Time for another excerpt from the upcoming book, “Today Is….A Gift From God.” Today’s devotional is from January 20.
TODAY IS… a good day to avoid self-sufficiency.
“The Lord said to Gideon, ‘The people who are with you are too many for Me to give Midian into their hands, for Israel would become boastful, saying ‘My own power has delivered me.'” Judges 7:2 NASB
When God convinced Gideon that it was he who God wanted to rescue Israel from the armies of Midian, Gideon’s own army numbered some 32,000 men. God had assured Gideon a victory, but was concerned that once the victory was won, Gideon and his army would attribute the victory to their own strength and not God’s. God called upon Gideon to send all but 300 of his warrior’s home. With an army so small, victory could only come with God’s help. “The Lord said to Gideon, ‘I will deliver you with the 300 men…'” (Judges 7:7 NASB).
Far too often we pray to God for His help with a particular problem or situation then take the credit for ourselves when it is resolved or taken care of. We seem to forget that we asked God for help and somehow conveniently seem to think we were the source of the solution. We must never allow self-sufficiency to cause us to believe that we can do what must be done without help from God.
Before entering into the land promised to the Israelites by God, Moses cautioned them to “…then watch yourself, that you do not forget the Lord who brought you from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.” (Deuteronomy 6:12 NASB).
Moses feared what would happen when the Israelites discovered the prosperity of the Promised Land. “…a land with large, flourishing cities you did not build, houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant…” (Deuteronomy 6:10-11 NIV). He was afraid that they would then feel self-sufficient and fall prey to the desire to obtain more of everything except God, who had delivered them to that land of plenty.
As creations of God, we should all be thankful to Him for each new sunrise, for each breath that we take, and for everything that we have, yet we often get caught up in feelings of pride. Self-importance leads to self-sufficiency and that leads us away from God.
It is impossible for us, as humans, to love God as much as He loves us. But if we love Him with all that we are, and thank Him daily for His love and for all that He is, we will avoid any temptations to take credit away from God and claim it for ourselves. We must always give credit to God and thank Him for everything. Without Him we are nothing, but with Him we have everything we need.