Slaying Self-Sufficiency

When you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God. (Genesis 3:5)

There is much to be understood about the first temptation that the devil delivered to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. There are many layers to Satan’s lies, but the very root of the temptation was self-sufficiency. Made by God for God, Adam and Eve were created to live in total and utter dependence upon God. Scripture tells us plainly that “In him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28). It was God’s divine design for mankind to live in conscious, consistent dependence on Him.

In this first temptation of self-sufficiency, the devil tempted man to live in autonomy, independent from the Almighty — a state of self-governing self-sufficiency. So alluring was this temptation presented by the devil that Eve, followed by Adam, “saw the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, took some and ate it” (Genesis 3:6). The results were catastrophic for all humanity, but the good news of the Gospel appeared immediately, when God pursued the two rebels on the run, promised to send a Savior, and then graciously worked in the lives of His people to cause them to realize their total dependence upon Him. That is the summary of the entire story line of God’s people, Israel.

Here is how Moses described it:

Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. (Deuteronomy 8:2-3)

When they were hungry, God fed them. When they were thirsty, God gave them water to drink. You would think that after forty years in the desert the Israelites would not need any reminders of their total dependence on God and how He had met their every need. But they did . . . and so do we. Regardless of where we live and where this message finds us, we are every bit as dependent on God to meet our needs as the Israelites were in their wilderness experience.

How instructive to read that God was “causing you to hunger and then feeding you.” Regardless of our need, God has promised to meet it according to His glorious riches in Jesus Christ (Philippians 4:19).

Here is a fabulous verse to help us remember just how dependent we are on the Lord God Almighty: “What do you have that you did not receive?” (1 Corinthians 4:7). Everything we have comes to us from God; and the more we have, the more we are in debt to the One who has given it to us.

What you and I receive from the hand of God may not seem as miraculous as the food and water He provided for the people of Israel in the desert; He most often displays His providential care through ordinary and mundane means. But His great grace and care are no less miraculous than passing through the Red Sea on dry land. We are to see His care for us as a miracle, and that sense of wonder and awe will slay the sin of self-sufficiency.

This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!

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