The Source of Our Sufficiency
Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God . . . [We] have no confidence in the flesh . . . I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (2Co_3:5-6; Php_3:3; and Php_4:13)
We have been considering how God’s grace develops traits of godliness in our lives. Such studies are related to finding the source of our sufficiency. Where are believers in Jesus Christ supposed to find adequate resources for living godly lives? The scriptures answer this question in a two-fold manner. First, God wants us to realize that we are not the source of anything that is needed. Second, God wants us to understand that He is the source of everything that is needed.
Our inadequacy is the first matter the Lord desires to clarify for us. “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves.” Our own personal inadequacy is so comprehensive that we cannot expect that anything godly or eternal will source from us. We do not have any resources that can save a soul, transform a life, or cause the Lord’s church to be edified. This is a drastically different perspective on life than what we initially held. Man’s natural mind assumes that we must be the source of all that is needed for daily living. God’s word repeatedly warns us not to adopt this viewpoint. The Psalmists proclaimed such. “Vain is the help of man . . . Do not put your trust in princes, nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help” (Psa_108:12; Psa_146:3). Jesus elaborated on this theme. “Without Me you can do nothing” (Joh_15:5). Paul taught the same. ” [We] have no confidence in the flesh (that is, in human resources) .”
God’s adequacy is the second matter that He wants to clarify for us. “Our sufficiency is from God.” As surely as we are totally inadequate to supply what we need for life, God is fully adequate to be our comprehensive source for living. The Psalmist understood this corollary truth as well. “Through God we will do valiantly, For it is He who shall tread down our enemies . . . Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them” (Psa_108:13; Psa_146:5-6). Jesus offered the same sufficient provisions. “He who abides in Me . . . bears much fruit” (Joh_15:5). Paul testified of the same reality. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” God is the source of our sufficiency in all that pertains to developing godly characteristics.
Dear Lord, my sufficiency, I repent of my frequent tendency to look to myself to find personal adequacy. How vain and hopeless that is. Lord, teach me to hope in You for everything I need for godly living, in Jesus name, Amen.