“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.”
Do you remember that feeling when you were a kid and forget to study for a test? I sure do. It was awful and created a lot of anxiety! When facing challenging tasks I have found that I struggle far less with self-doubt if I am prepared. But, I have often felt confused about what’s my part, and what’s the Holy Spirit’s part. Jesus said that without Him we can do nothing. Does this mean we should not prepare and then simply trust that at just the right moment He will show up? No. In 2 Timothy 2:15 Paul writes that we are to do our best to be prepared so that we don’t feel ashamed or embarrassed. My part might be to become
so familiar with presenting the gospel that I don’t get nervous when witnessing to a friend. The Holy Spirit’s part is speaking through me and working in the heart of the other person to whom I am witnessing. Or, when writing a message my part is studying and practicing. Then when I get up to speak I can lay aside
my notes and ask the Holy Spirit to completely take over. Perhaps for you, your part is preparing an agenda for a meeting you will lead. If you prepare and
develop a plan for what needs to be covered in the meeting, you can relax and lean into the Holy Spirit for direction during the meeting. Maybe your part is to research homelessness or some other social issue in your city. Then when the Lord shows you the time is right you can serve intelligently and sensitively. The fruit – or the outcome of any task is the Holy Spirit’s part. Your part is to prepare.
How can we best prepare for the assignments God will give? One way is to become familiar with scripture. Spend a few minutes every day reading your Bible. If you don’t understand something, take the time to do some research on the passage. Spend time praying each day and asking God to help you to be ready for whatever He allows in your day. Open your heart to continue learning and growing both spiritually and vocationally.
Share your thoughts. How have you found that being prepared has helped to quiet the voices of self-doubt? Leave a comment and I’ll enter your name in a
drawing for a free copy of Finding Calm In Life’s Chaos.