our fear because we are never doing it alone.

Whenever we fall short, God fills the gap.

So I encourage you today to seek God's strength when you feel tired. Let His hand lead you when you're lost and remember just how weak you actually are, for it is then, in that weakness that He is strong, that His strength truly begins to shine. Without His hand to guide and protect you, it is ridiculously easy how quickly we can lose ourselves: all because we think we can handle it alone.

Keep your eyes on Him, remember where your strength comes from and give it its rightful credit. Keep your heart in Jesus, set where it will only bring forth blessing and life.


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