Behold, God is my Helper; The Lord is with those who uphold my life.
For by You I can run upon a troop; By my God I can leap over a wall.
I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me.
Our exceeding abundant God goes above and beyond. 'God is our Refuge and Strength, a very present Help in trouble' (Psalm 46:1). God is our First Line of defense. He is our Overcomer.* Concerning His power to perform miracles and defeat Satan, Jesus, the Man, admitted: 'I can of Myself do nothing' (John 5:30).
Therefore, I am one who believes I can of myself do nothing, and certainly nothing good. Every person in this world encounters temptations. If we regard them, they can become our stumbling blocks. For me, a big one was food. Food was my refuge. Soon, it became a mountain attached to my body. My mountain and I went everywhere together, but the going was slow. So I preferred to stay home. By the age of 37, I weighed 360 pounds.**
Although I did not (yet) know Jesus, God helped me. I am convinced He will help anyone overcome their personal obstacles, if we ask. However, it's not logical to assume He will do all the work for us. A 12th century Spanish philosopher said, 'Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime' (Maimonides).
Jesus calls us to be fishers of men. As such, our work with God is the most unique collaboration in the universe. I don't claim to understand it, but I believe when we are under His direction, our work is supercharged. It becomes His Own work. We do our best, and God does the rest. Because Jesus is 'The Finisher' (Hebrews 12:2).
Actors, models and talent for Christ: the Apostle Paul said, 'I will not be mastered by anything... but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified' (1 Corinthians 6:12; 9:27).
Our current world offers an unprecedented diversity of stumbling blocks. If you have fallen, it's okay. So have we all. But don't settle down in a hole. Don't allow food, lust, intoxicants, electronics, popularity or shopping be your master. Nor even respectable things, like intellectualism, awards, titles, authority or exercise. Because 'You are slaves of the one whom you obey' (Romans 6:16). 'For One is your Master, even Christ' (Matthew 23:8).
If you have obstacles preventing your success, ask God's help first. David did. Jesus did. Paul did. Whatever He tells you to do, do it. God holds the Power to overcome.
To Be Continued...
* Scriptures about God's help:
** A glimpse of my weight loss story began a prior series of AMTC devotions called, 'Eating Right:' http://www.amtcdevotions.com/eating-right-part-1-my-story
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the The Call To Overcome series.