(John 15:5, Psalm 146:3-4, 2nd Corinthians 2:5, Hebrews 4:16, Romans 11:33)
Over All I Know
I am a competent person. I have a job, I pay my rent, I file my taxes early. (Well, I did once.) I am a great person to have at parties because I make other people feel comfortable and welcome. I can make dinner for friends and have been doing my own laundry for quite some time. I read books and keep up with news. I can have a decent conversation about the merits of several baseball teams.
And can I google? Naturally, I even remember how to ask Jeeves. Knowledge is literally at my fingertips and I know how to use it. I feel accomplished with Siri by my side, bolstering my information on a whim. All of this in addition to my social skills that allow me to charm my way through customer service lines and win uber drivers over.
I say all of this to lead to a confession: I don’t always think that I need God.
…apart from me you can do nothing.John 15:5b
I know I am supposed to need God. We are supposed to need God.
I can do nothing apart from God. My mind tells me this, and I try to read my Bible everyday as proof of my understanding of this.
But it is difficult to believe that I need him when I have spent so much time and energy figuring out how to maneuver my way through situations on my own merit. If I am honest– from my first world perch– it’s easy.
So, how does one reconcile lived experience with the truth of God’s Word? Sometimes, identifying the implicit beliefs below my actions is helpful. For instance:
1. If I don’t need God, I must be God.
And this must not be right. I cannot create people, animals or worlds. I cannot move mountains and I am not always strong. In fact, I make mistakes and sin regularly.
Put not your trust in princes,Psalm 146:3-4
in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation.
When his breath departs, he returns to the earth;
on that very day his plans perish.
2. If I don’t need God, I must be missing something.
The bible is clear that I DO need God. Therefore, I am missing the connection. It is likely related to this truth from 2 Cor 2:5: “Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God.” This verse gently reminds me that God is the one in me working and He is the one that is sufficient.
3. If I don’t need God, I will have to figure EVERYTHING out on my own.
If I live in this denial that I don’t need God, my life will be spent trying to do his job for him. Conveniently, I have already experienced how my plan sometimes (often) fails. And I don’t want to do that.
I want to have his ear when I am ready to cry out…
I want to know how to talk to him…
I want the reassurance that he is working where I cannot…
I want to be able to relax in the shadow of his wings…
I want to let him work things out and do things his way…
I want to live
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.Hebrews 4:16
Because there will be a time that I need help.
To which conclusion do you relate? Being completely sufficient, failing to acknowledge that it is God that gives you the competency, or is it out of your skill set to seek the Lord when you lose hope?
That I am choosing one or more of these realities brings me sadness. I see how my actions suggest that I am. And, if this is all true, we need another option.
Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God!Romans 11:13
I need God to help me.
We can do nothing apart from him and his depth of capabilities.
Are you ready to admit you need him?
Are you ready to choose to search the depth of wisdom and knowledge that God is offering?
Lord, forgive me for believing I don’t need you. Help me to seek you and do things with you. Show me the ways were I am not trusting you and trying to control things by myself. Thank you for the skills you have given me and grow in me your strength as you show me how to rely on you.
Make a list of challenges you have encountered in your life. Next to the challenge, write in another color pen how you saw the hand of the Lord change the circumstance. Share this with someone this week.