“[I]s it that my help is not within me….?” (Job 6:13)
That is a rhetorical question of course. We all know the story of Job. He was a man of wealth, influence and great blessing, and then it was all taken from him in a short time.
We like to think that we have the ability within ourselves to overcome any obstacle, even ourselves. Let’s face it: many of our obstacles in life are the result of our own doing, the flaws in our own character.
Sure, things happen. Circumstances occur that we do not expect, that are beyond our control and that we could not prevent. How we react to those things can make all the difference in the world, and we often do not react the best way that we should. We often have trouble guiding our own selves in dealing with things in the most appropriate and productive ways.
Yet we are convinced that “we can do it”. Our society tells us that we can; we do not need an advertisement to tell us that; we already think that. We tend to think that we can do anything.
And, when we think we can’t, our society tells us we can. “Self-help” is big business; and we buy it up because we want to think we can.
Many new age religious notions go back to the ancient idea that we are our own gods, that we simply need to find and unleash the god within us. This is nothing new.
The fact is that there are some things we can not do for ourselves. The most important of those things is being right with and having relationship with God. Yes, we are made in God’s image, and we have the stamp of His creation on us; but He is not within us.
We are empty until we allow Him in.
Even then, He does not come in as an overnight guest. He comes in as our Lord. If we do not move our own self to the guest room, there is no room for Him. His goal is not to inhabit us and become the energizer of our own dreams; His goal is to extend His kingdom in us.
When we accept the sacrifice of Christ’s death, believe on Him and accept Him as our Lord and Savior, God gives us His Holy Spirit – the Helper. The help He gives us is to fill us full of the knowledge of God and to do God’s work within us.
For Him to be in us, we must be in Him. He cannot be in us apart from us being in Him; and we cannot cling to our own agenda in Him.
Any sense that we are the captains of our own souls is nothing but an illusion. Yes, we do have the right to determine our own destination – with God or without God. But that “right” to determine comes from God. We have nothing that does not flow from God.
If we exercise this capacity that God has given us to rebuff God, we end up with nothing. There is nothing apart from God. There is no life, no love.
When we lose our life to God, we find it. When we die to ourselves, we find life. When we yield to God; He gives us Himself; and when we receive God, we get everything we could ever want or ever need.
My help is not within me. My help comes from the Lord. (Psalm 121:2)
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