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Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God.
(2 Cor. 3:5)
Self-sufficiency. Self-sufficiency is a good thing that we are pushed toward from the time we are a small child. It's a parent's vocation to teach their children to grow up to become self-sufficient.

God's design for our spiritual growth is built upon working toward self-sufficiency. Let me show you a scripture and then go through it to show you what I mean. Second Timothy 3:16-17 says,
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete (self-sufficient) thoroughly equipped for every good work.
(2 Tim. 3:16-17)
Let me break this down so you can see what I mean in regard to self-sufficiency. First we see that God's Word is given for doctrine. That means to know God Himself - His heart, His ways, His will for each person and of things to come.

We are given doctrine so we can truly know God. In Psalm 86, we see that David knew doctrine. He knew who and how God is. David spoke of God saying,
You are forgiving and good, O Lord, abounding in love to all who call to You... For You are great and do marvelous deeds; You alone are God...For great is Your love toward me; You have delivered me from the depths of the grave... But You, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.
(Ps. 86:5,10,13,15)
Because David knew God's ways, how He was, and His will for David, he could cry out to God in faith knowing God would hear and help Him. That's doctrine - knowing God's will and ways.

Scripture is Given For...
Then we see that scripture is given for reproof. That simply means God is going to help us know what is not of Him so we can mark it in our hearts as evil, sinful, or something we should not participate in.

His Spirit will speak to our hearts when we get in sin or error. That is reproof. Then scripture is given for correction. God is going to tell us what is important to Him and to us to have a successful and blessed life. He will show us how to think, talk, deal with people and relationships, and succeed and be blessed at what we put our hand to.

Finally scripture is given for instruction in righteousness. That means God is not only going to tell us what is important to think on and do, He is going to show us how to do what He instructs us to do. His Holy Spirit instructs us from within. We meditate on the Word of God and then the Holy Spirit begins to show us how to walk it out.

God is a Heavenly Father and parents us this way. Learning this way is God's plan for teaching us how to become self-sufficient. Likewise as earthly parents, we too teach our children our hearts, how to think, speak, and do.

As my children have grown, I'd teach them how to do something - make their beds, clean their rooms, set the table, mow the lawn, etc. I tell them how I wanted it done. Then I'd show them. Then I'd help them do it. Then they got to where they could do it themselves. They became self-sufficient in doing the different things they learned.

Self-sufficiency is a good thing and a needful part of life to a point. Although God wants us to know Him, learn, and become mature in our doing, He doesn't ever want us to become self-sufficient of Him.

To the contrary, we are to all consult Him in everything. Self-sufficiency from God will bring us to this. "You have not because you ask not, or you ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures," were spoken to us in James 4:2-3.

If we don't practice asking God and letting Him teach and instruct us, then we will then quit asking, become misguided, wrongly motivated, and end up astray from God.

To not spend time with Him meditating on His Word and then lifting my day before Him for His help, guidance, and wisdom, would be operating in pride and arrogance.

When we become self-sufficient to the place where we are not dependent on God, where we don't pray and seek the Lord through His Word, then our self-sufficiency has become a curse to us.

Let's learn well what is taught us so we can become self-sufficient - just not of the Lord!

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All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

Tim Burt
Web site: Todays Fresh Manna
Pastor Tim became a part of the leadership team at Living Word Christian Center in 1984 and served as Associate Pastor from 1989 to 2017. He and His wife Renee, also a Pastor at Living Word, resigned, feeling impressed by God to pursue the tremendous growth of their ministry "Fresh Manna," as well as teaching conferences and seminars, and increasing their involvement on the mission field through Tim & Renee Burt Ministries.

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