“The challenge for us is to live in such a way that we are radically dependent on and desperate for the power that only God can provide (pg 45).”
“The dangerous assumption we unknowingly accept in the American dream is that our greatest asset is our own ability (pg 46).” Today in the aftermaths of natural disasters, terrorists’ attacks on our own soil, a housing crisis, barely escaping a depression, increased unemployment rates and lack of financial security, some of our nation’s highest leaders are admitting to the frailty of the American dream.
These hard times are revealing significant challenges in the tapestry of our country’s fabric. And I have asked previously, “Has the American Dream Failed Us?” It’s good to have dreams and aspirations, and it is also good to guard against the lie that those expectations or achievements can provide lasting hope and a false sense of security in this life.
The American Dream places priority on the individual, his or her success, and their contributions to society and their country. The American Dream places priorities on the individual’s rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Therefore, when our rights are not upheld, we defend ourselves to protect them. Those defenses come in the forms of attacks against our government, unions and protests against our employers, and war. “But the gospel has different priorities. The gospel beckons us to die to ourselves and to believe in God and to trust in his power (pg 46).”
The Lord’s promises and His gospel states:
“Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right (1 Peter 2:13-14).”
“Obey your leaders and submit to their authority (Hebrews 13:17 NIV).”
“The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still (Exodus 14:14).”
“The Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the Day of Judgment, while continuing their punishment (2 Peter 2:9).”
This is just a short list of scriptures that reveal that “God actually delights in exalting our inability (pg 47).” For it is in our weaknesses that we see God’s grace at work (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).
Our weaknesses humble us to intimate moments of prayer.
Our weaknesses bring us to trust our heavenly Father’s plan and provision for our lives.
Our weaknesses teach us how to rely on the power of the Holy Spirit at work within us. We need to be still and listen to his voice and then obey his instructions.
The life of a Christian is not characterized by the level of earthly success. On the contrary, “God delights in using ordinary Christians who come to the end of themselves and choose to trust in his extraordinary provision. He stands ready to allocate his power to all who are radically dependent on him and radically devoted to making much of him (pg 56).”
We, as believers in today’s American church, need a paradigm shift. Like the disciples who left everything to follow Jesus when we called, we need to be willing to trust God and his plan for our lives no matter what that plan may be.
Are you ready to come to the end of yourself?
© Natasha S. Robinson 2011