Apart From Me You Can Do Nothing

Last week was extremely busy. Three programs, one field trip, my in-laws came to visit, and field day at school. I was running, running, running. When days are busy I don’t take good care of myself. I don’t sleep when I should, I don’t eat what I should. I begin to run on empty. Spiritually empty, physically drained, completely wiped out.

In fact my relationships suffer because I get so focused on what I have to do and getting it done that I forget to foster them. Then I don’t even foster my time with the Lord. Oh I read His word, but with my mind focused on what I need to do next so my heart isn’t tuned to Him. I can’t hear Him through the static of  what I think is so urgent.

There never seems enough time and I can never get enough done. My insides grow raw and irritated. Nothing seems right and I pout or sulk or feel sorry for myself. In this raw yucky state I begin to question life, my purpose, my direction. Then doubt settles in.

“Who am I to teach God’s word? I can’t even keep a home and three kids much less be spiritual enough to show others God! Maybe I should stop. Stop everything.”

My logical mind steps in and tries to reason with my unruly emotions.

“God has called me. I know it. He has confirmed each step. I just have to be obedient to take each step.”

Then my emotions take charge again.

“How do you know what IS the next step?”

I am so spiritually dry and disconnected that I don’t hear God’s voice of reason and truth. His word doesn’t come to mind to remind me that He loves me, He has plans for me, or even that I just need more of Him. Instead I wallow.

Then my pastor says something during service on Sunday. He reminds me that when I even try to do ministry apart from God I can do nothing. Bottom line. When I think I can do things without Him, when I try to do things in my own strength, He reminds me that I can’t. He steps up and tells me

“Apart from Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)

Apart from Him all this writing is just words on a page. Apart from Him the all persuasive speaking in the world is just hot air. Apart from Him teaching His word will never result in lives changed. It isn’t me, it is Him. More of Him and less of me. Oh that my life would be founded on that plea. That every step I take, every word I write, every phrase I utter be filled with His Spirit.

Thus begins my list of things I for which I am thankful…

481. It isn’t about me, it is about God.

482. I can never do enough and God doesn’t expect me to.

483. Grace is sufficient for me, so I don’t have to work it out. God already did.

484. Jesus’ death and resurrection, I don’t deserve it!

485. My husband who puts up with my moods.

486. My children and their growing faith. God is good.

487. Friends who lost their home in a fire are all safe.

488. Teaching my children and myself that change is hard, but God is good.

489. Freedom in Christ to be the woman He called me to be.

490. Little voices squealing in delight as daddy chases them.

491. The opportunity to give

492. God gives direction and wisdom when we seek Him

493. Three health children

494. Sunshine

495. Cool spring temperatures

496. Spell check (I am a terrible speller)

497. My husband, my biggest cheerleader

498. My parents who are walking out their faith before me

499. Unforeseen opportunities that may pan out or not

500. Watching a friend make a difference

501. Praying for friends

502. Starting cleaning out my room for an office/craft space for me.

503. The sound of birds chirping in the crisp Spring morning

504. My in-laws, they came to visit last weekend and it was a great time.

505. Taking the time to read a book for fun this weekend. (Francine Rivers rocks!)


What are you thankful for? What are you doing apart from God that you need to wait for Him to move? Can’t wait to hear what God is doing!

Consider jumping in and leaving a comment or subscribing through e-mail or RSS feed. I can’t wait to hear from you all!

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8 Responses to Apart From Me You Can Do Nothing

  1. Daniel Mackey says:

    I’m thankful for living in this great nation, the United States of America! I’m thankful for our armed services. I’m thankful for my job and my house. I’m thankful for my family and friends. And of course I’m thankful for God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit!

  2. D2 says:

    I’m thankful for children’s pastors who are willing to challenge their young charges. I’m thankful for discipleship pastors who are committed to reaching out to those who most desperately need to get connected to a church body. I’m thankful for worship pastors who willing to put in hours upon hours of work to prepare and execute a wonderful Easter program. I’m thankful for student pastors who aren’t afraid to step outside of the box to carry out a church’s vision. I’m thankful for associate pastors who work behind the scenes, making sure things get done. I’m thankful for a senior pastors who can delegate and have confidence in his church to carry on in his absence.

    Indeed, I’m thankful for all of these pastors who give proper credit to Jesus Christ, for apart from him we can do nothing.

    • Daniel,

      We are certainly blessed to have such wonderful pastors at our church! All those men are wonderful leaders and amazing men of God. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Nicole says:

    I love the humble thought of it take’s God helping. I know of the unexpected oppurtunities, they are a blessing even when they do not always pan out. A blessing to have stopped by!

  4. Kenji says:

    Great piece Angela, praise God for leading me to this website. Everything you wrote in bold described what I’m going through now so clearly. But God is good all the time, regardless of whether or not we get what we want. Thank you for reminding me of that! Apart from Him, we can indeed do nothing. And praise God that He draws us back to Him when we inevitably fall by the wayside.

    Thank you again and God bless =)

    • Angela_Mackey says:


      I am so glad that this blessed you! I feel so honored that God would use my words to bless others. God bless you too.

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