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What Does it Mean to be in Striving?

by Rick King  
8/01/2013 / Christian Living

By: Rick L. King
August 1, 2013

Have you ever had the Holy Spirit tell you that you were striving? Well I have and it seems I keep learning a very valuable lesson as a result. Of course I am probably the only one that learns something from the Lord and later on realizes that I had to learn it again.

There is a funny twist to striving that once we get a hold of it sure can make a difference in our actions and the way that we think. Have you ever wanted to do something and became determined to see it happen? Has the Lord ever told you something and you go all out thinking that you are pleasing the Lord and doing what He requested yet for some reason it just never seems to work out? Our motives can seem so correct yet we can be so wrong. The next scriptures are a perfect example of what I am attempting to convey.

Luke 5:
4 Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.
5 And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.
6 And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake.

Simon had fished all night and caught nothing. I am sure that his motive seemed fine as he needed to eat and make a living. Yet no matter how much that he tried, he could not catch any fish. The Bible tells us in Mathew:

6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

God tells us to seek Him first then all things will be added unto us. Our job is to seek and it is God's job to supply. We are also told in Zechariah:

4:6 Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.

We are told in the previous passage that it is not about our efforts or ability to do something. It is by God's Spirit working through us. God's Spirit works through us as we are obedient to His voice or word to us. Instead of our focus being on self to do something it should be on hearing the voice of the Lord and just being obedient to what we are told to do. Then all things are added unto us. The world and the church for the most part have taught us that it is pretty much about using our ability or strength. We ask the Lord to give us strength to do what we think that we should do. Yet, where is the Holy Spirit in all of our thinking? We seem to have this backwards. Instead of asking the Lord to enable us to do what we think or want, we should be seeking the Lord, finding out what He wants, and then just being obedient to Him. For some reason it has become about us instead of it being about Him. Jesus himself said that He came to do God's will not His own. He said of himself that He could do nothing. If we are truly crucified with Christ and it is Him living through us then it should never be about us. Besides if we are a dead man then how can a dead man run things? We must learn to surrender to His control and give up our own.

I know that many may frown on some things that I say yet they are scriptural and I know to be true. When we were under the law we tried to do things in our own strength. Yet no person was able to keep the law except Jesus, correct? When we take God's Word and attempt to walk it out by our flesh we are putting self in control and under the law. Jesus fulfilled the law. When we listen to and are obedient to the Holy Spirit we keep the law yet we are not focusing on the law. Our focus is only on obedience to His requests. Can you hopefully see the difference here? We cannot be religious. We are told to walk in the Spirit and to not fulfill the lusts of the flesh (Galatians 5:16). We cannot ever leave out the Holy Spirit if we are going to truly follow the Lord and please Him. It can never be about our works. It is about our surrender to Jesus and the Holy Spirit and our allowing them to run our lives. We give them control and give up our own control. We cannot say that we are crucified with Christ and still be running our lives. Our lives are not our own. When we get saved we give them to Jesus. I have heard this for years and it is so true. If Jesus is not Lord of all, then Jesus is not Lord at all.

Striving then is us doing things by our flesh and leaving out the Holy Spirit. It is very religious as it puts the ability on our flesh instead of on the Holy Spirit. When I first learned this the Holy Spirit told me this:

Rick you have been striving. I told you to do this thing but I did not tell you to do it without ME.

Here I thought that I was being obedient yet I was leaving out His power and ability. He must lead and empower. Anything done by or through our flesh cannot please God. I mean anything!

Romans 8:8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

What this actually does then is that it causes us to get out of our own works and draw near to the Lord in fasting and prayer. We learn to wait on the Lord until He speaks to us and gives to us direction and guidance. This is what "Seek Ye First" means. We learn that it is only about Him and not us. We learn to rely on the Holy Spirit instead of self. This is called intimacy with the Lord. It is called having a personal relationship with Him. This is what God desires for every one of His kids. Unless we can learn the lesson on striving then we can never truly surrender to His Lordship and allow Him to run our lives. It is a very important and valuable truth that we all must learn. This is how we walk in power. It becomes Him through us just the same way that Jesus also walked. He was our example. If He was required to do this and we are crucified, then He is still doing now through us.

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