Ephesians 6:10 Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.
In my addiction to both food and drugs, I promised myself again and again that I would quit. Every indulgence was the last time. I’ll quit tomorrow, I swear! I mean it this time. I refuse to fail. Never once did I keep that promise. I was addicted and powerless over my defects. I did not control them. They controlled me.
The first step of Alcoholics Anonymous echoes this: We admitted that we were powerless over our addiction, that our lives had become unmanageable. Honesty did not make me sober, but to find recovery, I had to admit that I was not able to manage my addictions. I shudder to think of where I would be if consequences had not forced me to accept this reality.
Many dislike step one as it seems to say that there is absolutely nothing I can do about my predicament and that I am forever trapped in my defects. I will insist though, that the only way to deal with my addictions has been to admit that, on my own, I was powerless. I need help. I cannot do this alone.
This was Paul’s message in today’s passage. Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Paul insisted that I was not meant to live this life on my own power. I must constantly choose to find my strength in the God who made me.
I have heard some Christians say that if I have failed and failed again, that I am trying too hard. Let go and let God. Just stop trying. I will insist that if I have failed repeatedly, the problem is that I am trying too hard, on my own. This does not mean that I must do nothing. It means that I must do whatever it takes to turn from myself to find strength in God.
I must continually admit my powerlessness on my own. Without God, all I have is me. I am a disaster. I have proven this. God gives me the only adequate alternative to my problem of me because this is how He made me. The puzzle of my life only comes together when I find my strength in God because He made the puzzle and it can only fit one way.
I may find sobriety or weight loss in other avenues. I can move to a desert island where there are no drugs or donuts, but my problem of me will still be there. I may be skinny and sober on the island, but I am still stuck with me. Only in God do I find adequate strength for my weakness. Only in God do I find the joy, purpose, meaning and life that I was pursuing in the desires of my flesh.