I am a capable individual. That’s my problem. I’m capable. I think well. I analyze well. I communicate well. I am perfectly capable to live my life with moderate success on my own. And that’s a problem.
My capability keeps me from relying on God. Humans tend to rely on God in their deficiencies. I can’t save myself from hell, so I rely on God for that. I can’t fix my health problems, so I rely on God for that too. Money problems—God’s good for that. I can’t fix my wife or children or people at church so I don’t mind relying on God for those things either. Most humans tend to rely on God in the areas in their life where they feel deficient.
But I don’t feel all that many deficiencies on a day-to-day basis. I can handle most things that come my way. I can handle life’s challenges. I can handle traffic. I can handle work. I can handle my projects. I’m perfectly capable to handle most of my life and so I don’t really need to rely on God for most of my day-to-day decisions.
And this is a HUGE problem for me. I’m not sad that I’m a capable person. I’m not even embarrassed by it. Frankly, I’m glad God made me this way. The problem for me, though, is that I rely on myself rather than upon God. It’s not that I refuse to rely on God; it’s that I don’t even think about it. Why would I rely on God when my efficiencies enable me to figure things out myself?
I am a capable person and this leads me to one of my greatest sins: self-reliance. My challenge is learning to rely on God in all things; learning to depend on God rather than myself; learning to be led by God when I feel like I can lead myself. I’m not suggesting that I abdicate my role in my own life—certainly this dance with God requires my participation. I’m saying that instead of asking God to join me in what I’m doing, perhaps it would be better if I join God in what he’s doing. Capability does not equal holiness and my reliance upon myself will only result in me becoming a marginal, secular Christian.
The Holy Spirit is asking me to hear to his voice and to follow his lead. Self-reliance is not the way of Jesus and we who are capable individuals must nail this sin to the cross with the rest of our sins.
Hagion Pneuma, I’m relying on you to make me reliant on you.