TODAY’S SIGNATURE VERSE ••• Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28 ESV)
PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• We’re doing a series on humility, and yesterday’s topic was “Humility and Pride.” Pride is one of my most difficult sin struggles, and today, we’re looking at a close contender, “Self-Sufficiency.”
Let me say from way too much personal experience, Humility and Self-sufficiency are not friends. They aren’t even acquaintances. But Self-Sufficiency and Pride are very close. Where one is, you can usually find the other. They have a lot in common, and I think they even vacation together sometimes.
Today, let’s look at an example of self-sufficiency in the Bible. We’re going to look at the life of King Saul— a man who battled pride and self-sufficiency throughout his reign as the first king of Israel. Details of King Saul’s life are found in 1 Samuel 9 through 31. Saul’s most infamous story of self-sufficiency is found in 1 Samuel 13:8-14. Saul got impatient waiting for Samuel and, therefore, took it upon himself to make an unauthorized sacrifice to God.
To our thousands-of-years-separated-from-the-event minds, this may seem like no big deal. I mean, seriously? Why was this a problem? In fairness to Saul, Samuel was seven days late. Saul was far more patient than any of us living in the microwave-generation can claim (after all, we want it hot, fast, and right now). But the rules were—priests handled the sacrifices. And Saul wasn’t a priest. He took it upon himself to do priestly work without permission. He relied on his authority as king over the authority of the God who had anointed him.
Then, there are other examples in Scripture that scream of Saul’s habit of self-sufficiency… in 1 Samuel 15, when Saul was commanded to destroy and eradicate Amalek completely, Saul came back victorious, but not obedient. He did not completely destroy this enemy of God’s chosen people as commanded but took it upon himself to do things his way. And even in his final moments, Saul took matters in his own hands when he fell on his own sword in battle to commit suicide so he would not be mistreated by the enemy (1 Samuel 31:3-4).
King Saul is a classic example of what NOT to do. But, most unfortunately, I relate to him a lot. As anyone who has ever worked with me can tell you, one of my most infamous sayings is, “Shove over and let me drive.” I do not delegate well, and I prefer to do things on my own. Team projects create so much anxiety for me because that means I don’t have complete control over how things get done. So I tend to work as an island as much as possible. I’m self-sufficient to get things done my way. As a business owner, I’m getting a little better. But I have to if I want my business to grow.
Then, beyond work, my problem with self-sufficiency spills over to other parts of my life. And the real struggle I have comes after I close my Bible and prayer journal in the morning. During prayer time, I tell God that I want Him involved in every part of my day… and then skip off to do it alone. I often fail to invite Him in, even though I know He wants to be included.
Where humility comes in here is when we take Jesus at His word… He said, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).
For those of us who struggle with self-sufficiency, we are great at giving things to Jesus, but we’re equally great at taking things back. It takes humility to give our burdens to Jesus and trust Him to do as He says. It takes humility to acknowledge that He will handle everything far better than we do.
For me, it’s a daily battle to fight my self-reliant pride with a spirit of humility. Not just morning Bible study moments, but in my meetings with clients… in the times when I’m writing… while I’m crunching numbers… when I’m fixing supper… when I’m laying on the couch reading a book… Jesus wants to be a part of all of it.
And Jesus is the ultimate of multi-taskers. Not only does He want to be involved in the day-to-day operations of my life, He wants to handle the operations of yours.
So when we look at our respective situations and all, we have to do and all the hats we wear as we try to manage our lives, let’s give Jesus the title of COO—Chief Operations Officer. He’s far more qualified for the job than we are.
Today, as you pray, thank Jesus for His offer to carry our loads and help us navigate every part of our life. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you choose humility over self-sufficiency and admit that you need Jesus to guide every facet of your day.
SHARING ••• My Grace-Full Life is written by Denise Heidel. You are welcome to share anything I write, but please credit my writing and graphics accordingly. Visit www.MyGraceFullLife.com to read past blogs. Subscribe through my website to have My Grace-Full Life delivered to your email. You can unsubscribe at any time. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are from the ESV translation.