Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit . . . says the Lord of hosts.—Zechariah 4:6b (NKJV)
“I’m a nobody,” my friend Gary said, “and besides, God has so many millions of people to look out for, and in comparison with some of them, my problems seem so petty.”
His words shocked me. Of course, God has millions to care for—but He can care for all of them at the same time.
Gary missed something very important. God wants us to ask for help—and to ask often. Look at it this way: If Satan constantly attacks our minds, how else can we fortify ourselves? We fight back—but our major weapon is to cry out to the Lord asking for His strength to become ours.
Too many times, we think we can do it ourselves. In some instances, that may be true, but if we’re going to win continually over the attacks against our minds, we must realize that willpower alone won’t work. What we need is the humility to turn to the Holy Spirit and ask Him to strengthen us.
I realize that many people do not grasp how the Lord lovingly operates in their lives. Not only does God love us like a father, but He also has caring concern for every part of our lives. Our heavenly Father wants to intervene and help us, but He waits for an invitation to get involved. We issue that invitation and open the door for God’s help through prayer. God’s Word says, “You do not have, because you do not ask” (James 4:2 NKJV).
Perhaps we can think of it this way. God is watching us all the time, and He is aware of the temptations, struggles, and hardships we face—and we all face them. If we think we can do it by ourselves, God takes no action. But He remains ready to jump in and rescue us as soon as we cry out, asking for the power of the Holy Spirit to operate in our lives.
Our victory begins with right thinking. We have to be convinced that God cares, wants to act, and waits for us to cry out. When we cry out, we understand the words quoted previously, that it’s not by force or power, but by God’s Holy Spirit that victory comes.
For example, take the matter of personal fellowship—daily time spent in prayer and reading the Word. As Christians, we know this is what God wants and what we need if we’re going to mature spiritually. At one time in my life, I tried to maintain spiritual self-discipline. I determined that I would pray and read my Bible every single day. I would do well for two or three days, and then something would interfere—sometimes my family or something at our church, but mostly little things that took my attention away from daily fellowship with my Lord.
One day, in desperation, I cried out, “Without Your help, I’ll never be faithful in doing this.” That’s when the Holy Spirit came to me and gave me the self-discipline I needed. It was almost as if God watched me struggle and allowed me to become frustrated and angry with myself. But as soon as I sincerely asked for help, the Spirit came to my rescue. We are too independent, and we experience a lot of unnecessary frustration simply because we try to do things without God’s help.
With the Spirit’s help, I am learning—yes, still learning—that I can choose what I want to think about. I can choose my thoughts, and I need to do that carefully. Unless I’m in regular fellowship with Him, I won’t know the difference between healthy thoughts and unhealthy ones. And if I don’t know the difference, I provide the opportunity for Satan to sneak into my mind and torment me. Spend plenty of time studying God’s Word, and you will quickly recognize each lie that Satan tries to plant in your mind.
Dear loving God, I want to think thoughts that honor You. I want to have a mind that’s fully centered on You, and I know that can’t happen unless I spend daily time with You. Help me, Holy Spirit; help me to be obedient and eager to be in constant fellowship with You. Amen.