Sufficient in His Grace


Shana Schutte shares her thoughts on self-sufficiency and encourages us to pursue His purpose and plans for our lives.

Last summer I read Craig Groeschel’s book, The Christian Atheist. For 12 chapters, Groeschel examines the symptoms of those who say they believe in God, but act like He doesn’t exist. For example, they believe in Christ but won’t forgive, pursue happiness at any cost, still worry all the time, don’t think God’s fair, and trust more in money than they do in the Savior.

Today, I realized one problem related to all of Groeschel’s symptoms of Christian atheism: the problem of self-sufficiency. We may say we believe in God but really lean more on ourselves than we lean on His power. (Maybe you can relate. I certainly can. I believe everyone alive has experienced this challenge at some level since the Garden.)

Last week, as I thought about self-sufficiency, I scribbled the following notes in my journal. I hope they are an encouragement to you as you pursue His purpose and plans for your life.

Self-sufficiency is the enemy of grace. If we believe we are able to do everything on our own, why do we need God? Our inadequacies are an opportunity for Him to show Himself sufficient. In this, there is grace, a gift we could never receive if we could solve our own problems.

God’s grace, and therefore His power, aren’t made manifest in those who believe they have no need for help. It doesn’t shine most brightly in the “I-can-do-it-myself” types. It shines in the inadequate, in those who know they need God’s power to succeed and endure. It shines when we are unable to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps. This is when He can show up to do great things in our impossible situation. This is when He is glorified and we are strengthened in our faith and hope by watching Him work.

He has chosen the foolish things of the world, the weak things and lowly things, and despised things of the world to shame the wise so that no one can boast in His presence (1 Corinthians 1:27-29). He moves in—and through—ordinary people. He always has and always will.

Since these things are true, one of the most powerful acts we can do is thank God for what we cannot do on our own, and then invite Him into our inadequacies. When we do, we’ll be surprised how He provides grace to sustain, equip, and guide us for the road ahead. God’s grace is sufficient, because when you are weak then you are strong (2 Corinthians 12:10).

To receive the gift of grace that brings with it God’s enabling power to accomplish His plans and purposes for our lives, we must humble ourselves and admit that we are unable, dependent, and that without Him we can “do nothing” (John 15:5).

Will you join me today by inviting Christ into your inadequacies and thank Him that you are able to do all things through His grace and power? (Philippians 4:13)

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