4 Reasons for Us Not to Strive

“Do not strive in your own strength.”

– Andrew Murray

Depending on Yourself

When we start depending on ourselves for everything, we are choosing to not depend on God. We must depend on God for every bit of our salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9), so why shouldn’t we depend on Him for everything else in our life? If we lack wisdom, we only need to ask God (James 1:5). If we lean on God for understanding (Proverbs 3:5-6), we won’t depend on ourselves and we’ll fall less often.

Trusting in Yourself

Once again, Solomon’s wise advice is, “Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered” (Proverbs 28:26). So “trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5). You can trust an unseen God with those things that are seen. To trust in ourselves is to send a message to God: “God, I’m fine on my own. I don’t need you.” But surely that will not end well.

Relying on Yourself

Whoever leans on their own understanding will surely fall because it’s like leaning on air instead of leaning on the solid rock of Christ. Human wisdom is utter foolishness to God, so “be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil” (Proverbs 3:7). Otherwise, you are being wise in your own eyes; and the ways of mankind are fatally flawed.

Strength in Christ

The Apostle Paul could never have depended on his own strength for all that he went through. Therefore, he declared, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). The very opposite of this is true as well: We can do nothing without Christ strengthening us. Jesus even said, “Apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5); and nothing is not a little something!


Andrew Murray, in saying “do not strive in your own strength,” may have known from experience that his little something is nothing compared to God’s strength. He must have known that of himself, what he could do was not enough. But in Christ we cannot only do all things; we can do anything that is in the will of God (John 15:7).