When was the last time you rejoiced when you discovered that you were expected to do something that you could not do? Probably never! Most people become discouraged and upset when they discover that they lack the ability to do what is being required of them. This is because they have been taught that they should be
strong and independent and that the Bible teaches God helps those who help themselves. The truth is the Bible teaches just the opposite.
God wants an intimate relationship with us; so He created us to be dependent on Him for everything. His joy comes from us looking to Him for everything we need and He being able to supply our needs abundantly. But people tend to prefer to be self-sufficient and independent, and want to be able to take care of things themselves. They consider self-sufficiency a virtue that needs to be cultivated.
This was the reason for the fall of man and why Adam disobeyed God. He wanted to be able to do things without God’s help. So he declared his independence of God by eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Unfortunately, living independently of God produced sin, failure, disease and death.
Instead of encouraging us to be strong in ourselves, Jesus came to make us once again totally dependent on Him for everything. He told his disciples He was the vine and they were the branches and even as branches must depend on the vine to live and bear fruit, so apart from Him they would be able to do nothing. He taught them to abide in Him by faith and to receive their life and strength from Him directly.
Child of God, when we came into this world as babies we were helpless. We depended on our parents for everything. Then, we started to mature physically and became less and less dependent. Our goal was to reach the place where our parents no longer needed to care for us because we were fully self-sufficient. Physically, this is a mark of growth and maturity. Personal strength is a good thing physically.
But it works just the opposite spiritually! Spiritually, we grow in grace by becoming more and more dependent upon God. The more dependent we are, the more “grown up” we are spiritually. In the Kingdom of God, dependency is a virtue!
The truth is God does not help those who help themselves. Rather, He helps those who cannot help themselves. And the weaker we are, the better, if our sense of weakness causes us to give up our claim to self-sufficiency and leads us to cast ourselves totally upon the grace of God. In 2 Corinthians 12:9, St. Paul wrote: “And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
The Spirit of God spoke to my heart a few days ago in helping me to understand how Paul could glory in and boast in his weaknesses. He said to me, “God does his best work for us when we are not trying to do ours.” Let God do His best work. Give Him your weaknesses, like St. Paul did, that the power of Christ may rest upon you and His strength can be expressed perfectly through you.
Remember, God helps those who cannot help themselves!