Andrew Murray in his book Absolute Surrender writes “the reason for the weakness of your Christian life is that you try to work it out on your own, only allowing God to help you when you are desperate.” As I read those words, I was amazed that he wrote them in the 19th century. Nothing has changed much in the intervening years. That’s still the problem for many of us. Every time I go through a difficult stretch I find a common denominator: I tried to work things out on my own. It never works. Indeed, it makes things worse. We are given freedom to do this, and, as Murray says, only seeking God when things get difficult.
As many of you know, Julie and I were gone for a week to gather with our family as we laid Julie’s dad to rest in peace. I have reflected a lot on those days but perhaps I have spent more time thinking and reflecting upon her dad’s life. We will all take that same journey one day. None of us knows when that day will come, but we do have today. Life is full of challenges, disappointments and failures. But life does not have to be lived in such a way where we try to work it out on our own.
I reemerged from my time away with a fresh commitment to live my life in such a way that God would receive glory. Murray has it right. I need to be reminded that seeking God in all things and trusting Him in all things is the way that God will receive glory from my life. Living a life in that way begins when we do not stand in the way of what God wants to do with our lives. As Murray writes, “you must become utterly helpless, allowing God to work in you and through you and for you unreservedly.” That is the kind of life that will bring God glory and our ultimate satisfaction.