“Doing things in one’s own strength”

Hi.
I’ve been wrestling with a couple of thoughts that all seem intertwined. I am worried or scared that in applying reason, I may “remove” or “displace” God from my thinking. In Luke 10 Jesus said: “He answered, “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ ” Clearly Jesus expects us to use our minds, God has given us this ability. Perhaps I am worried about forming my own reasoned thoughts that are not godly. Put another way…I want God to lead and guide me, but how do I marry this with my own thoughts or reasons? How can I ensure that the conclusions I draw are from God?

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Hi, Thomas! I’ve been wrestling with this topic in my own walk. The biggest things that have helped me so far is Biblical counsel from God-centered mentors (i.e. finding older friends who are Christ-centered).
I believe God expects us to trust Him and do our best for Him and not overthink it too much. If I mess up or make a mistake while trying to obey Him, I simply need to ask for forgiveness (1 John 1:9) and move on because I am not perfect! However, the more I spend time in His word (and with other disciples), the more my own thoughts and reasons align with His. You may have already read this but Philippians 4:6-7 might apply to this topic as well as Hebrews 11:6 or verses about how, “the righteous will live by faith.” Let me know if any of this helps.
In Christ,
-Daniel

Hey @Thomas_Wilson,
This passage in Luke 10:27 (also in Mark 12:29-31) is based off of the beginning of the Jewish Shemah in Deut. 6:4-5. The intent is that with all that you are and have, concentrate it on loving God. As broken and failing humans, we are prone to error, and it should be an awareness that we see thinly through a veil now (1 Cor. 13:12). The maturing of the mind is required and comes from the basic disciplines of a Christian’s daily life: reading scripture, praying, fasting, and spending time with other Christians doing the same in worship to God. This will aid you in being able to do as Paul spoke about:

Romans 12:1-2 NASB
[1] Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. [2] And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

With your growing familiarity in scripture, you should be able to take your mind and thoughts and weigh them with the Bible to validate whether or not what you are believing is aligned with God’s will. To get outside of your own head, the body of believers you fellowship with (your local church, Bible study group, and even RZIM) should be aiding you in growing more into spiritual maturity and helping you to refine your thinking (Prov. 17:27), supplying you with strength where you may be weak:

Ephesians 4:11-16 NASB
[11] And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, [12] for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; [13] until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. [14] As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; [15] but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, [16] from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.

We are all in this together, and have been given all we need to successfully pursue Him and to excel in righteousness (2 Pet. 1:3). I hope this helps in some way, and I’m praying for your confidence (2 Tim. 1:7) in Him who supplies you with everything you need to be in His will and love (Jn. 15:4,5,10). :slight_smile:

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@andrew.bulin @Dryke
Thanks for the comments and appreciate the thoughts. Listening to a sermon this morning was challenged again to consistently be in God’s word.

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