“for we want to present them to God, perfect in their relationship to Christ. I work very hard at this, as I depend on Christ's mighty power that works within me. I want you to know how much I have agonized for you and for the church at Laodicea, and for many other friends who have never known me personally.” Colossians 1:28-2:3 (NLT)
On Mondays I am usually “brain-fried”. Today is no exception. The life of a pastor can get interesting. It can also be very draining. I was just reading this morning in Colossians about Paul the church-planter. I bet he was fried often.
But there is one thing that he said today that has my attention, “I work very hard at this, as I depend on Christ's mighty power that works within me.”
What exactly does it mean to work very hard all the while depending on Christ’s strength? At times I work very hard and at times I feel completely exhausted. To tell the truth, I have felt exhausted for a couple of months now. There have been moments of mental and emotional drain that have taken me to my limits. It is at my limits that I learn lessons about Jesus’ power.
I have learned that His power actually is available to me. There have been times when I have simply said, “Lord, I can’t. You are going to have to do this.” We have all been to places where we feel that we can’t go on. This can be an exciting place for me. It all depends on where I turn next.
I have learned that His power is already in me. At the moment I realize I can’t, but try anyway depending on Him to help me, I find “in me” reserves of strength that I did not think I had at all. There is a powerful truth that all too often I can forget-Christ lives in me. Greater is He that lives in me than anything this world can or Satan can throw at me.
I have learned that I often don’t depend on Him until my resources run out. This is the unfortunate truth. Then I get frustrated with myself because I know I should have depended on the Lord’s strength, and I didn’t. I start out the day determined to depend on God only to find myself a few hours later trying to get it done on my own.
At 40 years old, I am seeking to learn more about working hard while at the same time depending on Christ to give me strength. I believe this is primarily a matter of prayer. I also believe that if I don’t learn this lesson, I won’t be able to finish this difficult race that is set before me.
May we work hard today. May we work very hard depending on Christ’s mighty power that lives in us.
“Now glory be to God! By his mighty power at work within us, he is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope.” Eph. 3:20