"The reason why many are still troubled, still making little forward progress is because they haven't yet come to the end of themselves. We're still trying to give orders, and interfering with God's work within us." - A.W. Tozer
This quote by A.W. Tozer perfectly explains us, as humans. Our flesh desperately wants to control everything. We don't want to let go of our lives and our power. We want to trust God, but we can't get past our own selfish desires.
There are two ways that we can come to the end of ourselves. We can have our perfect little lives stripped from us, or we can give it all up to God. Now, as much as we'd prefer the latter, we usually get the former.
As Christians, and as people in general, we feel invincible. Though we go through sickness and trials, we feel like we can conquer anything. While we do overcome many things in our path, we will, one day, have to surrender ourselves.
Realizing that we can't do anything we want and that we can't pull ourselves up all the time is like our pride getting a punch in the gut. Pride is a problem of the flesh and it's good to have that hurt a little because God wants us to be humbled. He wants us to realize that we are not capable without Him. He constantly reminds us that we are His.
Jesus tells us that through Him, we can do anything (Philippians 4:13). We think about that and use it as a life motto, but are we really living it out? With that verse, Jesus doesn't mean that we can get that high-paying job or use that to our advantage. When He says that, He means that when we can't do something, we must look to Him to be our provider. When we don't get what we want, or the world seems to be crushing us, we must look to Him for our needs and draw strength from Him to be content in whatever trials we face. Jonathan Merritt says it best when he explains what Paul means through that passage.
That brings us back to us being limited in our strength. Where we are limited, God is limitless. The world will bring trials and tribulations, but with God, we know that we are taken care of.
Everyone has something that they have struggled with and haven't given to God. For me, it was my plans. I was holding onto them so tight and they were stripped from me. I was taken out of the life I started to grow comfortable in, and when that was taken from me, I had to let go of my pride and surrender it all to God. While that wasn't easy, I knew that God would do immeasurably more (Ephesians 3:20) for me if I followed Him and admitted that I couldn't do it without Him.
Since then, I have been given some great opportunities to let God flow through me and use me as His called daughter. When we admit to ourselves that we can't do it all and that we need His help, He will use us to bring glory to His name. Once we stop trying to give orders and control everything, we will make so much progress and the emptiness we feel will be gone and filled in by the Holy Spirit.
I encourage everyone to take a good look at their lives. We all have something that we are afraid to give to God. We all have something that we want complete power over. Whether that is a tangible item or the decisions we make daily, we must give it up and allow God to fulfill His work in us.
I can't do it alone, and I marvel in that. I marvel in the fact that God holds each one of us and has formed us. He is the God that made the universe and if He can do that, we need to trust that He can do so much more in our lives than we give Him credit for. We need to come to the end of ourselves and let God do the rest.
Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Him who strengthens me"
Ephesians 3:20 "Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us."