Not Too Good


We are never too good to do God’s will in His kingdom. When the musician steps down from the platform to serve food, and preacher comes out from behind the pulpit to scrub sinks, we have seen a genuine show of God’s kind of humility. Every role is significant to Him, not one more important than the other.

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. (Philippians 2:5-8)

Supernatural Strength

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Our natural instinct is to consider ourselves as self-sustaining, able to handle every situation that comes our way.  We think we have all the strength we need in and of ourselves.  Unfortunately, believing this makes us a failure because we were never designed to take care of ourselves.  We don’t have what it takes to conquer every problem, negative feeling, and frustrating experience.  Eventually, no matter how smart or strong we think we are, we fail because our strength isn’t enough.

As Christians, our first response in life before any challenge comes is to recognize God as our strength.  It’s far better to draw on His strength before a challenge arrives than when we are right in the middle of it.  But regardless of whether we’re in a calm season, or in a stormy one, our job is to “cast our care” on Him.

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. (I Peter 5:6-7)

Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved. (Psalm 55:22)

“Casting” is an act of humility and trust . . . and the only way we can access His grace and strength.  If we don’t “cast” our care, throwing it from our hands to His, He will never have anything to catch and to hold.  Rest assured His ability to hold is much stronger than ours!

God’s Strength

Our confidence to cast our care should be founded on God’s nature.  He is our strength.  The very core of who He is equals strength and power.

My flesh and my heart fail; but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. (Psalm 73:26)

I will love You, O Lord, my strength.  The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. (Psalm 18:1-2)

Our confidence doesn’t end with knowing who He is.  It’s also founded on knowing that His strength is limitless.  Unlike man’s strength, it’s unfailing.  It’s supernatural, not dependent on any source of earthly stamina or ability.

Ah, Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You. (Jeremiah 32:17)

God’s Promise

It’s wonderful to know the nature of God and His ability.  But just as great is His promise to use that power on our behalf.  He could simply hoard His ability and refuse out of selfishness to share His power. His love for us, however, prompts Him to move on our behalf.

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)

He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. (Isaiah 40:29)

Notice that Isaiah 41:10 says He will.  We know from Numbers 23:19 and Hebrews 6:18 that it is impossible for Him to lie.  When He says He will do something, we can have assurance that He will do just as He said He’d do.  When He says He is with us, then He is.  When He says He is our God, then He is.  When He says He will strengthen, uphold, and help us, then we know that’s exactly what He will do!

Our Role

God does not force us to do anything.  We have been created with a will, the ability to choose.  Our first step is to cast our care, but there is more action we need to take in order to see God’s strength revealed in our lives.  Those actions come in the forms of trusting and waiting on Him.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.
(Proverbs 3:5-6)

You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. (Isaiah 26:3)

But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 41:31)

The result of trusting His strong nature is a strait path and a peaceful mind.  The outcome of waiting on Him is an endless supply of strength and energy!  When we sense our strength waning, He renews it.  When we feel below our problems, we can soar above them.  When we feel tired in the journey, we can keep the pace without fainting along the way.

The key is to “wait.”  This means we are not to rush forward and try to solve our situation ourselves.  We are not to become impatient with God’s timing or speed.  We are simply to wait as He works, keeping our faith constant.  Only then can we see the fullness of His promise to provide every ounce of strength He promises!

The Devil’s Lie

Rest assured, however, that the devil will do all he can to try to stop our faith in God’s strength.  He’ll send doubt and fear to cloud our confidence.  He’ll tempt us with impatience and frustration when we don’t emotionally feel or see His strength in the natural realm.  He’ll lie to us, trying to convince us that we can manage the situation alone. This is when we have yet another choice – the choice to resist him, realizing that it’s not our power that will get the job done.

‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts. (Zechariah 4:6)

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. (Ephesians 6:10)

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

If we are tempted to believe what the devil says, the way we feel, or what others tell us, then we can be confident that our trust in God’s strength is working!  The devil will not bother someone who is already trusting in themselves.  But what does scare him is a believer who is wholly confident in the strength of God that belongs to them.  They are very aware that it’s His might, His power, and His strength that makes us “more than conquerors” (Romans 8:37)!

