Devotional Series: Can't Do It Alone

A mother holding her son on her lap and smiling at him

Right From the Start Jesus Didn’t Do It Alone

From the very beginning of his existence on earth, Jesus was not alone. He began human life in the womb of his mother. He grew up in a faithful and loving family. He had plenty of friends and relatives in the community in where he lived, people with whom he shared the good and the hard things of life. When God came to be among us as a human being, God in human flesh was not alone, right from the start. So it should be with us. If we’re to live as Jesus lived, we can’t do it alone. 

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Mt. Hermon and the Sea of Tiberias

The Pleasure of Unity

Though our relationships can be a source of pain and frustration, when we are living and working together in unity, this can be “very good and pleasant.” That’s what we learn from Psalm 133. Working, leading, and sharing life with others can be a generous and delightful gift of God. 

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Two wooden mannequins who appear to be fighting each other

Relationships Can Be Difficult

Though it’s true that if we want to experience the best life has to offer we can’t do it alone, this doesn’t mean sharing life and leadership with others is easy. Relationships with other people can foster some of the greatest joy in life and some of the greatest pain. Recognizing this reality encourages us to reach out to God for help. Through God’s grace in Christ, we are able to be patient with each other, to put up with and forgive those with whom we are “doing” the Christian life. 

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A rope with a knot tied in it

Not Just for Weddings

Ecclesiastes 4:9 is popular at weddings. It begins: “Two are better than one.” But the truth of this biblical passage relates to more than just marriage. No matter what we’re going through in life, we need other people. And we need Christ woven into all of our relationships, all of our activities, all of our defeats, all of our victories. 

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Max De Pree and Walter Wright, Jr. sitting at a table talking to each other

Elijah the Mentor

As the Old Testament prophet Elijah was coming to the end of his life, God told him to anoint his successor, a younger man named Elisha. Elisha followed Elijah for several years, serving him and learning from him. The relationship between Elijah and Elisha suggests that one way we “don’t do it alone” is through mentoring. When a mentor comes alongside a mentee in a caring, learning relationship, both mentee and mentor benefit greatly.

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A man and boy praying by the Wailing Wall

Moses Didn’t Do It Alone, Part 10

As Moses came to the end of his life, he wanted to be sure that the Israelites would be well-led when he died. So he asked the Lord for help. God instructed Moses to choose Joshua as his successor, publicly endorsing the younger man. The example of Moses reminds us that part of not “doing it alone” is recognizing that we won’t always be doing what we are doing now in our work, both paid and unpaid. Like Moses, we can be intentional about seeing that our work continues on after we are no longer doing it.

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A man putting a wedding ring on a woman's finger

Moses Didn’t Do It Alone, Part 9

Exodus 19 shows us that God set the Israelites free from Egypt, not only so that individuals might enjoy a fruitful life, but also so that the people of Israel would enter into a covenant relationship with God and with each other. We will experience the abundant life God has for us when we live in a deep, committed relationship with God and God’s people.  

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A group of people in a circle joining hands at the center

Moses Didn’t Do It Alone, Part 8

Exodus 18 reminds us that wise delegation is essential if we’re not going to “do it alone.” We must delegate appropriately if our work is going to be both successful and sustainable. But even the very best delegation doesn’t eliminate the need for God’s presence and guidance. Only with God’s help will we be able to delegate and manage in a way that leads to productivity and peace. 

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Two construction workers looking out over a construction site

Moses Didn’t Do It Alone, Part 7

The example of Moses challenges and encourages us to be humble leaders. This means we will be open to receiving advice from others and, at times, even criticism. Our top commitment will be, not to our own egos, but rather to the flourishing of whatever it is we’re leading: a company, a school, a city, a church, a non-profit, a studio, or a family. In this way we will not do it alone.

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A woman and a man talking over a laptop in a conference room

Moses Didn’t Do It Alone, Part 6

After leading the Israelites out of Egypt, Moses sought to govern them. But that task was more than he could handle. His father-in-law, out of care for Moses, encouraged him to delegate substantial portions of his work. Moses listened to his father-in-law and gave many of his responsibilities to others. Moses was able to receive criticism from his father-in-law because of his obvious care for Moses and his commitment to the work Moses was doing.

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A group of people seen from the floor standing in a circle and linking hands

Moses Didn’t Do It Alone, Part 5

A story in Exodus illustrates powerfully the fact that we “can’t do it alone” when it comes to our work and leadership. God set things up so that Moses had to rely on the help of Aaron and Hur if the Israelites were going to prevail in battle. You and I need our own “Aarons and Hurs,” those who support us in our work. Plus, we have the opportunity to be for others an Aaron or a Hur. As you go through this day, find a way to support someone who is working hard and needs your encouragement.

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A woman dancing against the background of a brightly lit sky

Moses Didn’t Do It Alone, Part 4

Though Moses was the main leader of the exodus of Israel from Egypt, he had crucial partners in his brother, Aaron, and sister, Miriam. Through the prophet Micah, the Lord once said to the Israelites, “For I brought you up from the land of Egypt, and redeemed you from the house of slavery; and I sent before you Moses, Aaron, and Miriam” (Micah 6:4). Moses was not alone as he exercised leadership. 

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Two brightly colored hands reaching out to each other in an echo of Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel image

Moses Didn’t Do It Alone, Part 3

No matter what you’re facing today, no matter how overwhelming it might feel, no matter how limited you might feel, there is good news. First, God is with you to help you. Second, God is gracious and patient with you. Third, in the right time and right way, God will bring people into your life as partners and supporters. No matter what God is calling you to today, you don’t have to do it alone because God and God’s people are with you. 

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Two hands holding up puzzle pieces

Moses Didn’t Do It Alone, Part 2

Though God’s promise to be with us should be enough to give us the courage to do whatever God asks of us, sometimes we hesitate because we’re aware of our own shortcomings. That’s what Moses did when God called him at the burning bush. But God did not reject Moses. Rather, God graciously supplied a partner whose strengths made up for Moses’s weaknesses. God often assures us that God is with us through the people in our lives.

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An intense fire burning

Moses Didn’t Do It Alone, Part 1

When God told Moses to go to Egypt to set God’s people free, Moses asked, “Who am I?” God’s answer pointed, not to Moses’s talents or background, but rather to God’s own presence. “I will be with you,” God said. What God once said to Moses God also says to us. When we wonder if we can make it, when we feel exhausted or overwhelmed, when we worry that our resources are too few, God says, “I am with you.” What could be better than having the God of the Universe with us?

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