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To Those Who Help Themselves

I went to a bookstore and asked the saleswoman, “Where’s the self-help section?” She said if she told me, it would defeat the purpose. —George Carlin

God helps those who help themselves, right? Well, not exactly. Actually, not even close. The bookstore does have a complete “self-help” section telling us we’re supposed to survive life’s toughest seasons by our own strength—that we’re in this alone. But nothing could be further from the truth. The truth is much more powerful, much more profound, and much more incredible:

His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. (2 Peter 1:3)

Everything we need to live a godly life comes through knowing Him. Don’t get me wrong. Peter doesn’t promise life will be easy or carefree. He does say that we have everything we need to not just survive—but thrive—in a life that experiences Christ.

Through these [Jesus] has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature… (2 Peter 1:4)

What? We can “participate in the divine nature” in His glory and goodness —because we have everything needed to live a godly life through Christ? Is it possible that through the presence of Jesus’ Spirit in us, we are that close, that intimate with Him right here, right now?

This is powerful Scripture. God’s power has given us everything we need to live as He wishes:

  • We don’t have to pray for strength. Jesus is our strength.
  • We don’t have to struggle to love people. He loves through us.
  • We don’t have to wait for joy. He is our joy.

No, we don’t need to help ourselves. We lack nothing. Why? Because God lives in us.

That’s truth. And “self-help” is a faint and deceptive endeavor.

God with me, I thought I was doing this alone and that somehow I could make my life something worthy of Your love. I kept working on myself, preparing myself for You—like a person still rushing around cleaning the house and changing sheets after company has arrived. And You’ve watched, waiting, calling me to be still so I might enjoy Your presence in my home. Jesus, calm me. Show me that I don’t need to work or fight alone anymore. I praise You that You’ve given me everything I need. Will You unwrap the gifts and show me how to experience Your life? Amen.

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