This may seem a small shift of focus, or a subtle distinction. “Who cares if I’m using my own strength or God’s, as long as it gets me through?”
But it’s a huge difference.
One kind of strength has limits, and the other does not. When I am in a situation and think, “I’ve got this!” then when I run out of steam, I faint.
“I’m out of patience!”
“I’ve reached the end of my rope.”
“I can’t take it anymore!”
Recognizing the Source
The truth is, anything good we are able to achieve is a gift from God. Any patience I have is from Him. Any love and kindness in my heart is there because He created me and gave it to me.
Even Jesus said, "I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.” (John 5:30)
Isn't that astounding? Jesus said He could do nothing on His own. He recognized that the source of His wisdom and power was in listening to the Father and operating in the Father's will, the Father's power. And because of that, miracles happened all the time.
Let's Level Up
When we think it's something we are doing in our own strength, we naturally expect limitations, based on past experience and how we feel at the moment. When we look at a situation and judge it based on our own thoughts and feelings and abilities, we limit what is possible.
Even the things we do well could be far better in God's strength.
TAKING IT TO HEART: Is there something that you think you’re good at? A challenge you face and overcome regularly? It’s time to take it to the next level.
CHALLENGE: If you’re ready to see the difference between your strength and the power of God, ask God to bring to mind a situation where you can begin to draw on His strength instead of your own. Ask Him what the next level looks like and step forward boldly to walk in it.
Example: Perhaps there is a person or situation in your life that tries your patience. Even though you have developed strong patience for dealing with that person or situation, what would the next level look like? What if, instead of merely succeeding in keeping your temper, you were able to offer kindness, as well? What if, instead of walking away victorious but drained, you were able to walk away feeling energized?