The NIV 365 Day Devotional

Duration: 365 days

POWERLESS (PSALM 40:12)

The routine of our daily lives often reminds us of our lack of control. We stand in a slow line at the grocery store waiting for a cashier-in-training. Our car breaks down on the way to work. We wait over a weekend to learn the results of a medical test. Our coworker gets promoted, while we continue to wait for recognition.

In our attempts to deal with our lack of control, we worry about the details in our lives, pretend that it just doesn’t matter, or we become angry and resentful. We may isolate ourselves from other people to keep the pain at a distance. Many of us try in one way or another to control our circumstances and the people around us.

Some of us are too proud to admit that certain areas of our lives have become unmanageable. This pride can undermine our faith, cut us off from God and prevent us from recognizing our own powerlessness. In this mode we refuse to allow ourselves to reach out for help. By facing our powerlessness and admitting our weaknesses, we invite God to step in to change our lives.

We need to take four actions to open ourselves up for God’s healing:

1. Stop denying the pain. Psalm 6: 2-3 describes a time in David’s life when he came to the end of his emotional and physical resources: “Have mercy on me, Lord, for I am faint; heal me, Lord, for my bones are in agony. My soul is in deep anguish. How long, Lord, how long?” When David’s pain finally surpassed his fear, he was able to face his denial and feel the reality of his agony. In the same way, if we want to be rid of our pain, we need to face it and work our way through it.

2. Stop playing God. The simple truth is that we’re either going to serve God or ourselves. We can’t do both. In the words of Matthew 6:24, “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” When our “self” is out of control, all our attempts at control — of ourselves or others — will fail. We need to admit that we’re not God and that we’re powerless without him. Then, when we’ve finally emptied ourselves, God will have room to come in and begin his healing work.

3. Start admitting our powerlessness. Our lust for power isn’t rooted in our strengths but in our weaknesses. We need to recognize our human limitations and quit trying to resolve the issues by ourselves. We need to admit that we’re powerless and be willing to turn over our lives to God. Jesus knew how difficult this would be for us to do. Matthew 19:26 sums up the situation for us, recording Jesus’ own words: “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

4. Start admitting that our lives have become unmanageable. With this admission we finally acknowledge that we’re out of control and powerless to change on our own. David shared his feelings in Psalm 40:12: “Troubles without number surround me; my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see. They are more than the hairs of my head, and my heart fails within me.”

Of what are you still in denial, or what are you still trying to control in your own power?

Taken from NIV Celebrate Recovery Study Bible©2017 HarperCollins Christian Publishing

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