What Do You Do When You've Done All You Can?
Gospel recording artist Donnie McClurkin composed a popular song titled “Stand” (Released September 25, 2007 under the Verity Label https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RuMLBhrKHsA). It's a song written for inspiration and encouragement in the midst of a personal storm. During the song the artist ask a question, while at the same time proposing a universal answer:
“Tell me, what do you do, When you've done all you can do and it seems like it's never enough. Tell me what do you say When your friends turn away, and you're all alone, so alone. Tell me, what do you give, when you've given your all, and Seems like you can't make it through . Well, you just stand, When there's nothing left to do ,You just stand, watch the Lord see you through .Yes, after you've done all you can, You just stand “
It’s unquestionably one of the most inspirational and spiritually enlightening songs of its genre and during your darkest hour the song appear to be all you need to get through. However, as enlightening and inspiring as it may be, it is just a song, and after a few minutes of comfort you’re still left with your problem. Perhaps the burdens are a little lighter but you still have your problem. So what do you do when you’ve done all you can, and God seemingly is nowhere to be found?
One option, as the song suggests is to wait on the Lord and He will see you through - or will He? The reality of this assumption is that millions of people have died waiting on the Lord to see them through. The biblical writers reminds us that after the crucifixion of Christ and His short return to earth in the spirit/flesh He ascended to heaven telling his disciples that He would return - that was approximately over two thousand and fourteen years ago. Since then all the disciples have died, some violently - waiting on the Lord. Everyone who knew Jesus and witnessed his miracles has all died. Those whom He healed and brought back from the dead have all died, some twice - like Lazarus!
In the meantime we’ve gone through several world wars, famines, natural disasters and we’re still waiting on Jesus’ return. We’ve survived a few doomsday prophecies - but we’re still waiting. There are a lot of people on this earth who are suffering daily from both man made and natural disasters who are at their rope’s end but the song tells them to just stand. We’ve lost loved ones to violence at the hands of selfish, greedy people and the song tells us to just stand. We’ve witnessed death and destruction on massive scales but just stand! We’ve seen innocent children raped, sold into slavery and in some instances murdered - but just stand! People are losing their jobs, their homes, and families are falling apart but the song suggests that the best solution is to just stand! “After you’ve done all you can do, you just stand and watch the Lord see you through!”
The lyrics sound very peaceful but are they reasonable? Is it reasonable to just stand and wait for the unexpected, the unknown, and possibly the unacceptable to happen, if it happens at all? Is it prudent to wait for the Lord to see you through when millions have died over a period of approximately two thousand and fourteen years, hundreds of thousands within the last year – just waiting? Is it reasonable to trust someone you can’t see and don’t really know? Human nature suggests that it is in fact, unreasonable! Human nature suggests that when you’ve done all you can you don’t stand, you blame someone else and walk away from your faith. Human nature suggests that only a fool would wait on the impossible, the unexpected, and the unacceptable!
Then again, human nature just may be the problem!
The biblical writers take us to the book of Genesis chapter 1 verse 26 in an effort to explain why we must stand and wait on the Lord.
“Then God said, Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth,” (Gen. 1:26, NASB).
This delegation of authority puts the responsibility of stewardship of the earth at the feet of man. God maintained that which is above the earth - the spiritual heavens, while man has the responsibility for that which is below the heavens - the carnal earth. This is a covenant between God and man to co-manage His earthly creation. In relinquishing this earthly authority God committed to not get involved in the affairs of man on earth - unless He is invited to do so. This explains why God did not stop Eve from consuming the forbidden fruit in the garden. That was Adams' responsibility. God knew their decision was wrong but without approved authority to intervene there wasn’t anything He could do - therefore, He simply watched them self destruct.
Man is made of dirt, given a spirit by the breath of God. God is spirit. Man, as a dirt man can not enter into the spiritual realms of God (heaven) unless he physically dies and his spirit is released from the carnal sin of the flesh. God can not (will not) enter the carnal realm of man unless He comes in the flesh and is invited to do so. This is why Jesus had to be born of the flesh and while in the flesh even He had limited access to the heavens except through prayer – which He did often. Being born of the flesh was the only way God could legally enter man’s domain to save him, without breaking the covenant of earthly stewardship.
On the other hand the Bible tells us that God in omnipresent, meaning that He is everywhere at all times - but the manifestation of His Spiritual powers in the carnal world is limited to an invitation. An example would be having a world renowned chef standing in your kitchen. He is a proven chef, with the ability to cook, but he’s just standing there watching you burn the meals. He sees you struggling but he just stands there. The chef is there but the manifestation of his abilities is not being revealed. Why, because he’s given you authority to manage the kitchen. You are in charge and he can not interfere least he goes back on his word. But, if you ask him to help, and you give him the authority to help, then he will manifest, or reveal his abilities by stepping in and solving your problem. We think when bad things happen that God is a silent, absent partner. God is not absent; He is simply waiting for man to give up his efforts to solve the problem and give Him (God) the authority to enter the carnal world so He can manifest His power to save man.
Whenever we pray we are inviting God to intervene in our lives - and by doing so we must trust Him and give Him the authority to satisfy His will - not ours! In the process we may lose a few things in our lives such as people, money, and material goods – or – we may gain these things. God is no respecter of persons, places or things. When we’ve done all we can do and things are still messed up then we need to give God full authority to manifest His spiritual powers in our domain. Until we’re willing to do this, He will watch us suffer. It sounds harsh but it’s a covenant contract made with man centuries ago. God’s original plans for man is described in the Book of Jeremiah chapter 29, verse 11 "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” God’s original plan was that man should live forever and after the fall man should die in peace. This plan however was contingent on man working with God, and not against Him.
Through God man has the technological resources to solve the problems within his carnal domain but he must partner with God for the spiritual solutions. Man has the technology to make life easier. Man has doctors who can heal sickness and prolong lives. Man will travel to far away planets seeking other life forms for knowledge but man will never seek the one thing that will bring him peace - which is God.
The new Testament offers valuable lessons and evidence of the positive outcome when we invite God into our carnal world. After the feeding of the five thousand Jesus instructed the disciples to get into a boat and go to the other side of the sea. In an effort to renew their faith He sent them directly into a storm. Jesus himself went to the mountain top and prayed. But from His position on the mountain He could see the disciples and monitored their actions in the face of the storm. He saw that they were in trouble but it was long into the fourth hour before they called on Him. He was there watching them, but the magnification of His powers was not revealed until He received an open invitation for help. He then walked calmly on the water to intervene and save them. In every instance of Biblical history where Jesus healed someone it was by open invitation from the person requesting the miracle - and they were willing to trust the outcome, whether it was favorable to them or not. A few examples was the man at the pool of Bethesda, the Woman with the issue of blood, the Roman soldier, the Thief on the cross.
When we exclude God’s authority in our lives there is nothing left to do except suffer. But, when we invite God into our carnal lives and give Him spiritual authority then the lyrics of the song are more than reasonable when it advises:
“Just stand, when there's nothing left to do, you just stand, watch the Lord see you through. Yes, after you've done all you can, you just stand “
Whatever trials or storms you're facing right now - give it to God, and give Him the trust and authority to magnifest His Miraculous abilities to calm your rough seas........
God sees your pain and know that you are struggling. All He's waiting for is an invitation....not a prayer that things get better, but an invitation into your carnal world so He can make things better and prepare you for spiritual blessings!