Not We Ourselves

Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Psalm 100:3, NIV

When life gets busy, responsibilities crowd, do you feel pressure to keep pace, to meet every demand on your own? Like Moses, when the people in the desert complained again about thirst and he cried, “Must we bring you water out of this rock?

God told him to speak to the rock, but Moses was so angry he struck it—twice—and although the water came, Moses lost his chance to enter the Promised Land. (Numbers 20:1-13 tells the whole story.)

After all Moses’ obedience, this seems a trifling thing, yet it was clearly a big deal to God. I think it’s because of the “Must we” that took responsibility—and therefore credit—for the miracle.

Moses hardly intended it that way, but that’s how it came out. And sometimes that’s how I feel when the pressure’s on and there’s not enough of me to go around. I forget there’s enough of God.

Somehow today’s one verse from a short psalm puts it all back in perspective for me. I’m not the real authority. Everything does not rest on me, no matter how it feels. (A footnote in the NIV says and we are his can be translated and not we ourselves. “It is he who made us, and not we ourselves” – that makes it even clearer.)

I can trust in God, because He is good. His love endures forever. (Click that link and you’ll see the NIV declares this phrase 41 times.)

Renewed perspective gives me a quietness and a confidence—from a psalm that tells us to shout to God.

Father, forgive me for getting distracted and relying on myself. You are God, and greatly to be praised. Help me trust You not to overload me with more than You want to accomplish through me. Help me stick with what You give and not to ignore it and try to do my own thing—or to cram my own interests in there with what You say is enough. You’re the Shepherd, I’m the sheep. And You are the Good Shepherd. Keep me close to Your side.

Here’s a good, soul-quieting song from Steven Curtis Chapman: “Be Still and Know.”

*New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

2 thoughts on “Not We Ourselves

  1. Margaret

    Hi Janet,

    I think we all share your same feelings and God knows how we are made…. He understands how we get overwhelmed because we don’t know how to “Be still” and know that He is God…. He can and will take care of us…. “It is he who made us, and not we ourselves”…. We need to go back to these truths every day….. Thank you for posting this.


    1. janetsketchley

      Margaret, one thing I’ve discovered is that the more we share our own struggles, the more we realize we’re not alone. And it’s the person who thinks they’re alone–and that nobody understands–who’s in the most danger.

      God is enough for us, and as you say we just need to be still. Love that verse. Be still and know that He is God. “Be still” can mean “cease striving”.

      I had a thought about those “Moses moments” when it all feels like it’s up to us–those are the “grown-up moments” when we’re trying to be responsible. (Of course, we’re supposed to be responsible, but only in relation to Him being more responsible.) We need the “child-like moments” to best enjoy fellowship with our Eternal Father.


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