I have this problem called self-reliance. Lately, it’s been popping up in my prayers in the form of raw inappropriate confession. “I want to do this by myself!” “Why do I have to wait for you! Why do I have to trust you for everything! Isn’t what you have enough?”
Yikes. I know, right. But, before you click exit, you should know that I’m candid, not rebellious; besides, God knew it before I said it. Saying it rips away the facade. Verbalizing feelings tears away any pretentious mask, allows me to hear the unbelief that would have otherwise remained in the crevices of my fallible soul. Being blunt with God allows Him to deal with me in truth and since I’m so candid, I get dealt with…a lot, and lately, it’s about this self-reliance thing.
The most ambitious of us have this weakness. We like to compete. We like to know that we can do it. We tote around superhero suits in our bags, purses and briefcases. We don’t ask for help often; maybe not at all. We like to hide our weaknesses or work really hard at annihilating them with intense self-improvement and self-development hoping to be ever strong and awesome. Our good God sees the work we’ve done and, yep, the fruit we bear.
Then comes the chop of pruning! Snip snip! John 15 says that if you bear fruit, pruning happens.
Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. John 15:2 (ESV)
It comes again and again to those who are His–to those who hear and obey Him.
Snip! It comes upon those who call on His name, for our merciful God wants children who aren’t self-reliant, but God-reliant. He wants the fruit of our lives to yield glory to Him, not admiration to our own surname or to our superhero title.
After the Lord your God has done this for you, don’t say in your hearts, ‘The Lord has given us this land because we are such good people!’ No, it is because of the wickedness of the other nations that he is pushing them out of your way. It is not because you are so good or have such integrity that you are about to occupy their land. The Lord your God will drive these nations out ahead of you only because of their wickedness, and to fulfill the oath he swore to your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. You must recognize that the Lord your God is not giving you this good land because you are good, for you are not—you are a stubborn people.” (Deuteronomy 9:4-6) NLT.
For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” (Hebrews 12:6 ESV)
Allow God to do some necessary snipping today, and shift the gaze of your admirers and yourself to the truly Glorious One, Jesus.