Sunday, September 9, 2007

By My Self

The Lord said to Gideon, "The people with you are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hand, lest Israel boast over me, saying, 'My own hand has saved me.' (Judges 7:2 ESV)

It seems that a mark of a child growing up is when they want to do things "by myself." They see independence as a good thing. Sometimes it is and sometimes not. As a parent, we have to help them see the difference and protect them when they are not quite ready to do things alone.

Every one of us wants to be in charge of our life. We don't like someone else telling us what to do and we don't like to defer to others. A sign of maturity is when we willingly accept proper authority over our lives. We place ourselves under others and realize our need for outside input and direction.

Along with this, we need to realize that we need help from others. There is no such thing as a self-made man. If we have attained anything good in life it is because others have helped us whether we realize it or not.

I am realizing the same with my relationship with God. There is nothing good in me without Him. I don't have a strength of my own.

It seems that through the years a belief came into my life that as I grew as a Christian I could become strong through various disciplines such as prayer and Bible reading. While those things are good and should not be neglected, they were not the source of my strength or success. Only God is responsible for that. What I need to realize is that those disciplines help me to know God and to understand His ways. With that, I can cooperate better with what He wants to do in my life.

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2 Corinthians 12:9 ESV)

I am weak and He is strong. His strength shows in my weakness.

With that understanding, things can really improve in my life.


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