“To this end I labor, struggling with all His energy, which so powerfully works in me.” Colossians 1:29
Do you ever just feel tired, worn down, or weary? I don’t just mean physical exhaustion, but also emotional or spiritual fatigue? We all have times when it feels like we cannot take one more step, answer one more call, teach one more lesson, or wipe one more nose. As long as we are giving ourselves away like God has called us to, there will be a danger of “burning out.” There is, however, a safeguard against this all-too-common frazzled and worn-out Christian life.
Perhaps no one worked harder to accomplish his earthly mission than the Apostle Paul. In his letter to the believers at Colossae, he told them of his great labors to further Christ’s gospel. He also shared, however, that he did so not according to his own strength, but with “all His energy, which so powerfully works in me.” When we see through Scripture all that Paul accomplished, he seems like a super-Christian, some rare breed of missionary that God specially equipped in some mysterious way. But Paul shared the secret to his super-human ability to keep going – it was the energy of God that propelled and sustained him.
Picture a wind-up toy. If you wind it up, it will go for a little while – but then you must wind it up again to keep it going. It cannot continually wind itself up; nor can it run forever on an initial wind up. The toy requires constant intervention to continue. The same is true, in a much deeper way, of us. The energy to “go” comes from a source other than us. We cannot continue without His power, which works in us through the Holy Spirit. If we are not continually connecting with our power source, we will eventually become ineffective, tired, and quit.
Paul must have understood this truth because look at how he prayed for his brothers and sisters:
“And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way; bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience…” Colossians 1:10-11.
Are you striving to please God in your own power, or, like Paul, are you struggling with God’s energy? The life God has planned for you is designed to require constant dependence on Him. You cannot do it alone; and if you try, you will find yourself weary and defeated.
Almighty God, Help me to rely on Your power today as I live for You. I confess my need for You and my dependence on You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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