I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. - Phi 4:13 NKJV
Achieving success becomes paradoxical when we try to live our lives for Christ's cause. In many ways we can't handle the truth. Knowing all that God expects from us sometimes becomes more than we can bear because it is then that we recognize that all of our "self help" gets us nowhere with God.
Its no wonder that God's expectations can weigh us down. He does, after all, expect us to completely surrender to His plan. If we sincerely seek God's face through His Word, He encourages and convicts us, builds us up and breaks us down. We must become soft clay in God's hands as He molds our character and our lives. But it takes effort and strength to surrender, doesn't it? Therein lies the paradox. We have to be strong to become weak and so much strength is required that the strength for surrender must also come from God.
Why is surrendering so difficult? It would appear that surrendering is best suited for the weak people of the earth. Isn't that what happens in physical warfare? The weaker army simply stops fighting and surrenders to the stronger one. That sounds reasonable enough, but our reasoning is not wise in God's eyes. God's Word says:
For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? (1 Cor 1:19-20)
As the apostle Paul says numerous times throughout scripture, we must die to ourselves - to our own needs, ambitions, and desire for outcome control - in order to live for Him. This "dying" cannot be achieved by the weak in faith. Strength and discipline are required to achieve the moment-by-moment surrender God desires for His cause and no one of us is strong enough to do that in their own power. The good news is, we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. He can even give us the strength to surrender.
Janna Rust is a Professional Coach and Speaker dedicated to encouraging others towards lives God intends for them. For more information, visit her at www.purposefulpartnerships.com.