I was recently reading an article when it said, “Everything you have ever wanted is possible for you.” This is a common theme in success books, motivational lectures, and inspirational movies. As a Christian, what do you think of this? Is that really true?
The world tells us, “Everything you have ever wanted is possible for you to achieve. You can make it happen.”
However, God tells us in Matthew 19:26: “But Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’ (bold added)
Our faith to “make things happen” should be faith based upon Who God is and His will for our lives, not faith in who we are, what we have done, or what we think we can do on our own apart from Him.
We can work as hard as we possibly can to attain a goal– and I think we should when the goal is “God-given.” Scripture says: “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,” but nowhere in Scripture does it say that, “everything you have ever wanted is possible for you.” In fact, God’s word is very clear that ‘apart from him we can do nothing’.(John 15:5)
We can learn a lot about succeeding in our goals from Paul, who greatly desired to visit the church in Rome. This is how he encouraged them when he wrote:
Romans 1:9-10 (ESV)
“ For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I mention you always in my prayers, asking that somehow by God’s will I may now at last succeed in coming to you.”
He was entrusting the fulfillment of his goal to God’s will, not on his own ability to “make it happen” or “having enough faith in himself”. If Paul took the advice of the many worldly leaders that proclaim, “You can make it happen!” and, “Believe it and you can achieve it!, his actions would have been different. Instead of praying Paul would have been looking to himself and his own resources to get him to Rome. When we are impatient to wait upon God and we fail to trust in God’s guiding, we can easily create an experience with negative consequences. Scripture is replete with examples of people trying to accomplish goals on their own. Consider Sarah who decided she would take matters into her own hands to give Abraham an heir.
There is no rest in striving; rest is only found when we wait upon the Lord for His plans and His perfect timing for our life.
This rest I’m speaking of is not found in laziness, but in working ‘heartily as for the Lord’, while you wait for Him to bring the outcome and blessing on the work you have done.
“…but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31
In closing, I’d like to encourage you and say, “with God all things are possible!”
Written by: Jamie Shaver