I’ve struggled with self-reliance since I can remember. I’m a proud guy. I tend to rely on my own wit and intellect to solve problems, to deal with sin, and to plan. It’s landed me flat on my face more than once. Yet, I tend to do it over and over.
Who was it that defined insanity as doing the same thing repeatedly expecting different results?
I’m learning that God wants me to rely on Him. I’ve got the mental and emotional bumps, bruises, and scars to prove it!
Psalm 108 is about the praise of God. Toward the end, the author asks for help and deliverance from an enemy. He writes this in Psalm 108:12-13,
Oh give us help against the adversary, for deliverance by man is in vain. Through God we shall do valiantly; and it is He who will tread down our adversaries.
Why are we so quick to rely on ourselves instead of trusting God? Sin influences self-reliance. Sin is rebellion against God–it says, “I know better than You.” Our culture encourages self-reliance. Let’s be honest–if you’re reading this blog, the chances are pretty slim that you worry about where your next meal will come from, where you’ll sleep tonight, and how you’ll make enough money to provide for your family. Livin’ in the land o’ plenty makes us plenty self-reliant, and can make us starved of God.
Often, it takes times of pain or change for us to get our focus back on God. I recently read a blog that suggested that the current economic crisis may be God’s way of getting our attention–to get us to simplify, de-clutter, to be more aware of the needs of the lowly, and to be more generous instead of being so selfish. I think he may be onto something.
When we let God have His rightful place in our lives, we really can do valiantly. It may not be in a way that we imagine or like, but when enough time passes for us to gain perspective, we see that God is always right.
That’s the choice we have: to rely on self (and thus allow God to get our attention through any means He sees fit), or to rely on Him. Relying on God can be scary, filled with unknowns, and sometimes leave us with a few more questions than answers (at first), but it sure is a great roller coaster ride.
And a great boost to our faith.