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Falling on His Sufficiency

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Falling on His Sufficiency
by Charity Hardman

And yet I will show you the most excellent way.
1 Corinthians 12:31b

 

Maybe I’m alone in this, but I doubt it. There are days when I don’t feel like a “new creation” (2 Corinthians 5:17). After changing 3 messy diapers in a row (alternating between a 2-month-old and 22-month-old who messed while I was changing the 2-month-old) while trying to squelch squabbles between their older siblings and do laundry and prepare lunch, sometimes the next “thing” causes frustration to overwhelm and pour over in a reaction for which I must apologize. In those moments, Satan whispers, “You’re not sanctified. You’re no different than you used to be. All you do is fail. You can’t do it all.” And you know what? On one point he’s right. I can’t do it all. I can’t do any of it. And the more I try, the harder I fall. But when I learn to fall on Jesus before I try, He can do it all through my “earthen vessel” (2 Corinthians 4:7). “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, who also made us sufficient” (2 Corinthians 3:5,6).

The psalmist had a grasp on this reality.  Be exalted O Lord in Your own strength! We will sing and praise Your power (Psalm 21:13).  Keep my soul and deliver me; Let me not be ashamed, for I put my trust in You. Let integrity and uprightness preserve me, For I wait for You (Psalm 25:20,21). As I pray “Give [me] this day [my] daily bread”, I recognize my hunger for His power in me to live above the world so that His kingdom comes in my life and the lives of those I contact. I am powerless even through practice. “Practicing” peace, love, joy, and patience is to no avail. The only practice that produces results is practicing the presence of the One Who is peace, love, joy, and patience. How do I practice His presence? By acknowledging His reality. Requesting His guidance. Seeking His face (Psalm 27:8). I must choose the higher road when it hurts. I must obey His commands when I’d rather fulfill my demands. I must yield my “rights” to experience His righteousness. I must  live no longer for [myself], but for Him who died for [me] and rose again (2 Corinthians 5:15).

The question is, do I want  a more excellent way (1 Corinthians 12:31)? When faced with the choice of responding to frustration with ferocity, hurt with hate, disappointment with distress, do I deliver myself to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus may be manifested in [my] mortal flesh (2 Corinthians 4:11)? Oswald Chambers said, “Every part of our human nature which is not brought into subjection to the Holy Spirit after experiencing deliverance from sin will prove a corrupting influence. We are not delivered from human nature; human nature was created by God, not by the devil; it is impaired, and enfeebled, but it is not sinful. The first creation retains the remnants of God’s handiwork; re-creation is the building of a spiritual habitation, ‘an habitation of God,’ and all our effort is to be spent is disciplining the natural life in obedience to the new creation wrought in us through the Spirit. If I refuse to make my natural life spiritual by the slow process of obedience, my religious profession becomes a disgusting hypocrisy.”

“Oh, Father, today I fall on You. I admit I am of myself no better than I was when You redeemed me. All glory for the beauty and growth evident in my life belongs to You, who always leads [me] in triumph in Christ (2 Corinthians 2:14).” Will I allow myself to be led? My answer is “Yes!” And He has led me! I am different! I have developed new habits! Satan rarely even uses the “You’re not sanctified” line anymore because several years ago I settled that question with God and it’s no longer open for discussion. His tactics keep changing, evidence that I’m growing in grace! I am  being transformed into [His] image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord (2 Corinthians 3:18), and He  gives [me] the victory through [my] Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved [sisters], be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor (of daily obedience and growth) is not in vain in the Lord (1 Corinthians 15:57,58)!


Charity is a stay-at-home wife and a mother of four (2.5 months, 22 months, 5-year-old [today!] 6 year-old). She homeschools the two oldest and teaches Sunday School for adults in her church. Charity, her husband and family live in Riverton, Wyoming.
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About Stephanie

Stephanie Hogan has had a love for Jesus and people since she began leading discipleship groups in high school. She has a master's degree in counseling and loves offering God's hope and healing through His Word as she speaks at women's retreats across the country. Stephanie serves as Director of Titus Women, a ministry of the Francis Asbury Society.

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