Self-sufficiency: I can do it. You can do it. Go girl! Just do it! Follow your heart! Don’t let anyone tell you, you can’t….Our culture is littered with words of self-sufficiency. You just need to believe in yourself, to push forward, to remove the naysayers from your life and all your hopes and dreams will come true. Just remove the negativity, eat organic, join a gym, get outside more, get up earlier, do 100 sit ups everyday etc. etc.
Isaiah warns us rather profoundly not to trust in our self-sufficiency. Chapter 50, verses 10-11, “Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the voice of his servant? Let him who walks in darkness and has no light trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God. Behold, all you who kindle a fire, who equip yourselves with burning torches! Walk by the light of your fire, and by the torches that you have kindled! This you have from my hand: you shall lie down in torment.”
Wow! Just think about that. When we are walking in darkness, aka our daily life, we must trust in the light and rely on our God. Even when we cannot see, and cannot understand, we are to acknowledge Him and He will direct our paths (Proverbs 3:5-6). The alternative is to walk by the light of our own fire, to be guided by our own torches and find our own way through the dark. As we read, this way, the way of self-sufficiency, only leads to destruction and torment.
This verse makes 2 Corinthians 3:5 very, very clear, “Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God.” We CANNOT do this in ourselves. No matter what aspect of our life we are looking at; whether it is living healthy in the body, or healthy in the mind, or healthy in the spirit, we CANNOT do this ourselves. If we do, we are lighting our own torches and are forging our own way. But the landscape is fraught with danger, and it leads not to success, but to ultimate failure, not to happiness, but to sorrow.
Let us therefore remove these cultural sentiments from our hearts and bring it to Him today. Let us admit that “we can’t do it”, but that He can. Let us rely on the Spirit of Christ, like a pair of infrared glasses, and walk through the darkness of this life with confidence and dependence. Let us ponder the words given to Paul in 2 Corinthians, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”