Scott Jones – Gilbert Campus Pastor
“I got this!” That’s what I thought right before I threw my back out. It was Friday by my pool. Not “in” the pool. Outside of the pool while I was skimming leaves. It’s great having a pool in Arizona except I don’t have a pool guy. Actually I do; it’s my son Noah but he wasn’t around when I saw something floating on the surface. So I got my skimmer out to scoop some of the leaves that were close to the edge where I was standing. And that’s when I saw it.The cursed bougainvillea flower. They have a natural love for pool water. It was on the other side of the pool. I extended my arm to scoop it but came up a few inches short. It seemed like a waste of time to walk around the other side of the pool to get it. (First world problems, I know.) Then I looked at the skimmer and I remembered that it had an extension that would give me an extra several feet or reach. All I had to do was loosen the handle and pull out the extension. And that’s when I thought, “I got this!” Meaning, “I don’t need to do that. I don’t need to access that resource. I will just go for it on my own.” So with one foot on the edge of the pool deck and the other on the waterfall I lunged forward to get my nemesis. And that’s when it happened. I completely hyperextended a muscle in my back and the pain nearly threw into he pool. Worst of all? I didn’t even get the flower!
How many times in our spiritual lives have we said, “I got this” when all along God has given us a resource that “extends” our reach?
One of my favorite verses is Ephesians 3:20 where the writer Paul says that we are able to do “immeasurably more than we ask or even imagine according to the power that works within us.” Every follower of Jesus has been given the Holy Spirit who extends our ability from the natural to the supernatural. But it seems like we approach so many situations in life with an “I got this” mentality and we try to do it on our own.
How many times have we hyperextended a spiritual muscle because we didn’t use the resource that God has given us?
Every day, maybe every hour of our lives we are faced with choices. And we have to decide in those moments whether we will act on in our own strength or in the strength that God has given us by his Spirit. And the choice we make will immediately or ultimately affect our success, our relationships, our influence, even our eternity.
- If you are the mother of toddlers, you need the Holy Spirit to extend patience to them.
- If you are the leader of a team, you need the Holy Spirit to extend inspiration to them.
- If you work for an unreasonable boss, you need the Holy Spirit to extend grace to them.
- If you’ve been wounded by a friend, you need the Holy Spirit to extend forgiveness to them.
Any vision for life that we can accomplish on our own is always a lesser vision.
The vision that God has for us requires more than our human capacity has to offer. That’s not a flaw in God’s design. It’s the genius of his design. Scripture reminds us in Galatians 5 that the Holy Spirit empowers us to extend…
love joy peace
patience kindness goodness
gentleness faithfulness self-control
……to any person and in any situation where we need it. These are the most powerful resources that we could ever draw upon.
When Jesus said, “Apart from me you can do nothing,” (John 15:5) he didn’t mean that we can’t do anything at all. He meant that we can’t anything in a way that will honor God and produce the greatest spiritual result if we do it in our own strength. There is always a greater influence, a greater impact and a greater result when our actions are infused by the Spirit who is able to do “immeasurably more than we ask or even imagine.”
So if you’re skimming your pool this week and you see that pesky little flower floating on the opposite side, extend your skimmer. Trust me on that one. And the next time you are in a situation that is beyond you, don’t do it on your own. Partner with the Holy Spirit and let him say, “I got this!”