I read this grandmother’s story and laughed out loud!
“I didn’t know if my young granddaughter had learned her colors yet, so I decided to test her,” the grandma said. “I would point out a crayon and ask what color it was. She would tell me, and she was always correct.
“It was fun for me, so I continued,” she said. “But when it was time for my granddaughter to leave, she turned and said, ‘Grandma, I think you should try to figure out some of these colors yourself!‘” *
That sounds like something my granddaughter would say … while rolling her eyes! But in this story, the granddaughter only wanted her Grandma to become more competent, instead of leaning so hard on her.
I want to confess something. That is how I used to picture my relationship with God.
I thought that God wanted me to become so competent I’d stop leaning on Him for everything. I viewed spiritual maturity as “not needing God” so much.
Was I ever wrong!
God does expect us to strive for excellence. (Slackers and deadbeats don’t honor Him.) But if we think we can ever do anything without God’s help, we’re believing a devilish lie. The enemy wants us to become self-sufficient and independent from our Creator and His plans for us.
I think it’s part of our culture to view self-reliance as a mark of success; and it’s tempting to carry this over into our walk with God. But we can’t fall for that lie. We’re never going to stop needing God; we will always need to depend on Him.
Anything less than total dependency on God leaves room for PRIDE.
The heart of pride believes (or acts like), “I can do this without you, Lord” … or “I’ll take it from here.” We rely on our own strength, our own perspective, our own resources. We shrink our lives to the size of our own capabilities, our own competence. And that’s not living a supernatural adventure with God, is it?
I used to think my life would glorify the Father when I finally got strong enough to move forward in faith without pestering God with prayers for His help. The problem was, functionally my faith was in myself. I was operating as if there were no God, because I didn’t ask Him for His input, wisdom or strength. Now, I understand that God is glorified in my childlike trust, in my utter dependence on Him. Instead of self-confidence, He wants me to cultivate God-confidence!
God wants to show Himself mighty in us and through us. Anything less robs God of the glory He deserves.
Being competent is not wrong, but our competency must be in Him. Only the Lord is sufficient to meet our needs and enable us to accomplish His purposes (2 Corinthians 3:5). His all-sufficient grace, operating in us, becomes our sufficiency, our competence for the good works He calls us to do (2 Corinthians 9:8; 12:9) as ministers of the new covenant of the Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:6a).
This competence in the Spirit—depending on Him for everything—does not rob God; it glorifies Him.
Do you struggle with “competency” in the flesh? Where does this show up in your life? How can you cultivate God-confidence?
* Story is adapted