The other day we were late to leave the house and my husband could not find his truck keys. He knew he had seen them, even had them in his hand that very morning. We checked everywhere, every cabinet, drawer, basket, dirty pair of pants, his usual pocket….and…nothing!
After going back through all of those areas again, he decided to check his truck. One pull on the handle told him it was locked. Hoping he didn’t lock the keys in the truck, he cupped his hands to peer through the window at the ignition. No keys there.
Pondering what to do next, he instinctively stuck his hands in his pockets. That’s when he felt it. In his left pocket was a familiar metallic, key-shaped object pressing against his hand. Embarrassed, he pulled it out and yep, it was his truck key!
We are creatures of habit. Adam’s habit is to put his keys in his right pant pocket. When it wasn’t there, he panicked and didn’t know where they could be! He checked his right pocket a dozen times. But because he is such a strong creature of habit it didn’t dawn on him to simply check the other pocket.
I laughed at my husband’s lost keys but I so easily do this in my walk with Christ.
When trying to solve a problem, I instinctively put my hand in my right pocket – the pocket of my own understanding, my own strength, wisdom and intuitiveness.
But God’s kingdom is different than my kingdom or the world’s kingdom. His is a whole new pocket, a whole new way of seeing things. He offers completely different solutions, and I have to be willing to break my habit of trying to find answers in my right pocket and dig down deep in a different pocket.
When I reach in this pocket, I find ageless promises like:
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus because through Christ Jesus, the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering.” Romans 8:1-3
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, neither angels, nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:37-39
“For no matter how many promises God has made, they are Yes in Christ.” 2 Corinthians 1:21
When we are called to spiritual tasks, we can only execute them in supernatural strength.
Moses was called by God to go back to Pharaoh and tell him to set the Israelites free. He felt the enormity of the call and also saw his inadequacies. He said to the Lord, “O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.” Then the Lord said to him, “Now go; I will help you speak and I will teach you what to say.” Exodus 4:10,12
I too can feel the enormity of what God has asked me to do and as a result am blinded by my inadequacies. But the Lord appears and says, I know you don’t know how to do this. That’s ok! I will teach you along the way. Will you trust me?
Sometimes I do, but sometimes the habit of reaching into my right pocket is so strong, I automatically search there first. It’s like I draw a line in the sand. I wait patiently for the Lord to act for a certain amount of time, and then when He hasn’t done what I expected, I muster up my strength and do the task.
The apostle Paul also learned this. He said, “But when God, who set me apart from birth and called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal His son in me so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not consult any man, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was, but I went immediately into Arabia and later returned to Damascus. Then after 3 years I went up to Jerusalem to get acquainted with Peter and stayed with him 15 days.” Galatians 1:15-18
Paul did not rely on his own natural ability or attend the newset online training class for this new calling. It wouldn’t have worked! He got alone with God and the Holy Spirit Himself taught Paul what he needed to know.
We can whip up a lot of activity and make it look like we’ve got it all together on the outside. But there’s something special, something different about the man or woman who gazes into the Lord’s face and goes forth from there with her calling – as a mom, a teacher, speaker, dentist, writer, whatever that is.
Marriage, parenting, homeschooling are all spiritual callings and all involve supernatural wisdom and strength to execute. Is it possible to rely on our own strength and just grin and bear it enough to survive?
Maybe. But that sounds more like survival of the fittest.
If we want to impact our children for eternity, if we want a marriage that glorifies God and shows His character to others, we can’t do it in our own strength. We have to put our hand deep into God’s pocket full of promises.
So what are you looking for? Which pocket are you reaching into for the answers?
When all seems lost, and all you see are your inadequacies, God is still there. The answer you’re looking for may be as simple as checking the other pocket!
“We must not measure our spiritual capacity by education or intellect; our capacity in spiritual things is measured by the promises of God. Every time you preach, see that you look God in the face about things first, then the glory will remain all through. A Christian worker is one who perpetually looks in the face of God and then goes forth to talk to people.” ~Oswald Chambers
For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. 1 Corinthians 3:18-19