I love that Bible verse (1 John 1:7) about people just needing to walk in the "light" that they have.  It's a great passage to support the fact that God does not require more of us than what we have the background and experience to grasp.  However, even with that verse, I have found that it's a lot easier to see what we need to do than to actually do it.  Our theory very quickly outstrips our ability to practice it.  So what do we do when our "light" exceeds our "walk"?

Four words from The Lord's Prayer ("Thine is the power.”  Matthew 6:13) sum up a very important part of our walk with God, and that is our absolute dependence on his merciful help in order to keep on walking.

When we proclaim that the power all comes from God we are not asking for anything (which so often is what we think of as prayer), and it only barely comes into the area of praise.  Mostly it acts as a personal reminder of our total dependence on God even for our strength to trust him and obey him.

"Power" is often seen as a political characteristic.  But today I'm thinking of the word more in the sense of personal spiritual "strength", something I find myself falling short of so often.  Somewhere between walking in the Light and recognising that all strength ultimately comes from God is a merging of our will with his power to accomplish that will.

These four words are a declaration that all power (strength) ultimately comes from God.  This is, perhaps, the most comforting line in all of the Lord’s Prayer, as it recognises God's role in any goodness that we might ever hope to accomplish.

There is a great old hymn (Just a Closer Walk with Thee) that includes two relevant lines:  "I am weak, but thou art strong.  Jesus, keep me from all wrong.”  

Whatever faults, failings, or weaknesses we have, there is comfort that comes from knowing that they can be overcome by God's omnipotence as revealed through Jesus... whether it be his grace to forgive or his strength working to enable us to do what needs to be done.

It is like the story of the mouse and the elephant that cross a bridge:  Boom!  boom!  boom!  At the other side, the mouse looks up at the elephant and says, "Boy, we sure shook that bridge, didn't we?"

Declaring that all power comes from God emphasises our total need for him at all times.  As Paul wrote (1 Corinthians 1:26-27): "You see your calling, brethren, how that not many ... mighty ... are called; ... but God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty."

Some have falsely assumed that this declaration of our helplessness opens the door for us to give up trying to be good altogether.  Quite the opposite is true.  Whatever tiny grain of strength we might have has come to us from God.  We are duty-bound to use that strength wisely.  By planting that tiny seed of strength, by doing what we are able to do, and then by crying out to God for more of his power, we will soon find ourselves growing in his strength.

The Lord's Prayer identifies God the Father as the source of all power.  Jesus said that we would receive power from the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8).  And Paul gives us that great Superman clause when he says, "I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me."  (Philippians 4:13)  So we see that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, are all there to enable us to do God's will.

It is comforting to know that this power does not ultimately come from ourselves.  All we can do is all we can do; then the mighty power of God must kick in.  Sometimes it can come dramatically, like a shot of heavenly adrenaline; but at other times he works more slowly, allowing us time to experience our own weakness sufficiently to appreciate the truth of our dependence on him.

Because our strength comes from God, we need to keep the channels of communication open with him, through prayer and through obedience as he enables us to obey.  Sometimes I feel like all I can do is to beg for more strength, when I have come to the end of myself.  It is not enough that I know what I should do; I need his strength to enable me to do it.

In some churches, people pray each week for forgiveness for the things they have done which they should not have done and for the things they have left undone which they should have done.  Paul expressed this same frustration when he cried out, "The good that I would [like to do] I do not: but the evil which I would not [like to do], that I do...Oh wretched man that I am! ... With my mind I serve the law of God, but with the flesh I serve the law of sin."  (Romans 7:19, Romans 7:24-25)

Returning to the words of that great hymn, it goes on to say, "I'll be satisfied as long as I walk (Let me walk.) close to thee.”  

This song reminds us that God is the source of our strength.  We just need to reach out to him, "praying without ceasing" for more of his strength, and thus creating this closer walk with him.

So, in conclusion, let us pray constantly for God’s strength, and remember “without ceasing” that, without his help, we are lost.  For it is out of our recognition of our own weakness that we come to most appreciate the power of his great love.