When Human Effort and God’s Power Collide

Trust in the Lord and do good;
    dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
Take delight in the Lord,
    and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Commit your way to the Lord;
    trust in him and he will do this:
He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,
    your vindication like the noonday sun.

Be still before the Lord

-Psalm 37:3-7


I have always described myself as ambitious. A task-oriented doer, a go-getter, if you will. Sure, that looks great on a resume, but it has led me to a lot of frustration as well. Somewhere along the way I have gotten my part and God’s part mixed up.

Recently I have been walking through a difficult situation. Seeing the battle before me, I put on my battle gear and prepared to fight.   I saw the situation as something that I needed to fix, and that is exactly what I intended to do.

One Sunday morning, God spoke so clearly to me and assured me that He was with me and would get me through this. I was strengthened by the promise of His presence, but by Sunday evening I found myself steps ahead of Him trying to fix the situation while He was calling me back asking me to trust Him.

Exhausted, disappointed, discouraged, and feeling inadequate, I went back to the promise I was so confident in that Sunday morning. Lord, you said you were with me. I believe that. But why do I feel this way? Why am I failing so miserably here?

Then, ever so gently He responded. What I was failing to see in my attempt to fix things was that I was trusting in my own effort. My self-sufficiency collided with my inadequacy and I found myself on a slippery slope sliding further away from the solution I had envisioned. Yes, I expected Jesus to be with me as I walked through this, but I forgot that He is not just with me, He is in me.

Verse 3 in Psalm 37 tells us to trust in the Lord AND do good. They have to go hand in hand. Isolating either one of these commands will only lead us down that same road I was on—toward exhaustion, disappointment, and discouragement. But when we trust in the Lord and focus on all He can do, what we cannot do becomes less of an issue.TRUST AND DO GOOD.

We cannot trust God but go on living our lives to meet our own selfish ambitions or evil desires. Nor can we do good but trust more in our own efforts and strength than we trust God. We must trust in the Lord AND do good.

Verse 5 goes on to say, “Commit your way to the Lord; trust him and HE WILL DO THIS.”

So what is your this? Is it a situation that needs fixing? Are you striving to fix it in your power while hopeless inadequacy comes knocking on your door?  Trust your this to Him.   Remember your part is to take the steps of obedience He is asking you to take through the instruction of His Word, and then trust Him with the outcome.  The outcome He promises is safe dwelling and green pasture.  Our Lord is sovereign.  He is all that He says He is…. powerful and fully able to do it.  As you hand over your this in trust, rest in the promise that HE WILL DO IT.

Leave a Comment