When All Else Fails
There’s an adage often attributed to a “man’s” mentality: “When all else fails, read the instructions.” Why would you read the instructions last? It boils down to the idea that I can do it on my own. I don’t need help from anybody else.
Often, in life, we take that same mentality toward the situations we face. “I’ve got this, I don’t need help.” Unfortunately, that means that we miss out on so much.
Look at the children of Israel. If you know what comes in Exodus 20 (the 10 commandments), Exodus 19 makes a lot more sense. God says, “You have seen what I’ve done for you already, so if you’ll obey me going forward, I will bless you.” The Hebrews respond, “Whatever the Lord says, we will do.”
As we consider the rest of the Old Testament, did they do it? Not at all. They often turned away from God until all else failed, then returned to the One who is always faithful.
In Luke 22, the disciples are told to go prepare the Passover feast. He provides the place, the host, and the elements of the Passover meal. He then gives them the illustration of His body and blood. How quickly do they overlook the importance of what He is telling them? About two verses later, they are arguing about how important they are! They completely neglect the importance of what Jesus has just told them! Peter says, “It’s ok, I’ll always be faithful.” Jesus tells him that before the night is even over, Peter’s faithfulness will have failed.
Job 37 finds Job giving so many facts about why God is trustworthy, and worthy of fear (respect) but the following chapters still find God having to remind Job that Job doesn’t know everything. Sometimes we too waver between knowing God is trustworthy, and thinking we can do it without Him.
Finally, 2 Corinthians 7 begins with a motivation for forsaking our own way and following God in holiness: the promises that we have received. In the light of everything we have seen – how God was faithful to the children of Israel, how God’s power proved to Job that He was worthy of trust, how Jesus demonstrated his love through the sacrifice of Himself, and the promise that if we follow God, He will be a Father to us – how can we go to God “when all else fails”? Why don’t we start at that point?
Today, evaluate your actions. Do you do what you do because you trust yourself or because you trust God? Go to Him BEFORE all else fails!
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