First, a quick aside. Yesterday I ran across a quote on Instagram from Brian Johnson, one of the worship leaders at Bethel Church in California. He was talking about how we have to allow the word of God to arrest us, and that he doesn’t open the Bible with the aim of reading an entire chapter. He simply reads and whether it is a verse, a couple of verses, or a chapter or chapters, when He feels the Holy Spirit stop him and cause him to focus, he stops and meditates on whatever amount of Scripture that is. In ending, he talked about how our agenda with the Word of God should not be an agenda at all, but rather to allow the Holy Spirit to control how we read what we read. It was definitely a “stop and listen, Justin” moment, because sometimes when I read the Bible, I think that I haven’t done anything unless I’ve read an entire chapter or more. I have to be more aware in how I approach the word, not for a quantity result, but a quality result.
Today was one of those moments for me. While reading Galatians 3, my attention was honed in on verse 3, which says,
“Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by the means of the flesh?” (NIV)
I did go one to read the rest of the chapter, but this verse, in particular, was screaming at me. I began to think about God being the Author and Finisher of our faith. I also thought about the Bible talking about God not only begins a good work in us, but He also finishes it.
God begins. God finishes. God takes care of everything in between the starting and end point in my life. How can I start something with God and expect to finish it on my own? Am I so foolish?
The power of man is nothing next to the power of God, yet so many times I can look back on my life and see times where I prayed to God to help me with something, and then when it got to a manageable situation, I decided tot take the wheel and rob God of His opportunity to finish what He started. How typical is this of our lives? It is as if there is a stigma attached to us not having our hands in some part of a work. I grew up with the saying that God only helps those who help themselves. I believed it. I touted it. I defended it, until I realized the fallacy in it. We didn’t help ourselves at all before Christ, but God sent Him anyway. Faith has nothing to do with us, except that we have it. Grace has nothing to do with us, except that we walk in it. So it is with anything else in our lives. If we pray to God to help us, we are turning over the keys to everything in that area to God to work it as He sees fit, for His glory and our good.
What have you asked God to do in your life? What have you asked Him to do that you have taken over trying to accomplish? It’s worth it to ask Him today.
Remember. God starts. God finishes. God handles everything in between.