I am not an avid book reader... still I do enjoy a good Christian biography, a mystery, some poetry... and of course... My Bible! It seems though... that there are boundless numbers of self-help books... found on the shelves of Christian bookstores these days. Thousands of books that promise unquestionable ways of improving, appeasing and conquering our fleshly desires... instant healings... words from God.... and deliverance of all types!
We are free to exercise our own will... we can dig deep into our inner man... study all the books that man writes... plan out all of our strategies... and do everything we know how to do... but we will still be depending on... "man's help and man's point of view!" Everywhere we turn we are offered a 'carnal option' for all of our 'fleshly appetites...' that only God can do anything with!
God gave Israel the option of choosing Him... or the flesh in the midst of their situation. He told them to go ahead and exercise your own will. None of your efforts will bring you even one moment of victory! All of your human attempts... for pardon from your flesh... is bound not only to fall short... but they will surely fail!
When Israel attempted to defeat their powerful enemy through human power... God instantly rebuked the effort:
1. Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help, who rely on horses and trust in chariots because they are many and in horsemen because they are very strong, but they look not to the Holy One of Israel, nor seek and consult the Lord! 2. And yet He is wise and brings calamity and does not retract His words; He will arise against the house (the whole race) of evildoers and against the helpers of those who work iniquity. 3. Now the Egyptians are men and not God, and their horses are flesh and not spirit; and when the Lord stretches out His hand, both [Egypt] who helps will stumble, and [Judah] who is helped will fall, and they will all perish and be consumed together. Isaiah 31:1-3(AMP)
God will allow us to go through the 'third degree' as often as we like... until we are totally persuaded to die to every effort of our flesh. His Word declares very clearly that all victory depends on Him alone! Only He has the power to deliver us from ourselves and our adversaries.
We may be a respectable, decent and just people. We may be honorable and truthful... we may be some of the most moral people walking this earth... but the Bible says that none of our human talents, gifts or abilities will ever work against the devil. Our own endeavors will always fail.
Approximately two years ago... I was diagnosed with some auto-immune diseases... my one son moved his family to the Domincan Republic to serve as a missionary (that was hard because they were the only family we had in South Carolina)... and my other son was getting a divorce... then he started to have severe seizures. I don't want to bore you with all the details... but suffice it to say... life got pretty difficult and there was not a lot I could do to change or make any of it better. I was praying... I saw God's hand in many of the details... but truth be told... these things basically all got worse.
That is when God spoke to me in no uncertain terms, "The battle is not your own, the battle belongs to me! You can not do it in your might or power... it is done by my Spirit alone!" Since than... I have given it all to Him... I continue to pray... but that is all... should the Lord ask me to do something, I most gladly will! (I have to laugh at myself... to still be thinking that way) Yet... I have and I continue to learn... this is not a battle I can fight! This battle belongs to my God! I must trust Him to bring us all through it!!
So... if you are in the midst of an overwhelming struggle or a battle that is just to big to handle... you must learn the words...(as did I) that God gave to Zechariah: "Not by might... nor by power... but by my Spirit, saith the Lord." Zechariah 4:6