When I was in the Army, I remembered filling up a form. It was to check that you’re mentally sound and not going to go Rambo with an M16 rifle. So the officer gave out these blue forms with different questions to a group of us and we were supposed to answer it on a scale of one to ten, how much I agreed with the statement. I wasn’t thinking very much until I reached the question. ‘You can rely on yourself to accomplish your tasks and future plans?’ Honestly, I wasn’t sure. Should I have confidence in myself or God?
I’m not alone on this. If I asked you that question, how would you answer? When you face a task, do you rely on yourself, or on God? Motivational speakers tell us that we are captain of our destinies. That we can go anywhere we have set our eyes and hearts on. Believe in yourself! Isn’t that what self-esteem is? Does God say anything about reliance? Indeed the Bible has the answer, and it is this: Reliance on God is not a sign of weakness but strength.
Let’s look at 2 Corinthians 1:9, where Paul writes:
Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.
Paul relied totally on God, not himself! Paul used the phrase ‘this happened’, indicating that the sentence of death was from God to teach him a precious lesson. To rely fully on God. Can we say the same?
Later on in the same book, Paul writes:
2 Corinthians 4:7
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.
This power within us is Jesus Christ. There is nothing fantastic about us outwardly. We are just jars of clay. But inside, there is a great treasure, a great power. Which is more important? The jar or what is in the jar? Obviously, the power in the jar! Similarly, we are just vessels or conduits of God’s power and no attention should be focussed on how great we are. Only God is great.
There is no shame in admitting that we are weak without God. For when we are weak, God’s strength is made perfect. Don’t be afraid to rely on God, even for the most mundane, simplest of tasks that you do today. Ask God for His power to be demonstrated in you, a jar of clay.
If you’re wondering how I filled up the form for that question, I put a one showing I had no confidence in myself. My friends with me were confused but this world cannot understand the paradox of God. Think about it: Jesus, the God of the universe, came down in weak human flesh, made Himself nothing and died on a cruel cross so that we all can become strong in Him. How can we not rely on a Man like that?