What do you do when you've done all you can do? For some reason that one, quite perplexing question reminds me of a passage of Scripture, though the context may seem out of place: "and having done all, stand" (cf. Eph. 6:13). Paul, instructing us in times of personal battles of how to be "strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power," encourages us to take up the whole armor of God, "so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm" (Eph. 6:13 NRSV). But what does he mean by stand?
When trials and trouble come, we tend to fall apart, not stand; we tend to fall or break down, not stand firm. We battle, however, not from a place of potential failure but on the rock solid foundation of all that Christ Jesus accomplished for us. Our battles, if you will, actually belong to the Lord -- He will fight on our behalf. The ultimate war of good and evil, light and darkness, life (eternal) and death (eternal) has already been won by Christ.
When we encounter various trials, we do so from the perspective that our Conquering King has already won the victory. We are seated with (and are united in) Christ in the heavenlies (Eph. 1:3, 20; 2:6). What we battle now is the mere aftermath of the sin nature and some brazen rogue devils (who are given a measure of free will in our sovereign God's world). Still, we are called to the Fight, but our landscape and prospect are not as they once were.
What do you do when you've done all you can do? You stand -- stand in full assurance of the goodness, faithfulness, and promises of God to you in Christ. You stand -- stand still and know that He is God, that He alone can change the circumstances. You stand -- on your knees, continuing to pray, relying on Him to make a path where none yet seems possible. You stand -- firm in your faith, not wavering, because you realize that only God can make the difference. You stand -- in reality, realizing and confessing your own limitations, while you rely faithfully and solely by trust in God's limitless abilities.
You can't change the world; you're not God. You're not in control of the life and heart of any individual. You have a difficult enough time trying to keep yourself in line -- you can't make anyone else make right choices. Do what you're called of the Lord to do and leave governing the universe to Him.
Yes, that individual may be breaking your heart. Yes, you hate to see all of the consequences of the bad choices that are being made. You don't know whether to cry or cuss -- and perhaps you've tried them both! Maybe you want to give up. But giving up in the midst of the struggle never truly solved any bad situation. You must, for your own sanity and sanctification, realize that you can only do so much. When you have done all that you can do, stand.
This post was written anonymously. The original post can be found here: http://credendum.weebly.com/1/post/2014/04/doing-all-you-can-do.html
BE A MAN.