17 He did all this so you would never say to yourself, ‘I have achieved this wealth with my own strength and energy’. 18 Remember the Lord your God. He is the one who gives you power to be successful, in order to fulfill the covenant he confirmed to your ancestors with an oath.
Deuteronomy 8:17 (NLT)
The Israelites were freed from their captivity, they were led across the Red Sea, and through the wilderness. God provided food in the form of manna, and allowed them to conquer those who stood in their way. Yet somehow, in the wake of seeing God work in a tangible way, the Israelites still defaulted back to focusing on what they did to improve their situation.
I wish I could say this was only an Israelite problem, however if we’re really honest with ourselves we would realize that we fall into this same frame of mind way too often. We get a promotion at work and our mind goes to the last year of hard work that got us there. We pass that “impossible” test and attribute it to the time we devoted to studying (that’s not a reason to stop studying…Jay). We purchase our first home and celebrate all the hard work, saving, and the great realtor that our friends recommended.
Wait…Where is God in all this? Why don’t we ever stop to think about what God has done for us, how he has provided, and where he has brought us from? Do we ever press pause on the business of daily life to recognize that maybe, or most assuredly, the success we have found, the tests we’ve passed, and the milestones we’ve reached in life are all the provision of our great Heavenly Father? This is where our hearts should live, in constant recognition of what God is doing in and through us.
Let’s not live like the Israelites, constantly falling back into the realm of “I did this!”. Rather, make our prayers, every single day, “Not by might, nor by power, but by YOUR Spirit Lord” and thank God for grace he has given us and the things we can do through his might!