I have this problem. A weakness, if you will. It’s a problem that I know is a problem, but I like to dress it up as a strength because then I can pretend it’s a good thing when I pull it out. I am sure I am the only one who does this, but just in case someone else can relate, let me put this out there.

Here is my dressed up problem: I am a fighter. Not in the sense that I have a bad temper or like to argue (let’s not debate that last point, though). I am a fighter in the sense that if there is a problem, in my opinion, the best thing to do is just work it out. Surely there is an instant solution, and if we buckle down immediately, then we can fix this. In an overwhelming situation? Deal with it. Strategize a plan, attack the plan, solve the problem, move on. In fact, just on Tuesday someone mentioned that I am known say, “Fake it till you make it.” I believe a lot in that statement, but maybe it shouldn’t be my go-to. Maybe this “trudge through the situation until you’re in a place you can stand” attitude of mine gets me deeper into trouble more often than it makes my life easier.

The problem with putting heels and pearls on this part of my personality is that it’s all dependent on me. I ask myself, “Who can I call,” “What can I do,” “What is my first step,” “Where do I start,” and then I go and do those things. I muster all the strength I have and just do it. In my experience, this is all well and good until I am exhausted and have nothing left to give. But what if my situation hasn’t changed? What if I am still in trouble or in the wrong place? What do I do then?

Can I get an amen from those of you who have found yourself there before? I’d be curious to hear your story, how long you were able to power through on your own before you realized that you, like me, missed the most crucial step in the game plan. Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians:

For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.
— 2 Corinthians 10:3

Do you see where I am going, what I have done wrong? I have access to this divine power, and the first thing I do is assemble all of mine. I think it’s in our human nature to work to survive and fight our way to the desired outcome. But our human nature is not what is working within us to win our battles, to knock down our walls, or to restore us to our people. Our human nature is making us tired and weary and small. All the while, God waits for us to, “overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of [our] testimony.” (Revelation 12:11)

Our resolutions don’t stick, goals aren’t met, problems aren’t solved when we put ourselves to work. When we use our power we do not overcome, we are overcome. God’s intentions are not for us to power through, but to power up. And maybe this year that is the only real thing I need to change.