It’s one thing to surrender our weaknesses to God—but quite another to surrender our strengths. On the bad days, there is a well-worn path to God’s house. On the good days, the grass starts to take over that path.
Maybe you’ve gotten the hang of teaching and all the students think you are the coolest teacher. Maybe you already knew the language in the area you are serving, maybe you are a great leader in your group, or a compassionate listener and encourager. Do you surrender your strengths to Jesus and depend on Him in these areas too?
Why does it matter? Because anything you think you can do without Jesus will start to give you more confidence in yourself than in Him. You will settle for something less than you could be WITH Him, simply because you are confident and satisfied in your current results. This can also make you judgmental of those around you who may not have the same gifts as you. It’s a little harder to be patient with the poor guy who just showed up last month and is really struggling with the language, or the girl who was asked to preach the sermon who…well, let’s just say they should have asked you.
In our giftedness, we are sometimes blind to our need of God until He allows us to fail. Failing at something we already know we’re not that great at is annoying. But failing at something we think we are good at is downright painful. Yesterday, I was backing out of a driveway, completely confident in my backing skills, extra cautious not to hit the car behind me…and knocked my mirror completely off on the driver’s side thanks to that tree I didn’t see. I NEVER do stuff like that. But it quickly cured me of my overconfidence in backing up, and of my judgmental attitude toward my dad who, in recent years, has had his share of backing into things. (I definitely did not deserve all his kind sympathy when I told him the story.)
There have also been times when God has allowed me to fail in my ability to listen and understand people, something I like to think I do pretty well. Whenever it happens, it’s a painful but powerful reminder to never let go of God’s hand—whether we’re sinking, swimming, or walking on water. As we keep that connection with Jesus, that humble dependence in every circumstance, I think we will be amazed to see how much stronger His strength is than ours. And even better—it will be for HIS glory.
“Now glory be to God! By His mighty power at work within us, He is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope.” Eph. 3:20 (NLT)
Twice a month, we send out a short devotional to our currently serving volunteers. This one was emailed to them January 27, 2014.