“Without Me, you can do nothing.”
- John 15:5 NKJV
These words spoken by Jesus radically changed my life. I had grown up hearing that old saying, "God helps those who help themselves," so I believed that God wanted us to be independent and self-reliant. Then I discovered that, not only is this phrase not in the Bible, but it contradicts the principles of Scripture. Hebrews 11:6 (TLB) says, "You can never please God without faith, without depending on Him." The truth is that God is pleased when we rely on Him and seek His help. Psalm 37:5 (TLB) says, "Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust Him to help you do it and He will." God wants to be partners with us in all our daily tasks and activities. When we invite God on the scene, an unlimited amount of resources and possibilities are made available to us. It's an "I can't, but God can" kind of lifestyle.
And with God, there is no matter that concerns us which is too small or insignificant; there is no distinction between sacred and secular. God wants to be involved in every aspect of our lives, and He wants to help us reach our God-given potential. He also wants to ease our burdens and struggles. Psalm 34:5 (NLT) says, "Those who look to Him for help will be radiant with joy." Depending on God brings joy, peace, and satisfaction. But trying to accomplish things on our own makes us weary, frustrated and discouraged. That's exactly why Satan wants us to think we don't need to ask God for help. He knows that the more we depend on God, the more productive, fruitful, and successful we'll be.
The apostle Paul said, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." (Philippians 4:13 NKJV) Paul knew that his strength came from his dependence upon and union with Christ. Ours does, too. Asking God for help doesn't make us weak--it makes us strong. What really makes us weak is trying to do things on our own, in our own strength. Just try to be a parent, spouse or student without God's help, and you will end up drained and defeated. But if you seek the Lord daily and depend on Him, He will sustain you and lead you to victory, no matter what challenges come your way. In 2 Corinthians 12:9 NLT, the Lord told Paul, "My power works best in your weakness." When we acknowledge our weaknesses and ask for God's help, it gives Him the opportunity to show what an awesome difference His involvement can make.
It delights the heart of God when we say, "Lord, without You, I can do nothing. Please help me." Often, I hear myself praying like this many times a day, especially when I'm tackling tough situations and tasks. As a result, I've always discovered a new-found strength, peace, and confidence that enabled me to persevere and complete the task with joy. It's my prayer that you'll begin depending on God more each day, so that you can join your praises with the psalmist who wrote, "Great is the Lord, who enjoys helping His servant"! (Psalm 60:12 NLT)
Prayer: Lord, forgive me for failing to invite You to be a part of my daily endeavors. When I try to do things in my own strength, remind me to ask for Your help. Deliver me from an independent spirit, and enable me to depend on You more and more. Thank You for the peace, joy, and success that will be mine as a result!
- J. M. Farro