Posted by: glorifyhim1 | June 13, 2011

I Can Do It!

Recently, I watched a group of preschoolers work puzzles. Some of the children raced to see who would finish first. Others worked quietly, carefully selecting and turning pieces around and around to find the correct spots for each puzzle piece. One little boy wanted me to sit beside him, but “don’t help me,” he advised, “I can do it myself!” I smiled as he worked intent on doing it all by himself. When he began to struggle, he was okay as long as I gave verbal suggestions, but if I tried to show him how to turn a particular piece so it would fit, he would remind me, “No, no, I can do it myself!”

 

While we expect and even welcome this attitude in young children as they strive to learn new things and become more independent, it occurred to me that, more often than I like to admit, that is sometimes the same attitude I have with God. I want God in my life. I want Him right there beside me, but only so He can watch out for me and perhaps help me if I really get into trouble or in over my head. As long as I can handle things and make all the pieces fit, I essentially tell God “No, no, I can do it myself!”

 

Most of us are probably more guilty of this than we realize. Consider your answers to the following questions.

 

  • Do you talk to God every day and ask Him to direct your steps?
  • When was the last time you talked with Him over a decision that you needed to make?
  • Have you felt the need to go to God with a major problem, but you were so out of fellowship with Him that you didn’t know where to begin?
  • Have you recently prayed and asked God to bless a decision that you had already made (without consulting Him)?
  • As long as you have the ability, or the money, or the strength, or whatever you need to tackle whatever situation you are facing, do you just go ahead and take care of it?

 

If you can relate to any of the questions above, then you understand what I mean. It is so easy to just go in our own strength as long as we are able, but when we do so we can essentially miss out on God. Mark 10:17-22 tells a story about a rich, young ruler who asked Jesus what he should do to inherit eternal life. Jesus reminded the young man of what the commandments teach, to which the man agreed that he had kept all of them. Jesus, knowing all about the young ruler, responded: “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me” (Mk.10:21). The Scriptures tell us the young man went away, sadly, because he had many possessions.

 

This Scripture reveals that the young ruler was first of all trusting in himself and his ability to keep the commandments. Secondly, when Jesus told him the one thing he lacked, instead of complying he walked away. If the young man’s true treasure was God, and he was sincerely trusting in Him, he would have willingly sold his possessions. 

 

Just like the young ruler, if we go forward on our own or make decisions without looking to God, we place our trust in ourselves. We essentially tell God that we want Him on our terms. Perhaps we want Him around for the big things, those things we can’t handle, but we want to take care of the little things ourselves. Yet how many times do we move forward, thinking we’ve made the right decision, only to discover that we end up somewhere we never intended? Scripture warns us: “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (Proverbs 14:12). Just like the young ruler, we can try to do things on our own. We may trust in our strength, knowledge, abilities, money, or some other blessing, but without looking to God and listening to His Spirit within us, we can get mixed up and confused about our direction. But when we trust in God and do not rely on our own understanding, He will direct our paths (see Proverbs 3:5-6).

 

I think the older I get, the more I come to realize that I can’t do it myself. And what’s more – I don’t want to do it myself. Mark 10:21 tells us that before Jesus told the rich young ruler what he lacked, that he looked at him and loved him. God knows what I lack, but He still loves me and wants me to turn it all over to Him so He can help me. I am so thankful that I have a God who, in spite of all my mess-ups and mistakes, still loves me and wants to have a relationship with me. I am glad that He watches over me, sits beside me, walks with me, and is ever ready to help me. And, furthermore, even when I cannot understand how all the puzzle pieces in my life fit together, I can know that one day in Heaven, God Himself will lovingly show me how in His sovereign wisdom all the pieces fit together just right. How sweet to trust it all to Him!

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