Have you ever watched a child’s transition from the dependence of infancy to the relative independence of an older child? Each new accomplishment in picking out their own clothes, eating their meals without assistance, bathing and brushing their teeth on their own, builds in them the confidence that says, "I can do it myself!" Becoming more independent is a normal and healthy part of growing up. However, we cross over into unhealthy self-reliance when we seek to meet our own needs and make things happen apart from God.
Romans 12:2 message says, “So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.”
This verse reminds us that real, well-formed maturity in our spiritual lives is not the same as what we consider maturity in our natural lives as we progress and become more independent. Spiritual maturity, is a maturity that relies on God for every area of our lives. It’s taking our sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around areas of our lives and placing them before God as an offering. When we do this we give God room to move in and have his way.
Let’s take a look today at self-reliance vs. God reliance -
1. What circumstances tempt you to rely on yourself?
2. What do you feel is the root feeling or need behind these situations? How does identifying the root help you to pin point the lie and lead you to find the truth in God’s word? For example, if you seek to self- promote in the workplace, would you say fear of being over looked or left behind could be the motivating factor? Could it be a fear that God won’t come through for you? In this example, a verse to counteract this fear is: If God is for me, who could be against me. Or My God shall supply all of my needs according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus
For further reflection:
Carve out a time to sit and have coffee with Jesus. Grab a notebook or journal and a pen. Ask the holy spirit to remind you of a time you self-navigated or relied on yourself to meet your needs. Write down what he brings to mind. Then ask him to help you pin point the underlying feelings or needs that contributed to you taking matters into your own hands. Write down each word that comes to mind. Then reflect on those words. Could those feelings, fears or needs contribute to this pattern in other areas of your life? Allow some time to ponder and sit with him and talk it through in prayer. Then look for some verses that have to do with those feelings and needs. Write them out in your journal and read them aloud this week daily as a reminder that God will take care of you and supply everything you need.