I read this quote a couple of years ago. It still challenges me. “One of the greatest hindrances to true worship is a lack of thankfulness, and the greatest hindrance to thankfulness is the illusion of self-sufficiency.” I’m headed out with 38 other people in about a week for a mission trip to Puerto Rico. Those words help me as I make my plans to shepherd those 3 dozen people for a week. Those words help me as I shepherd the Gloucester campus of Coastal Community Church.
But really, this applies to any situation in life. Whether it is a ministry situation or a “secular” vocation. Raising kids, being a good spouse or working hard at my job. We must come to the place where we recognize that we simply don’t have it in us to do it well as it ought to be done.
That’s when the thankfulness wells up within us. If we don’t have the ability to do “it” as we ought, and “it” is being done well, it is because God has made us sufficient to the task. Paul said it this way: “Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, who has made us competent…”
Additionally; if we are facing a task that is beyond us and we are convinced that it is necessary for us to accomplish the task, we are no longer hopeless. We have the confidence that God will enable us to do what he has assigned us to do.
It all comes back to perspective, doesn’t it? When we are humble (having a correct viewpoint of ourselves in relationship to God), we are more effective in living the life God has mapped out for us. When we acknowledge that we do not have self-sufficiency but only sufficiency that comes from God, we grow in our thankfulness and ultimately in our ability to worship. When we face seemingly impossible situations, we acknowledge that God is the only one who can accomplish them through us and we magnify him by being used by him. In every respect; it is God who gets the glory.
That lowers my stress level a little bit today. My particular situation is well within God’s grasp and He is more than capable of taking care of everything that needs to be done. Amazingly; He will use me to accomplish some of it through the power that he gives to me. What a relief! All I have to worry about is diligence and faithfulness to the best of my ability. I know it’s not enough, but I also know He has all the resources I need to enable me in my inability.