13 For it is [not your strength, but it is] [c]God who is effectively at work in you, both to will and to work [that is, strengthening, energizing, and creating in you the longing and the ability to fulfill your purpose] for His good pleasure.
God will never ask you to do what He has not already empowered you to do.
Yesterday we talked about working out your salvation with fear and trembling. The truth of the matter is that we cannot do that in our own strength. God would never demand that we do it in our strength because he knows how weak we are, He is the one who created us and He created us that way for a reason. Paul knew a secret that we all should embrace.
2 Corinthians 12:9
9 but He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you [My loving kindness and My mercy are more than enough—always available—regardless of the situation]; for [My] power is being perfected [and is completed and shows itself most effectively] in [your] weakness.”
The mistake we make is we look at our weaknesses as our point of reference and we disqualify ourselves. We look at our past failures and disappointments and allow them to inform our future. Our point of reference should be the complete work that Christ has done in our life, opening up a door to all sorts of possibilities.
Paul tells us it is not our own strength, it is God who is effectively at work in us, He is our source of strength, the power house on the inside of us. Not only does He give us the strength to do, He also gives us the strength to will. He works on the inside to change our desires and the things that attract us.
Who are you depending on? If you are looking at your own strength and abilities then you will fail miserably. Look to God and depend wholly on Him. Let your point of reference change from your past and limitations to the complete work that Christ has done in your life. Like David standing before Goliath, know that it’s got nothing to do with your personal abilities and shortcomings and everything to do with the God who lives on the inside of you.
What God demands you to do, He empowers you to do it!