The other day culminated in my own personal crisis, of my own choosing. I was exhausted – mentally, physically, and emotionally. I cried out to the Lord wondering why I had arrived at this place. I didn’t receive an answer that day. It would be another few days before I received my response. I had been on my own power. My own strength will always fail me. I had failed to depend upon His direction and His strength. “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus.” (Phil 4:19)
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” (2 Cor. 12:9)
Somewhere, sometime, someone said, “You gotta dance with the girl who brought you.” It is used today as a caution against switching priorities, values, methods, strategies, or goals. It is a call to remembrance, a warning against giving in.
And it applies to the Christian life. The “girl” who brought us to the dance of salvation is named Grace. Christians are committed to the idea that we are saved by grace (Ephesians 2:8-9) but sometimes forget that we must live by grace as well. This was a serious problem in the early churches of Galatia. Paul took the believers to task for “turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel” (Galatians 1:6). They had begun with the Spirit of grace but were reverting to the laws of flesh. It’s an easy temptation to which many succumb. We find ourselves thinking it is all up to us when God doesn’t come through on our timetable. The Protestant reformers in the sixteenth century said it best: sola gratia—by grace alone. Don’t abandon the grace of God in midstream. His grace is always sufficient.
“I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.” (1 Cor. 2:3-5)
If you find yourself (as I did) running on empty and running out of steam, this is the time to lean on the Lord and His promise to be sufficient for our needs.
Let no excess of suffering drive us away from the throne of grace, but rather let it drive us closer to it. – Charles H. Spurgeon
- My Life and BibleGateway
- Sola Gratia