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Friday, November 20, 2009

Self-sufficient or God-dependent?

"I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot" (Revelation 3:15)

The sin of self-sufficiency can reek havoc in the lives of Christians. We can allow ourselves to become so comfortable in our own selves and circumstances that we can forget how much we need Jesus.

We can become so accustomed to our own 'affluency' that we tend to convince ourselves that we accomplished these things on our own. Too many times it takes a God-ordained crisis in our life to jerk our focus off of ourselves and back on to Jesus.

Sinful pride can rear its ugly head in the blink of an eye. "Look what I did" can be part of our daily vocabulary instead of "look what the Lord has done".

It is so easy to cloak ourselves with a false sense of security. We wrap it around us like a cozy blanket and snuggle up in the warmth and comfort it provides. We snuggle in the security of our jobs. Our family. Our health. We snuggle ourselves right into the lukewarm lifestyle that prevents us from passionately pursuing God and righteousness.

We can become content in what WE have accomplished instead of seeking what HE wants to accomplish through us.

Our consuming fire for Christ becomes a smoldering ember at best.

The Laodicean believers had become lukewarm. They had become comfortable in their own wealth and blinded to the actual state of their wretchedness. God told them to open their eyes that they might see. He called them to repentance.

He is doing the same for us. Our security doesn't lie with our jobs, family, friends, church or our health. Our security is solely in the hands of God. He is our sufficiency. We are affluent with the grace and mercy of our Lord and Savior. He is calling us to be a consuming fire for Him.

He is calling us to get out of the lukewarmness of our lives and be hot. Put our total trust in Him. Give Him control over our lives. Turn our self-sufficiency into God-dependency and allow Him to work His way in us.

Beth

18 comments:

JLI said...

Amen Beth. A much needed word for me right now. I am in a situation where I must COMPLETELY abide in Christ and not try to live according to my own ability. The flesh is horrible thing to rely on. If only people would understand that no matter the extremity of the storm, that God WILL hold them up and care for them in ways they have NEVER known! I am learning first hand - He is glorious and amazing and loving and perfecting me according to His will. It will be tough at times, but we must continue to trust Him and remain sure of what we know to be true of Christ - that He cares for us, He will NEVER leave us, NEVER forsake us and desires that we would ALWAYS abide in Him; trust and obey Him, no matter what He asks of us. Step out of faith and live IN Him and FOR Him. Oh, the peace of God that awaits us! It is truly a supernatural lifting up of our spirit that cannot be explained apart from the goodness and mercy of our Loving Father. Praise be to God!

Nancy said...

That is so true. And I want to remember how much I desperately need Him when things are going well. I know I am hopeless without Him.

Jackie said...

Wonderful post Beth........I'm with you, I want to always be in hot pursuit of His Heart - fully dependent upon Him!

Still rejoicing with you about Melissa's safe return!

Sweet Blessings!
Jackie

Loren said...

Beth,

My DH and I have had sooo many conversations on this VERY subject as of late! He is reading Francis Chans "crazy Love" and Francis says a VERY LARGE PERCENTAGE of Christians are in this Lukewarm state.
It is sooo very sad....People like to be comfortable, to remain in their comfort zones! Being stretched is scary but if we will walk into that place where we MUST rely on the Lord for everything ~ the blessings that are awaiting are UNBELIEVABLE! the growth is AWESOME! the realization that you have gone from GLORY TO GLORY is just AMAZING!

Ask the Lord "am I lukewarm Father?" and listen for the answer.....Respond accordingly!

Thanks Beth....Your love for your readers is precious.....so much like the love of our Father....
I cherish you....I really do!

angelonwheels said...

Beth,

God is using your posts to teach bloggers his desires. This is a constast battle for me. You are so right that it often takes a a tramua or trial in our lives to see that Jesus is everything! I have never connected lukewarm with the sin of self sufficenency and pride. Thank you for opening my eyes!

Tammy said...

There is a lot of truth written here!

I beginning understand about the "thorn in my side" that Paul talks about. I think its a good thing and it reminds us " when we are weak He is strong."

love and hugs~Tammy

Heart2Heart said...

Beth,

May I always find myself drawing near to God instead of doing things on my own. Funny how when we are in the midst of the storm, when we've failed at all our attempts to fix things, only do we then cry out to God instead of running to Him in our first response.

Great thought provoking post.

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

~ Being Woven said...

How easily we pat ourselves on the shoulder and tell ourselves what a great job WE did! How easily we never even look to God for answers. I truly know that those crises, those thorns, those struggles are meant to jolt me in order that I may turn to the One Who does all, is all, and carries all. Passionate living is so much more fulfilling than lukewarm existence. I want to to be passionate for the LORD and be on fire for Him, consumed by His fire, that those in my life do not see me because I am consumed, He is the One Whom they see. Thanks for your insights, Beth. ~ linda

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

I almost hesitate to write this, but I do believe that God smacked me out of my complacency a while back. I'm finally to the spiritual age of realizing that there is little "me" to any blessing that I know. It's really all about him. Thanks for the reminder. I'll be looking this week for any signs of self-sufficiency. I'm sure it lurks closer by than I realize.

peace~elaine

Joan Carr said...

So glad Melissa made it home!I know you are thrilled.

How many times do we leave our first love as we are warned about in Revelation. God is so faithful and long suffering with us all. It is always me that messes up and walks away from God, He is always right there waiting patiently with His open arms to restore me an d clean me up and put back on the straight and narrow.

petrii said...

Beth,
We've been in a battle for months now, and sometimes it has been very hard to keep my focus solely on God. I have often gotten my eyes on the situation and the ways that "I can fix it." You see I am a fixer. But God (don't you love that?) has really been doing a work in me, to let Him be the One to fix what needs to be fixed and trust Him in everything.

Thank you for this post today.

Love you friend,
Dawn

Wylie said...

Beth, what a great word for today!!! Amen!!! Have a blessed Thanksgiving!
Wylie

Sandra said...

It seems lukewarm is the majority. We all think we can make it on our own. It usually takes hard times to make me see that I really need the Lord. When I was a young Christian I would wonder why so many bad things seemed to happen to me, but now I know I need those things.

Nana Jul said...

I'm in God dependency training. That thought occurred to me after rereading your post! Thank you for sharing your words of encouragement...it means alot when someone else says "I know exactly what you're talking about".
I do know I need Jesus all the time! So glad I found Him!!
Love,
Julie

Angie said...

Beth, I NEEDED this today!

" Our security doesn't lie with our jobs, family, friends, church or our health. Our security is solely in the hands of God. He is our sufficiency. We are affluent with the grace and mercy of our Lord and Savior. He is calling us to be a consuming fire for Him."

What a powerful message! Thank you for your awesome heart and ear for listening to God!

Bless you today!

LisaShaw said...

Praise the LORD!!! Beth, I don't think you can hear my shout of agreement from all the way over here but I'm with you!

I'm NOTHING without HIM. I need Him every moment...

Irritable Mother said...

Thanks for this, Beth.
I don't want to be self-sufficient. I cannot do this life on my own!
And so I can truly say THANK YOU to my gracious Father for the hard times I have experienced. Because through them He has convinced me of my depserate need for HIM.

Yolanda said...

Beth,

AMEN! God has been talking to me about this scripture as well. And writing something on my heart that I may be sharing soon as well. I love you and you so encourage me. Thank you for walking LIFE with me, hand in hand. LOVINGLY, Yolanda