Our prayer organizer ticked off A. W. Tozer’s list of sins that can hinder prayer. When she named “self-sufficiency” I straightened.
Did my desire to have “no needs” mean I didn’t want to rely on God?
I had to confess that I wanted to be self-sufficient. I don’t like to have needs. I like to feel strong and in control. I equate security with possessing the resources to seize every opportunity and conquer any problem.
Even in everyday life, I like being able to handle issues. When I’m dependent on others I must wait on their time table. In short, to me, self-sufficiency was a goal not a sin.
The definition for the word translated sufficient in this verse is “to be possessed of unfailing strength.”1
Wow, that put things in a different light. Would I rather be self-sufficient with my human assets or have the inexhaustible strength of Almighty God in every circumstance? No contest.
The Apostle Paul learned this when he pleaded with the Lord to remove his weakness. Look what happened.
“And He has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.’ Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. God said, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness'” (2 Corinthians 12:9 NASB).
What a twist. Christ’s power flows through our weaknesses. Self-sufficiency blocks real power.
Some may fear that relying on God will breed passivity. Paul’s life shows that is not true: “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me” (1 Corinthians 15:10 NASB).God’s grace stokes the fires of creativity, energy, love, and hope. Click To Tweet
What limits or losses trouble you? Where could you use the unfailing strength?
The next time you think, “I wish I had more—time, knowledge, energy, money, or experience—or I wish I didn’t need _____” remember God’s words. “My grace is sufficient for you.”
In the end, self-sufficiency is the path to weakness. Our need is where we experience God’s unfailing grace-sufficiency.
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Debbie W. Wilson
1 Blue Letter Bible. “Dictionary and Word Search for arkeō (Strong’s 714)”. Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2012. 15 Jan 2012. < http:// www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?
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