“We were crushed and overwhelmed by our ability to endure, andwe thought we would never live through it. In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God. who raises the dead. And He did rescue us from mortal danger, and He will rescue us again.”
2 Corinthians 1:8b-10a, NLT
"Shifting Your Reliance!”
The idea of being self-reliant often is nuanced; it can mean different things depending on a person’s motives. All too often the term employs a sense of depending completely on one’s self, to accomplish goals in life. It has come to mean that we humans have the capacity to do almost anything, if we merely put our mind and resources to work. While this may be true in many instances; our faith always challenges us to look beyond ourselves to find wisdom and direction in the pursuit of life. God indeed gives us the ability to do great things, but how we use what God permits us to accomplish is always more important than our mere abilities. Self-reliance, devoid of God, is a disaster waiting to happen. We see this in early civilization; and in the Biblical record. The people who inhabitedwhat is today Iraq, thought they would gain autonomy and self-reliance over God, by erecting a tower that would reach the heavens. They failed miserably, as God confounded their language, causing them to disperse throughout the known world (Gen. 11: 1-9, NLT). It is often in our failures or trials, that we learn the importance of shifting our reliance from self to God. There is a danger in simply relying on ourselves; without seeking the wisdom of God, and the assurance of His presence. When the Apostle Paul and his missionary companions found themselves facing perilous times in Asia; the greatest thing that happened to them, was what they came to learn. Paul said, “We stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely on God.” How much better we would all be; if we were to “learn” how to rely on God for wisdom and direction. Some years ago, a young woman told me how she had been promoted to a top-level job in corporate. I commended her, and said, “Thank God.” The woman curtly told me, “God had nothing to do with this promotion. I worked hard and smart. I did this.” I prayed that she would learnhow to rely on God.