Do you know what the sin of self-sufficiency is? Quite simply, it is prideful independence. Like Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, we who succumb to this sin believe we can live autonomous, independent lives apart from the One who created us. We believe we are self-sufficient. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, the great expository preacher, explained it well:
Anyone who reads the New Testament objectively can see clearly that the Pharisees of our Lord’s time were greater sinners (if you can use such terms) than were the publicans and open sinners.Why?Because they were self-satisfied, because they were self-sufficient.The height of sin is not to feel any need of the grace of God.There is no greater sin than that.Infinitely worse than committing some sin of the flesh is to feel that you are independent of God, or that Christ need never have died on the cross of Calvary. There is no greater sin than that. That final self-sufficiency, and self-satisfaction, and self-righteousness, is the sin of sins; it is sin at its height, because it is spiritual sin.
Our sinful nature desires more than anything else to be independent from anything or anyone who would rule over us, and that includes Almighty God.We think freedom is to be found in doing what we want to do, when we want to do it, and how we want to do it, apart from the authority of anyone over us—Almighty God or anyone else.
This is one of the reasons why God allows us to stumble and fall into sin, to remind us that we simply cannot live autonomous and independent lives apart from the help and assistance of God.When we get ourselves into trouble, we come running back to the only One who can deliver us from that trouble.“Some became fools through their rebellious ways and suffered affliction because of their iniquities,” the Psalmist recalled. “Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress.” (Psalm 107:17, 19).Every stumble is designed to bring us back to sit at the feet of our Savior.
When we are sitting at the feet of Jesus, we are given the “secret” of slaying the sin of self-sufficiency; that secret will be found in no other place.We see in the teaching of our Lord that even He was dependent upon His Father in heaven.Jesus said,
By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.(John 5:30)
The secret to slaying the sin of self-sufficiency is found in the fact that Jesus lived a life that was fully dependent on His Father.Not only that, but He was not afraid to acknowledge this truth.Jesus made it clear that all of us are dependent on God.Jesus modeled a life of dependence upon God and gave us the secret to slaying the sin of self-sufficiency.
Think about this for a moment: Jesus actually said, “By myself I can do nothing”!In His fully human nature He made it clear that He was fully dependent upon His Father.His spirit of dependence is to be our spirit of dependence.
We must look to God for everything.He will meet us in our place of need.He will even meet us in our places of the needs we don’t realize we need yet!It is freeing to know there is a God . . . and it is not us!When God is sitting in His rightful place—on the throne of our lives—we begin living the life we were designed by God to live.It is a life that is created by God, to be lived for God, and to be lived in God.
Now that I have told you the secret to slaying the sin of self-sufficiency, pass it along—because there isn’t a person you meet who isn’t struggling with it!
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!