Aug 20, 2011

Posted by in Bible Verse Studies, Ed, Featured Articles, Spiritual Reflection | 2 Comments

Good News: I Can Not Do It !

Good News: I Can Not Do It !

I mentioned in a prior post that I was working through “Crazy Love” by Francis Chan.  I have to say that this book has challenged my thinking in more ways than expected.  I mean, I was pretty sure I was living mostly the right way and loving God as I should.  However, Francis has challenged me to ask some probing questions of myself.  Specifically, when I say that I was living right, by what scale was I measuring myself by?  When I said I loved God, did I really mean it?  I mean, did I love God as he commands, which is to love him above ALL else.

Chapter 4 helped me come to the understanding that I didn’t love God above All else.  I mean, I loved him more than a lot of things, but not more than everything.  There were several things that I loved more than God and it hurt to admit it.  I don’t know about you, but the first reaction I have when I see something for the first time that I don’t like, I want to fix it.  I want to dig in and do whatever is necessary to fix the problem.  This hasn’t always resulted in positive outcomes.  For example, my wife isn’t always thrilled when I swoop in and try to “fix” everything.  Maybe you husbands out there have encountered something similar.  My relationship to God is no different.  When the Holy Spirit points out something in my life or increases my level of understanding, I want to jump in and get to work fixing my deficiencies.  Wrong answer.

Chapter 5 describes what happens when we try to fix or work out our shortcomings in relation to God on our own.  The biggest risk is that our efforts to be “better” will become a chore.  We will become exhausted as we try harder, make more promises to God and continue to fail.  This only leads to more guilt, more emptiness and feelings of inadequacy which spurn more promises leading to more failures, etc.  A guy in our Sunday School class last week stated that Chan makes it seem impossible to draw close to God.  When we react the way discussed here, it seems this feeling is the only logical conclusion.  Can we really please God, get to know him more and enjoy his paradise?

The answer is NO – if we insist on doing it ourselves.  The only way we can truly draw close to God and experience life to the full that Jesus said he came to provide is to stop trying.  We have to get to a point where we simply give up, stop trying and cry out to God – I CAN’T DO IT !!!  By calling on God to give us all we need, including the love for Him that we lack, he will provide.  (Rev 3: 20) As God pours out his grace and love, we will not be able to contain it.  His love will flow through us to others as it is meant to be.  It takes surrender to experience the grace God waits to reveal (James 4:8).  Once we are broken to this point, our prayer needs to be similar to the one at the end of chapter 5 that I’ve quoted here.  As I honestly look at my heart and where my love resides, I pray ….

Jesus, I need to give myself up.  I am not strong enough to love You and walk with You on my own.

I can’t do it, and I need You.  I need You deeply and desperately.  I believe You are worth it,

that You are better than anything else I could have in this life or the next.  I want you.  And

when I don’t, I want to want You.  Be all in me.  Take all of me.  Have Your way with me.

I thank God that even in my most pathetic short comings, he provides.  The fact that He waits to give me the love for Him that I don’t possess is reassuring and freeing.  Thank you my God!

  1. Wow! That was very well written and hit the nail right on the head!

    Bullseye!

    I know exactly what you are talking about, it took be to get to a point in my life where there was no way for me to fix what was wrong. I broke down and asked for his help and have been on a wild ride ever since.

  2. It truly is tiring to gain God's love. I think it is important to remember that He first loved us!

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