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I need Him...

It is my firm belief that pride is the most deceptive sin of all--at least in my own life, for I suppose I can not truly attest to sin in the lives of others. But I do believe this is my greatest struggle as a child of God.

One of the main reasons for this is that pride can take on so many different forms. It can come in the form of self-preoccupation-being so consumed with ones own self, that the needs of others are paid little or no attention to, for his focus is himself.
It can come in the form of self-exaltation-the need to be exalted and looked upon as good or fun or popular or right or strong or whatever attribute that you exalt. The latter is often how I think of pride.
But I think an the most dangerous form of pride for us as Christians is that of self-reliance-believing that our human self is able to satisfy our human needs in any way, shape, or form.

I find it humbling that in the moments after the Lord has corrected a false mindset in me, I am astonished to see that I ever could have thought how I did previously. This was the situation I found myself in this past Tuesday evening. I was listening to a sermon by Bob Kauflin entitled "Pursuing God's Presence." It was an exposition on 1 Corinthians 12:1-11. Bob's first point was that in order to pursue the presence of God, we need to have a desperate dependence. Paul says in this chapter
"No one can ever say Jesus is Lord, except in the Holy Spirit."
We cannot confess Christ genuinely unless the Holy Spirit enables us too. In order to even confess our belief in Christ, we need the Holy Spirit-we cannot do it on our own.

Bob spoke of hurting his back while helping his son move and, though fine for a while, a week later, he was stuck in bed and was really unable to walk. He says this:
"In that state, I realized how dependent I was on my wonderful wife who did so
much to serve me in that time and help me....I felt my need.

I can not even begin to tell you how the Spirit began to work in my heart at this moment in the sermon. Somehow in my sinful mind, dependence was a weak thing. Only weak people are dependent. But strong people, they are independent and they do not need anything from anyone. I, Jennifer, am strong. I am independent. For example, when my car got yet another flat tire in September, I did not call a brother in Christ for help. Instead, I fixed the situation on my own. I got the spare tire put on, I got myself to the repair shop, and I waited around for 2 hours until it was fixed. I could have called and asked for help, but for whatever reason, I have this self-dependent mindset.

This mindset of course goes even deeper than flat tires. It pervades my life spiritually as well. If I was struggling with scripture memorization, I wouldn't pray for the Holy Spirit to enable my memory and sharpen my mind because this is something that I should not need help with. A 5 year old can memorize Scripture! I was ashamed to go before the throne of God with something as simple as this. I should be able to accomplish this on my own. This goes for most of my sins-deception, judgments, etc. It is as if I am a twenty year old toddler who is stuck in a perpetual state of "No! I'm a big girl. I can do it!"

Toddlers. What amazing things we can learn from them-especially in the area of dependence. I care for a 23 month old twice a week. She is dependent! She needs me to get dressed, to buckle her in the car, to get her food, to keep her clean. It might be said that of course she is dependent, she is physically unable to satisfy her needs. Yes! Exactly! If Ella were to try and change her own diaper, I can only imagine the disastrous effects!! She would be showing not just an inability but also a stupidity in attempting to accomplish for herself something that I am perfectly willing and desirous to do for her (and can do it a million times better).

Do you see the parallel to my spiritual life? I, Jennifer, am unable to satisfy my own needs. It is not a weakness to admit inability, it is wisdom! To realize that I am insufficient, inept, and unable-to realize that I am in need of not only a Savior to meet my spiritual needs, but a Creator-Provider-Sustainer Abba God to meet all of my needs.

Bob also said this
"Dependence is revealed in the asking."
And it is the Spirit who enables us to cry out Abba Father. The Spirit helps us in our weakness.
"Prayer is a sign that we are desperately dependent on God."

It should be no surprise to you then that I told my accountability the area of spiritual disciplines that most needs work is my prayer life. I need to ask the Lord for His enabling Spirit more often.
But praise the Lord that conviction and repentance are not the end. His mercies are new each day-so today, I can come before the throne and admit my need to be dependent.

I will never be able to do well academically if the Lord does not sharpen my mind and provide for me ample study time. I need Him.

I will never be able to take my next breath if the Lord does not sovereignly ordain it to be so. I need Him.

I will never be able to glean anything from Scripture without the Holy Spirit's working in my heart to open my eyes to the truths that are before me. I need Him.

I will never be able to "pick" the right husband for myself without the Lord's discernment. I need Him to correctly form my desires. I need Him to cause me to realize that I will never marry a Prince Charming, but a sinner saved by grace like myself and that the purpose of any marriage (or relationship of any kind) is to serve the Kingdom and bring glory to the Lord. I need Him.

I will never be able to be good enough for God-no matter how many Piper books I read, or how many hymns I love, or how many missions trips I go on. I need Him!

I will never be able to satisfy the wrath of a righteous God on my own. I need the blood of His Son to be sprinkled on my head. I NEED HIM!

Wow. Excellent provoking post. Thanks.

[Found your blog through Lana...nice to meet you? =) ]

I'm so grateful that the Lord is able to use revealed sin in my life to provoke others to thought!

Thank you for the encouragement.

Nice to meet you too :-)

Great and challenging post, Jenn!

thanks for the encouragement Patrick!

Hope all is well for you and Melanie. Have a great Thanksgiving!!

wow. thank you for the inspiration you give. and for the God that shines through your words...

it was such a blessing to stumble onto your journal.

it is so encouarging when my friends comment on my blog, but somehow, it's almost even more so when people I don't know comment.

I am continually blown away by how the Lord manages to me to write words that somehow bless others...others that I don't even know!

thank you for blessing me in turn!

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