“But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raises the dead” Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver; in whom we trust that He will yet deliver us” (II-Corinthians 1:9-10).
Self-sufficiency: the ability to provide what is needed; able to live independently of others. Too many people in the world today are prone to believe that every person possesses whatever is needed for personal fulfillment and meaning, that it lies deep within, and all we need to do is call it out. We can redefine ourselves, and we are sufficient to remake and reshape ourselves according to our inner image, leaving the image of God behind. This is one of many parts of our preoccupation with self and rugged individualism which have become the hallmarks of modern society.
Society tends to reward those who seem to be the most successfully self-sufficient, and not those who understand our human insufficiency. This has a great deal to do with how the Gospel of Jesus Christ is heard. The Gospel is not about how we can become more self-sufficient. The very fact that the term begins with the word self is a contradiction of the Gospel, but it is a human assumption. “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God” (II-Corinthians 3:5). Self-sufficiency is a contradiction of the Word of God and therefore, it must die.
“You may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:31). We all have needs, some common and others different, i.e., food, clothing and shelter are common, but spiritually we are quite different. Gainful employment will allow us to provide what is needed for ourselves and our family, but it is God’s work that provides what is needed for our souls. No man can meet a woman’s spiritual needs and the woman has not been born who can meet a man’s spiritual needs. Our spirit belongs to God and can only find fulfillment and complete satisfaction in Him.
Our answer to fulfillment lies not in man or in nature, which are both God’s handiwork, but with the Lord of glory Himself, and in our worship of Him. The rich blessings of God are not given to everyone who is born, only to those who are born of faith in the Son of God. The power of the Holy Spirit provides for us the things that human effort, human religion and human intellect could never achieve. He is there to empower our living with a glorious sense of joy, peace and hope that can carry us through the trials and hardships that are inevitable by-products of life in a world blinded by human delusions of grandeur.
The power we need, the real power, is found in a Person who has been sent by the father to bring fullness to our lives. In a world that is in hot pursuit of happiness, we can have joy by the power of the Holy Spirit. The deception of self-sufficiency causes the world to cry out from the grief of constant conflict and violence, but you can have true peace. The self-sufficient are filled with the emptiness of despair and a bleak future, yet we have a bright hope. How you ask? By the power of the Holy Spirit, it can equip us for life in a way that the world cannot grasp. His power can enable us to experience the things that the world craves and hungers for and cannot secure, yet they are ours, by the sufficiency of the Spirit of God.
This is the abundant life Jesus spoke of—a life that is full and rich and deep and lasting—unlike the fleeting life of false self-sufficiency, a life that is lived by the power of the Holy Spirit. The hymn writer Thomas Chisholm expressed this when he wrote: “Pardon for sin and a peace that endures Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide; Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside! Great is Thy faithfulness!”
The road of Christian self-sufficiency is paved with an absolute and undeniable dependence on the faithfulness of God, the promises of Jesus Christ the Son of God and the power of the Spirit of God. Self-sufficiency is the opposite of faith in God. “Our sufficiency is in Jesus Christ” (Philippians 4:19). I thank God for blessing you to be a blessing to someone else. Amen.
Grady Norman Greene, Minister of the Gospel of Jesus Our Christ
- What Should You Expect From The Holy Spirit? (hiwaytoheaven.wordpress.com)
- Sermon: Nicodemus (bigcircumstance.com)
- Spiritual Warfare: The Occult Has Demonic Influence by Bishop Donald Montrose, D.D. (savedbygodsgrace.wordpress.com)