May 30 I Thursday
2 Chronicles 10-12
“But You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you.” —Acts 1:8
Almost every time God called someone to do something in Scripture, their first response was, “I can’t.” When God told Abraham he would have a son, he responded: “How can this be? I’m old. My wife is as good as dead. We can’t do this.” When God called Moses to lead the Israelites out of their slavery in Egypt, he retorted: “Who am I? I can’t do this.”
Even when God appointed Jeremiah as a prophet to the nations, he countered: “I can’t speak; I’m too young.”
The response, “I can’t,” is absolutely true if we are left to ourselves. Jesus took three years to show His disciples their utter weakness and bankruptcy. They discovered their weaknesses, fears and powerlessness, but in all this, Jesus was teaching them that it is not about what we do for God but what God will do through us.
The Lord Jesus never said that we could live the Christian life on our own. It is He who can, and He said that He would as we obey Him and trust Him. The source is not our own ability; it is Christ at work in us and through us by the Holy Spirit.
In the New Testament, when Paul returned from his missionary journeys, he “reported all that God had done through them and how He had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles” (Acts 14:27). In Acts 15:4, “When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and elders, to whom they reported everything God had done through them.” Even in his letter to the Romans, Paul writes, “I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me...” (Romans 15:18). Paul did not report on what he had done for God but all that God had done through them.
Paul gives an analogy about this: “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow”
(1 Corinthians 3:6-7). The credit for the success of our work is always to be directed to God. The recurring phrases, “God through them, God through them, and Christ through me,” reminds us that it is God who is working through us.
“I can’t” will always be our response if we venture to live the Christian life alone. But we can respond in obedience with “I will” when we recognize that it is the indwelling Holy Spirit of Christ who is our enabling and who alone is adequate for the task.
Prayer: Lord God, Thank You that I can say, “I will,” to Your calling because it is not my ability but You working through me by Your Holy Spirit to complete the task.