Quick! What do the following statements have in common?
- “Spare the rod, spoil the child”
- “This too shall pass”
- “God helps those who help themselves”
Give up? They cannot be found anywhere in the Bible. If you don’t believe me, go ahead and find the verse that corresponds to the aforementioned statements. Trust me, you can’t.
God Helps Those Who Help Themselves…Really?
Although it sounds great, it’s not in the Bible. No matter how good it sounds, if we demonstrate some effort to improve, God will give us a little push in that direction. So we decide to make it by sheer willpower and discipline. The problem is, we run out of steam.
This year, millions will make and break resolutions because they’re trying to solve a spiritual problem through earthly means. The challenge we all face is that we want to be transformed. However, we tend to look within ourselves for the solution. The solution resides outside of ourselves. The solution is God.
Transformation is a problem that we cannot solve. That’s why God sent Jesus! Apart from him, we can do absolutely nothing! In Galatians 3:3, Paul reminds the Galatians that God has given them His Spirit and with this – combined with their faith, they can make it.
Who Does God Help?
God doesn’t help those with themselves. God helps those who abide with Him and those who walk with Him in faith (John 15:1-5). Our efforts were never the impetus for God’s transforming grace. Nor will they be the impetus for our changed hearts.
The Bible says that we are justified by faith. We don’t need willpower or self-effort as much as we need faith that God will accomplish in us and for us what we can’t do ourselves. He is the source of what we long for and need. Willpower and self-effort can only take us so far in our desire to change.
What’s The Point?
Change is Possible
Focus is Required
Dependence on God is Absolutely Foundational
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