Without me you can do nothing…
These words of Christ encourage us to depend on Him at all times and in all situations. The challenge to us is to surrender our pride to Him and let Him take the credit for our lives. So long as we try to serve Him for our own credit, we have not surrendered our pride. So long as we want some recognition, some respect, some vindication, some praise, or some affirmation, we will not have yet surrendered our pride. The only way we can really stand in His strength is to stand wholly for His sake and not for our own.
This is not to say that we should not encourage one another, or that we should not expect and welcome the encouragement that comes our own way. The issue is whether we demand it and think ourselves deserving of it, for then it simply means that we are seeking to do something without Christ. To stand in the strength and power of Christ means that we come to the end of our self and let Christ become all to us, and all through us.
When we only want others to see Christ in us, and not ourselves, then the amazing result is that we begin to see ourselves in the same way, and life becomes an adventure of following Him. The wonderful truth is that it is much more exciting and interesting to follow Christ than to follow our own egos.
Lord, forgive us when we stand in our strength, for our own prideful reputations. What matters is that we experience You as we follow You. Be our strength and our Life. Amen.