walk in the word
Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength (Isaiah 40:28–29, ESV).
It’s hard enough to admit we need God; what’s even harder is to live like we need Him. Successes in life can cripple us spiritually when we begin to view ourselves as self-sufficient. When we rely on our money, talent, family, or hard work to fix everyday problems, we don’t feel like we need God.
Ask the people of Israel about this brand of pride. They had just received news that they were going to suffer incredible consequences as a discipline from God. Their crime? They forgot who He was. They lost all sense of how great God is and how much they needed Him. His presence demanded awe and they yawned. For multiple generations, they had rebelliously, willfully, happily done their own thing—and God said, in essence, “Enough!”
In the context of facing doom, Isaiah’s audience cried out for the Lord. Isaiah answered with a moving description of God’s awesome, unchanging nature. “Have you not known? Have you not heard?” (40:28) (Translation: Didn’t you get the memo?) “The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary” (40:28).
God is not like us. He’s everlasting; we have short, finite life spans. He never gets tired; we range from drowsy to sleep deprived. He never feels overwhelmed; we are drowning in demands. “His understanding is unsearchable” (40:28); our thought processes are transparent and predictable.
God is so beyond us, and we need Him. The good news is He delivers exactly what we’re desperate for in our weakest moments. “He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength” (40:29). When your battery runs low, God offers power. When you are weak, He dispenses His strength.
Yet some claim they don’t need the Lord—they have their own program. “I have my act together. With a career plan and solid education, I’m heading in a good direction. My future’s bright.” They may not say they don’t need God, but they live like it. If that’s you, surrender your pride before He brings you low. You will not deny His purposes. Bow willingly before God now. Don’t wait for Him to force you to your knees.
Like Isaiah’s original audience, you live in decadent days among people who disdain and dilute God’s awesome character. Followers of Christ face a similar choice: flirt with your perceived self-sufficiency until disaster comes, or admit your desperation without Him. When trouble comes, do you rely on yourself or depend on God? Do you take matters into your own hands or wait for God’s provision in His timing?
Everyone needs the Lord. The sooner you learn this, the more you experience His power and strength.
Self-sufficiency is sneaky. What are you temped to rely on to fix a problem you are facing right now (i.e., your money, your charm, your skills, etc.)?
Do you openly admit You need God? How do you live like it?
Lord, I need You. Sometimes I pretend I can manage on my own and try to hold my life together with my own energy and talents. Please forgive me for the sin of self-sufficiency, God. Help me to replace that ugly self-sufficiency with utter dependence on You. When I face problems today, help me to turn first to you, and remind me to wait on Your timing. I won’t manipulate or force my own agenda; I choose to wait on Yours in the strength You provide. In Your awesome name I pray, amen.
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