Without You

Life is changing drastically for me as of late. I am now two weeks removed from my employment in corporate America. Self-employment is my shtick. I am five months into my treatment for severe clinical depression, and I can safely say that my number of good days is far surpassing the number of bad days. I have a girlfriend whom I love very much. You could say that things are starting to look up for me.

While my freelance writing, editing, and voice over business is just getting off the ground, I am astounded at how quickly I am taking on new clients. Just a few days ago, I unexpectedly became the public relations writer for a national athletic organization. In a day or two, all indications point to me doing some long-term writing for a heart attack and stroke prevention organization. From a strictly human point of view, looks like my business is shaping up quite nicely.

However…

At every turn I see that in my own power, I fall flat. My pride, my arrogance, my procrastination, my laziness, my defiance, my lack of faith prevent me from working well and block my diligence. In and of myself, no skill that I possess can grow a business. No knowledge of mine can impress potential clients. No personality attribute in my arsenal can contribute to my “bottom line.” I am just a man in need of the saving life of Christ.

Anything good that comes from my mouth, my pen, my mind, or my heart, comes directly from the benevolence of the Lord. I can’t generate one iota of kindness. I can’t conjure up a shred of decency. I can’t brew one drop of love in this heart of mine. It’s just not possible.

BUT God can. He resides in me through the power of the Holy Spirit. The prophet Ezekiel heard from God, that He desires to turn our hearts from stone into flesh. The Power Source is Christ living in me. I can’t wrap my mind around this concept, but I am grateful that the God of the Universe desires relationship with me. I’m floored that He wants to be in the presence of His people. So much, in fact, that he calls our bodies “temples.” Throughout the Old Testament, God dwelled in the innermost part of the temple. He wanted to be among His chosen people. He wasn’t obligated to, but He desired that closeness, that proximity.

Now, through the new covenant ushered in through God’s Son, we have direct access to God. The profound truth of Galatians 2:20 is not to be taken lightly. Christ living in me is the only way I can live the Christian life. Part of our growing process, “sanctification,” comes through our cooperation with the Holy Spirit in our lives. I have that moment by moment choice of “walking in the Spirit,” or operating in the flesh. When I yield control, my mind is renewed, and my heart is turned to “flesh.” He, alone, gives me the ability to love, to live, to learn, to lean on Him. It’s all from Him and all for Him.

In John 15:5, Jesus exerts, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” Nada. Zip. Zilch. Zero. Alone, I am nothing. I’m so glad He empowers us to move.

I love the Bebo Norman song “I Have Nothing Without You.” It’s been ringing through my mind all evening.
______________________________________________________________________________________________
Take these hands and lift them up
For I have not the strength to praise You near enough
See I have nothing, I have nothing without You

Take my voice and pour it out
Let it sing the songs of mercy I have found
For I have nothing, I have nothing without You

Chorus:
All my soul needs
Is all Your love to cover me
So all the world will see
That I have nothing without You

Take my body and build it up
May it be broken as an offering of love
For I have nothing, I have nothing without You

All my soul needs
Is all Your love to cover me
So all the world will see
That I have nothing
But I love You

With all my heart
With all my soul
With all my mind
With all the strength that I can find

Take my time here on this earth
And let it glorify all that You are worth
For I am nothing,
I am nothing without You

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