The jackhammer operator’s first day at work did not go well. When his supervisor arrived at the end of the shift to inspect the operator’s work, he discovered that the concrete he had assigned not even scratched. “I had a tough time, Boss, and my hands and fingers are worn almost to the bone!” The supervisor looked at the man in bewilderment. “Are you telling me that you tried to break up the concrete with your bare hands?!” “Yes, responded the new operator. “Why in the world did you do that?,” shouted the supervisor, “Why didn’t you use the jackhammer we provided?!” The man looked at his boss, and said, “Well, it looked old, and I just didn’t think it would work.” The supervisor glared at the operator in exasperation, and then picked up the jackhammer. Within minutes, he had demolished a sizable portion of the street. “From now on,” he said as he handed the operator the jackhammer, “do your job with the equipment we provide!”
In similar fashion, when we blame unbelief and disobedience to God on our human weakness, we actually reveal a deeper problem.
“Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might” (Ephesians 6:10).
Our Lord never intended that we live according to our human ways and means. We rather “live through Him” (I John 4:9). Failure to trust and obey therefore means that we have ignored the true power source of godly living. We have disbelieved the truth of a present and enabling Christ, thereby giving the proclivities of our flesh free reign to control us. The matter is personal, that is, we directly or tacitly accuse God of not providing that which He promises for the life of faithfulness to which He calls us.
Our calling involves living as Christ lived, and as He now lives in us. This involves a standard and quality of living far beyond human abilities.
“Walk, even as He walked” (I John 2:6).
“I will dwell in them and walk in them” (II Corinthians 6:16).
We possess no innate capacity for the quality of life God commands. He is far more aware of this than are we ourselves. Thus, He provides Himself to all who believe, in the person of the indwelling Holy Spirit. We are to believe in His dynamic presence and leading, along with the submission of ourselves to the life He makes possible. We live in expectation of His motivating influence, and in expectation of enabling for the overcoming of every challenge and temptation. We do our job, as it were, with the equipment provided.
Problems with faith and obedience always reveal a deficit in our knowledge of God and His truth regarding the means by which we live the Christian life. That is, we need to know the Lord better in order to trust Him better, thereby availing ourselves of “the power that worketh in us” (Ephesians 3:20). We also need to know ourselves better, recognizing the weakness of our humanity in order to more completely trust in the Christ who indwells our spirits. Thereby, we live from strength, His strength, and thereby, He alone is glorified as we more consistently “walk, even as He walked.”
“LORD, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am.”
“We shall live with Him by the power of God.”
(II Corinthians 13:4)