“Nisi Dominus Frustra”–three forgotten words that were brought back to memory after a recent cleaning of my art room. The small canvas that I had painted of this saying had fallen off a wall & was wedged in between cabinets. I picked it up & looked at it—remembering the Latin words meaning immediately: “Without the Lord—Frustration”. This forgotten truth had also fallen away from me–lost in certain areas of my life.
The reality is that there is nothing (not one thing) that is good that dwells in any of us apart from God in Christ. Our fallen, fleshly nature is corrupt & should not be trusted (Rom. 7:18, 3:23). Truly, “To err is human”. We mere mortals are so easily deceived (as our earliest ancestors were in Gen. 3:5) in believing that we are God and so we go about our day in our own self-sufficiency (thinking we have it all figured out) as we make our plans excluding God from our thoughts and conversations (prayers). For those of us who have chosen to believe and receive the gracious gift of God in Christ we have another Divine option available that doesn’t have to rely on fallible wisdom (Rom. 8:9, 26, 15:13; Eph. 1:13, 3:16, 4:23).
Without God one only has to look at Romans 1:18-32 & Eph. 2:12 (or at much of our world today).
We’ve seen how our country has deteriorated in the areas where God has been removed. When I catch myself striving in my flesh during projects, errands, household tasks—life’s circumstances, I know that I’ve forgotten to make God first, consulting Him through His Word and prayer.
Frustration sets in
as a man sets his own course
without thoughts from God
God seems to have an interesting way of upsetting the plans we’ve made when we don’t bring Him in on the initial stages of things. We may find ourselves in circumstances that weren’t chosen by Him and suddenly realize that we’ve been “leaning on our own understanding”, not trusting in Him with all our heart. Proverb 3:5-6 says, “In ALL your ways acknowledge Him (not just in what we consider the more important things) and He will direct your paths.” The following verses show the benefits of including the Lord in every area of life—besides a lack of frustration, there will be direction, established plans, and a renewal that brings strength and health to our lives.
- “Commit your works to the Lord and your plans will be established” -Proverb 16:3-
- “Commit your way to the Lord; trust also in Him; and He will bring it to pass.” -Psalm 37:5-
- “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.” –Psalm 127:1-
- “A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” -Proverb 16:9-
- “…those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength…they shall run & not be weary, they shall walk & not faint.” –Isaiah 40:31-
- “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh, and strength to your bones.” -Proverb 3:5-7-
With God all things are possible—we have purpose, love, mercy, forgiveness of sins, hope, peace, protection, & escape from temptation (Matt. 19:26; Eph. 2:10, 2; Rom. 15:13, 5:1; Phil. 4:9; Eph. 6:10-17; 1 Cor. 10:13)…and a lack of frustration!