The Arm of Flesh – 2 Nephi 4:34

Cursed be the man that trusteth in man,
and maketh flesh his arm,
and whose heart departeth from the Lord….
Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord,
and whose hope the Lord is (Jeremiah 17:5, 7).

As Nephi lamented his own sins and weaknesses, he recognized the need to turn to God and to place his faith in Him. “My God hath been my support,” he said, as he remembered the miracles he had experienced (2 Nephi 4:20). “O Lord, wilt thou redeem my soul?” he pleaded. “Wilt thou encircle me around in the robe of thy righteousness!” (2 Nephi 4:31, 33).

Nephi continued, paraphrasing the prophet Jeremiah: “I will not put my trust in the arm of flesh; for I know that cursed is he that putteth his trust in the arm of flesh. Yea, cursed is he that putteth his trust in man or maketh flesh his arm” (2 Nephi 4:34).

Whose flesh is he talking about? His own. He’s saying that he can’t do this alone, that without divine assistance, he knows he will fail.

When we receive callings from God, we willingly take on responsibilities which exceed our natural abilities. Why would we do this? Because we trust that the Lord will help us. We do our very best, with faith that the Lord will make up the difference.

Today, I will serve to the best of my ability. When my own deficiencies become painfully evident, I will remember that my confidence is not founded on my own abilities. It is founded on my faith in a perfect God who has promised to help me.

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