If you are like me, you spend most of your time living in your own power when the power of God is available to you. This is not the way it is meant to be, of course, but reliance on self is what comes natural to us.
Why? One reason is a lack of faith in God. Our faith (or lack thereof) defines our perception of our relationship with God.
Notice that I said “our perception of our relationship with God” and not simply “our relationship with God.” It’s a very important distinction because our relationship with God is based on the finished work of Jesus Christ and not on our day to day decisions.
Can you imagine the roller-coaster ride we would be on if our relationship with God was based upon our actions? And yet, a roller-coaster ride is exactly what we experience most of the time, isn’t it?
That’s because we live in our own power and strength instead of relying on God for His power and strength.
For example, when something happens in our life to cause heartache or suffering, how do we respond? Do we go to God in prayer first and ask Him to guide us and to comfort us or do we exhaust every option first and then go to God only when there’s nothing left for us to do?
How many of your prayers began like this: Heavenly Father, I have tried and tried but to no avail. I cannot handle this situation on my own and now I need you to intervene with your mighty power and fix this mess. Amen.
Do we realize that when we pray that what we are really saying is this: Heavenly Father, I know that you can handle every situation, but I’m going to handle this one on my own for a while. <pause> Well Lord, my attempts didn’t go so well and now I am in even more trouble than before, so now I guess I need your help. Please fix this whole mess for me. Amen.
Prayer is not a last ditch effort. Prayer is our first, best means for communicating our heart to God. He is our Heavenly Father. He longs to have us come to Him and express our need for Him.
So the next time something happens to you, why not go to God first?
Faith says, “God can handle this with me, I am going to trust in His power.”
A lack of faith says, “I need to handle this myself, my power is all there is.”
Do you have faith? Do you have God’s power?
Do you pray first?