The Lifestyle

God desires that we walk in a lifestyle of depending on His strength.  Our lifestyle, marked by this dependency, does not only turn to Him when the need arises, but focuses on His ability every day of our lives.  Whether its decision-making, physical ability, or success in the work place, God desires to flex the strength of His arm on our behalf.  When we trust that arm, He causes us to soar, not in fluctuating patterns, but higher and higher, stronger and stronger!

I will go in the strength of the Lord GOD . . . (Psalm 71:16a)

They go from strength to strength; each one appears before God in Zion. (Psalm 84:7)

Just Do It

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We live in a culture that thrives on making decisions based on what we understand, or what looks good to the natural eye.  If it pays more, it’s obviously the best job choice.  If they have a great personality and interests like ours, then they must be the mate for us. If the church is the biggest and trendiest, then it must be the one to attend.  The “feel” and the “look” of it have everything to do with our decision-making.

Sadly, we forget that God has an opinion of His own concerning our choices.  Many situations “look” good, but God with His all-knowing nature, sees things we don’t.  That job with the best paycheck might look great, but He knows that within a year we will be laid off.  That man or woman we think is so wonderful may have some character issues that God sees and we don’t.  The church that seems to have it all together may have some values or doctrine that is very displeasing to God.  Would we know this just by what we see?  No, only God knows what is done in secret, or knows what the future holds.

This is why Proverbs 3:5-6 instructs us, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”

As we well know, depending on our own brains can get us into trouble.  We just can’t see it all like God can.  We don’t know what’s best for us in the long run.  Our ability to see into the future and decipher situations and options is limited.  Our challenge is to humble ourselves and admit that we don’t know it all – that we can’t make a wise decision on our own – in anything.

Once we’ve decided we can’t trust ourselves, we need to learn to trust the One who does know it all.  This means trusting in Someone we cannot see, touch, or feel.  This is faith.  As trying as it is on our flesh, it’s necessary.  God doesn’t operate any other way.  We’re to trust Him enough to not just admit that He knows more, but enough that we’re willing to do whatever He tells us to do.

A great example of faith and obedience is the story of Jesus turning water into wine in John 2.  A wedding was underway, and they had run out of wine.  Wise as she was, Mary told the people at the wedding to do whatever Jesus told them to do (v. 5).  Jesus told them to pour pure water into the water pots.  Logically, this didn’t make sense.  To Jesus, however, it made perfect sense because He wasn’t thinking in terms of the world.  He was thinking in terms of the miraculous.  Sure enough, the water turned into wine and everyone was astounded.

Consider, though, if they had rejected Jesus’ advice simply because it didn’t make sense.  It wasn’t naturally possible for water to turn into wine without some grapes being involved.  Had they “leaned on their own understanding,” no miracle would have taken place.  They’re story would have never made it into the Bible because they didn’t trust, and therefore did not act.

Another great story is of the disciples fishing all night without catching one fish in Luke 5.  Jesus got into their boat and told them to cast out their nets once more.  Peter responded, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net” (v. 5).  They cast out the net . . . and their catch was so great that they had to call for another boat.

Again, had they scoffed at Jesus’ suggestion because it “didn’t make sense” to their brains and experience, no miraculous catch would have happened.  Yet someone had the wisdom to override his mental logic and say, “Nevertheless at Your word.”

Whether it’s choosing a mate or simply trying to solve a problem, God is asking us to lay aside our meager brains and allow Him to “direct out paths.”  He doesn’t want to hear our arguments or logical analysis.  He doesn’t want to hear us whine about how His command doesn’t make sense.  He wants simple trust and obedience.  He wants trust that He knows better than us, and obedience because we have made Him the Lord (or boss) of our lives.  When we do, His will is done in our lives in such a way that it neither brings harm or setbacks.

The wonderful thing about obeying God is that He always does better for us than we could have ever done for ourselves. “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us . . .” (Ephesians 3:20)  The wedding drank better wine at the end of the wedding than at the beginning.  The disciples received more fish than their single boat could carry.  True to His nature, God went above and beyond their expectations.  It was a reward for their obedience and a magnificent show of His power.

True disciples and friends of Jesus obey Jesus.  As Jesus-followers, we’re called to set aside our lordship of our lives and let Him take the lead.  When we submit to Him, “acknowledging Him in all our ways,” we are saying that we belong to Him. As a result, we open the door to the miraculous in our lives . . . the miraculous that could never be achieved on our own understanding.

You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. (John 15:14)