Our Supposed Self-Sufficiency

“For in him we live and move and have our being…” (Acts 17:28 NIV)

Day after day, week after week we go through routines. We wake up, get ready, go to work, get home, and go to sleep. Same ole’, same ole’. As life continues–and things become mundane and repetitive–we continue in this pattern and begin to think we do all of this on our own:

  • Wake up on our own
  • Get dressed on our own
  • Eat on our own
  • Work on our own
  • Breathe on our own

Friends, we have bought into the lie of self-sufficiency. We have believed the lie that we are independent, that we can live completely and totally by our own power. We strut through life relying on our own strength, smarts, and talents. We believe we are self-sufficient.

There is only one Person that is totally and completely self-sufficient: God.

Everybody else is totally and completely dependent upon Him. We cannot take another breath without Him putting more air into our lungs; we cannot wake up in the morning without God giving us another day. Again, we are completely dependent on God for life.  But we certainly don’t live like this. Even if we do understand that we are dependent on God, we surely forget it often. As Christians, it’s imperative that we remember this vital truth: we cannot function without God.

Friends, we have to realize—and cherish!—that we aren’t meant to be self-sufficient. We were meant for total dependency on God. It’s God’s good design that, like Acts 17:28 says, that “in Him we live and move and have our being.”

Paul Tripp, author of New Morning Mercies, relays that reality by saying that

We all like to think of ourselves as more independently capable than we actually are. We weren’t created to be independent, autonomous, or self-sufficient. We were made to live in a humble, worshipful, and loving dependency upon God and in a loving and humble interdependency with others.

We like to think we’re sufficient in ourselves because, if we don’t, we have to admit that we aren’t as great as we think we were. Self-sufficiency creates pride; dependency gives birth to humility. Living as though we’re self-sufficient is a result of sin; it’s also sinful by itself. Because we are sinners, we are naturally bent towards living (so-called) independently.

Lord, please forgive us for our supposed self-sufficiently.

A Call to Throw Ourselves on God

The best thing we can do is remind ourselves of this truth and, in response, to kneel humbly before God in repentance and faith. God is self-sufficient; we are not. That should be such a beautiful truth to us! We are totally dependent on God for our whole life.

Let me be frank: it is absolutely sinful when we act when we are in control. When we d do this, we are consequently distrusting in God’s character and nature. God is sovereign, we are not. Let us stop acting as if we are in control—we are in control of nothing.

And that is liberating.

Soli Deo Gloria

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