Better Counselor

John 14

Living Beyond Yourself

So it appears I am terrible at being consistent with blogging. We’ll work on that. In the mean time, here’s what I’ve been learning…

It was time for a new Bible study, and although I’m ashamed to admit it, I don’t do too well with just sitting and reading my Bible. I need to go deeper, and I’ve found that the more structure I have the better. When I discovered my church had a stash of Beth Moore Bible studies I could borrow… I got giddy. I learned SOO much about God in the Patriarchs study, got to memorize a bunch of scripture and apply specific truths in James, and watched God work wonders when it seemed like He was absent in Esther. Next, I wanted to reach for the Psalms, but God put the study on the fruit of the Spirit out in front, and I was in a hurry. 

It’s exactly what I need right now. And if I move before I finish it, I’m taking it with me and returning it in the mail. It’s also exactly what I need for the friend I’m helping disciple. 

At first glance, I thought, “Oh, it’s another study on how to have love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control. I know I need to work on these things; here we go.” But it’s not like that at all. The very first verse mentioned was John 14:17 – Christ’s promise of the coming Spirit. The theme of the study is Living Beyond Yourself – Christ came so that we might have life to the full – Jn 10:10. We have a purpose and we are called, and it is revealed by the Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the living, active power of God, and He resides in US so WE can have POWER and do mighty things in GOD’S NAME!!! 

We’re SUPPOSED to live with power. We’re SUPPOSED to live beyond ourselves – in the day to day – traffic, dishes, forgetting the keys, work, dinner – and the big things too – job, marriage, kids, calling.

I hate that saying: “God will never give you more than you can handle.”

IT’S A BIG, FAT, LIE.

God delights in giving you more than you can handle – then you go to Him, and He gets to show up in power and glory. As Beth Moore put it, “God will put us in situations to live beyond ourselves – it is for us, not against us.” It’s what is best for us. We’re not supposed to do this life with our own energy, our own talent, and our own emotions. We’d wreck everything. Instead, we get to be a part of a world-wide plan to love, redeem, and restore people to live the best lives possible. And it’s all through the Spirit. I’m down with that. 

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4 thoughts on “Living Beyond Yourself

  1. Thank you for sharing!

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  2. I have to say that I agree with much of your post besides that of which states, “God will not give you more than you can handle, IT IS A BIG, FAT, LIE.” Here is why I disagree. 1 Corinthians 10:13, encourgaes me to know that God has never let any temptation come my way which, there is not an escape for. He does not send trials for us to fall and fail but to overcome and grow stronger. Now that is not to say God does not think we will fail every now and then, when we do we rely upon His grace. We are always reliant upon God’s grace and power, even in our weakness, “for My (God) power is perfected in your (our) weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). Every trial is for our growth but we don’t have to fail trials to grow from them, growth comes from overcoming trials as well. (James 1:3). God does not lie and His scriptures do not lie and so 1 Corinthians 10:13, is not a lie.

    • Thank you for your input! A clarification is in order. I often hear 1Cor 10:13 misused by Christians. “God must think I’m pretty strong to give me all this crap!” v13 says, “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” (NIV) Might I paraphrase: When you are tempted, God will always provide a way out so that you do not have to sin – the temptation will not be beyond what you can bear.” I agree; it is a call to rely on God’s grace and power so He will shine forth in our weakness. Where the lie comes in is when Christians start thinking they’re supposed to handle things as much as possible instead of going to God! I would argue that when my friend lost his wife and child in a car accident, it wasn’t God saying, “Yup, I think you can handle that.” It was an opportunity for Him to show up in his pain, and be the Way Out and All that he Needs.

  3. I agree, since I left my comment, I have come to what I think is a better understanding. God does put us through more than we can handle sometime, obviously not in regard to sin (meaning H doesn’t put us through something where we couldn’t choose not to sin), but in regard to reliance on Him and trials. After reading 2 Corinthians 1:3-10, I realize God put Paul through more than He could handle so he stopped relying upon himself and started to rely upon God.

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