Have you ever lifted something heavy and told yourself, “Lift with your legs! Lift with your legs” and then yell out, “Oh! I hurt my back”? Just telling ourselves to “lift with our legs” doesn’t mean that we will necessarily do it.
In life situations I tell myself, “Rely on God! Rely on God!” and then I proceed to rely on myself. I said the right thing to myself, but myself didn’t listen. And when I rely upon myself, I end up ushering in anxiety and fear and faithlessness without even realizing.
Going into 2013 one of my focus scriptures is Paul’s prayer for the Ephesian Christians:
For this reason I kneel before the Father,  from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name.  I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,  so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,  may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,  and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,  to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (Ephesians 3:14-21)
As I read through this prayer the other day, God gave me an insight I had not had before. Paul prays that (1) that they may be strengthened with power through the Spirit in their inner being, (2) that Christ may dwell in their heart, and (3) that they may be filled with all the fullness of God.
The Spirit, Jesus and God—all indwelling us, empowering us, filling us up! As I was reading this, I was sitting in my car overlooking a quiet pastoral scene in Tennessee. But what I was imagining was spiritual explosions going off inside me with so much power surging and crackling within!!
I am reminded that in every way possible I have been given the power to “lift with my faith.” I pray God will help me to rely on him in simple, new and inventive ways. How about you?