S29P9 – Who we were: helpless
While we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.
When I was a child, I suffered from a very common ailment. I simply had a very difficult time obeying my parents. Regardless of the punishment that I knew would result from my disobedience, I often misbehaved only to get caught and deal with the consequences. My parents would ask why I could not just obey their instruction, but of course I had no good answer. As an adult now it may seem like a simple solution to just do the right thing. As a child it was not so simple. The truth of the matter is that I was capable of only doing so much and only being so good. Even if my desire had been to obey my parents completely, I was powerless to do so. Likewise, we can only appear so good and holy outside of Jesus Christ. We require his help to actually become holy and separate ourselves from sin.
It is impossible to please God without humility. The only way we can approach him for the help we so desperately need is to first admit that we are helpless to save ourselves. We have no power within us that can prevail against the powers of darkness that come against us. It may seem like we achieve small victories in these battles on our own, but that is not true. If we rely on ourselves without Jesus, we are helpless in this fight. However, once we invite him to dwell within us and carry his Holy Spirit, we are helpless no longer. We now carry the power of God to not only fight against sin and the darkness around us but to defeat them. We have gone from powerless to powerful. And it is not because we have increased in any way, but it is because God has increased in us. His power from on high becomes perfect in the helplessness of the lowly.
Within ourselves we are still helpless to bring salvation and victory. What has changed is that we are no longer operating through merely ourselves. Now it is God through his Holy Spirit that operates in us and imparts to us a power that we could not gain on our own. I could not raise someone from the dead before justification, but I am commanded to do so now. The same is true of healing the sick and casting out demons. Before Jesus, we had neither the desire nor the ability to achieve these things. With Jesus now we are not only able to perform these miracles that are commanded to do so. Father, thank You that You not only exhibit your power to save us, but You give us your power with which we can defeat the darkness around us.