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A Prayer and Fasting Devotional

ThinkstockPhotos-462344345I walked down the street, knowing I had been given exactly what I needed. No more, no less. I was thankful, but uneasiness began to chip away at the surface level of gratefulness.

That’s when I realized I didn’t actually want God to provide for me; I wanted Him to make me comfortable. I didn’t want enough to cover this specific need. I wanted enough that I would never have to rely on the help of others again. I said I relied on God, but I really just wanted to make ends meet on my own terms. I didn’t want other people to be involved.
When we hate relying on the body of Christ and we strive to “do it all” on our own, our attitude is doing more than causing a rift between ourselves and other people in that particular instance. It is revealing a chasm between a holy God and a needy sinner. I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t like being needy, much less feeling needy. But as I tell students all the time, if I don’t see my need for being saved, I’ll have no need to call upon the Savior. 

My sin of discontent sprang from my desire to be comfortable. But, lusting after self-sufficiency is denying God’s sufficiency. The desire to not receive help from others includes rejecting help from God through others. I like to think about relying on God. But in reality, relying on God looks like relying on the body of Christ. 

First John 1:2 says, “For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world.” Our human desires are not always evil, but they can quickly become sinful as we twist them to not be focused on, toward or about God. My desire for comfortability via things of the world must be submitted to an eternal perspective and love for God first. But when my flesh longs for the twisted comfort the world has to offer, what do I do? 

Repent (Psalm 51:17). 

My repentance isn’t about recognizing that God is in control whether I like it or not. It’s about recognizing God’s love for me in that He doesn’t leave me to myself. He loves me enough to show me my flesh, to call me to repentance and to give me what I need, not just what I want. 

Trust his wisdom (1 Corinthians 2:5). 

I must seek to know God’s character. If I don’t really know who God is, I have no reason to rely on Him. If I don’t seek to know the depths of His holiness or goodness or perfection, I don’t have any foundation to stand on when it comes to trusting Him. 

Seek to think differently (Romans 12:2). 

My sinful desire for self-sufficiency wasn’t a new revelation. I’ve sought after comfortability for as long as I can remember. While being comfortable is not bad, the way I was thinking about it is wrong. I wanted to be in charge. I wanted it to be easy. I wanted for me to look capable. Those desires are all about me feeling good for my own sake, not feeling good because of who God is, what He did and what He continues to do. But God was calling me to deeper places of trusting Him. I had been thinking in this particular way for so long I hadn’t even noticed my sinful thought pattern. I had stopped believing, “Whatever is your will, Lord.” Instead, I was thinking, “As long as it’s not unreasonable to me, Lord.” This wrong thinking had been developed over time in my heart. My hope had slowly crept away from truth and toward the lies of my flesh and the world. After repenting of my sin, I needed to reset my eyes on truth. 

Confess to others in humility (James 5:16). 

There is something humiliating about telling others that you need help. When we humble ourselves before the Lord and others, we get to experience community and joy. When I try to be the whole body instead of part of the body, I am also hurting the people around me. I am telling them that they should be able to do it all on their own as well. Confessing to others gives accountability to the way you are thinking and allows God’s grace to flow within His body through its members. 

My lustful desire to be adequate, apart from anyone else, rejects God’s offer of relationship with Him. But when I bring that into the light by confession, that’s me handing over the reins. And that is where joy in Christ resides. 

Rebekah Hannah
Ministry Fellow at Columbia
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