You can be pulled from the outside or powered from the inside.
Devotional Thought: Today, I give the Holy Spirit the freedom to power my life from the inside out.
In See You at the Top, Zig Ziglar tells the famous story about an old Indian in Oklahoma who discovered oil on his property. He struck it rich. He went from poverty to wealth almost overnight. His first purchase with his new money was to buy the biggest automobile he could get his hands on, a big Cadillac. After all, he could afford it.
To insure his Cadillac was, in fact, the biggest car in town, he added four spare tires to the back end. He was a gentle soul who cruised into town everyday to show off his enormous car. The problem is that he had no driver’s license. Amazingly, he never wrecked. He never hit anyone.
That’s because in front of his Cadillac were two horses pulling it.
The engine was fine. It would have powered the Cadillac anywhere he wanted to go. But the Indian did not even know how to start the engine.
That’s an illustration of the modern day Christian life. We try to get somewhere by being pulled from the outside instead of being powered from the inside. We serve God. We work for the Kingdom. We volunteer for our local church. We do stuff for Jesus.
All of that is good except for one thing: much of what we do is on our own ability due to feeling obligated. Instead of being energized from within by Jesus, we get pulled on ahead from the outside. We see a need and move on it.
That’s fine for a while. Then emptiness sets in. We sense something is wrong but we don’t know what it is. We get trapped by over-obligation. Many end up blaming God.
To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith BY HIS POWER, (2 Thessalonians 1:11 ESV)
Hear me now. God does not obligate you to do anything. You are His child; not His employee. One of the most important things you can do is to stop serving God. This is not a misprint. If He is not energizing you to do what you are doing, then stop. Yes, it’s OK to stop serving the Lord if He isn’t in it. It just might keep you from a nasty, spiritual burn out.
For we are his WORKMANSHIP, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should WALK in them. (Ephesians 2:10 ESV)
It’s much easier to walk in something God has created you to do than it is to work at something because you feel like you have to do it. You are God’s workmanship. That means He will do the work in you. You don’t have to do it. All you have to do is walk it out through His power.