Give up self-sufficiency and learn to depend on God.
Today is Maundy Thursday in the Lenten Calendar. It was on this day that Jesus shared the Last Supper with his disciples, was betrayed by Judas, abandoned by the disciples, and arrested in the Garden as he was praying.
My observation over years of ministry is that people who claim to be Christians often go it on their own. Self-sufficient. “l can do it by myself.” Most of the time they fail. Distractions and temptations take them away from what they think they are.
It is a known fact that a single log will lose its flame and heat if isolated. Only when two or more logs are together will the flame burn and not go out. In the texts below, Paul talks about the intentionality of discipleship. He knew that if he lived without discipline and intentionality his life would be bankrupt. He told the Corinthians that he feared he would be “disqualified” or a “castaway.”
So, how do you live your life, as self-sufficient or depending on God?
“Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise„ I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified. 1 Corinthians 9:24-27.
“l have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing. 2 Timothy 4:7-8.
“…. let us strip off every weight that slows us down especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race that God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Hebrews 12:1-2.
“God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. James 1:12.
Question: Which would you rather do – ask God for help and do whatever that requires or go your own way?
Activity: Find someone to pray with about this question. Having someone to pray with lends strength and perseverance to survive in life’s struggles and avoids the trap of trying to do it on your own.
Prayer: Dear Lord, when I try to be self-sufficient and attempt to live without your help and the help of fellow-disciples, I make a miserable mess of things. Please help me to remember that I cannot do life without your help. May I not listen to the voices that attempt to get me to follow my own way. In Jesus’ name I pray this. Amen.