The Great Sin of Independence

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Jeremiah 48:7 “For because thou hast trusted in thy works and in thy treasures, thou shalt also be taken: and Chemosh shall go forth into captivity with his priests and his princes together.”

The one thing God despises more than anything else is pride. When one is lifted up to believe that they don't need God is when pride has brought them to destruction. This is what happened to Moab. The verse above says that Moab trusted in their own works and treasures. In other words, Moab didn't feel that they needed God. Verse 42 confirms this when it says, “And Moab shall be destroyed from being a people, because he hath magnified himself against the LORD.” Moab made himself bigger than God by simply trusting himself instead of depending on God.

God’s great desire is for you to depend on Him. The greatest sin a believer could commit is to believe that they can do anything in life or in the ministry on their own without God. The fact that you can do it on your own ought to cause you to pause and remember that you still need God to do His work. You may be able to do things in your own strength, but it takes a different power to be able to do the LORD’s work. Just because you serve God does not mean that you depend on Him. Many do God’s works on their own strength, which that work becomes a sin if you do it independently from God. There are a couple of things I would like to point out to caution you about the great sin of independence.

First, your strength becomes your weakness when you believe you can perform your strength without God’s help. Samson’s strength became his weakness, and he found it out when he said that he would go out as at other times before that he was not as strong as he thought he was without God. Saul made the mistake of presumptuously thinking he could sacrifice without the LORD to his detriment. Everybody has a strength, but wherever you are strong can become your greatest weakness if you do what you are strong in without God’s help.

The fact that you know how to go soul winning is dangerous because you can try to lead people to Christ on your own, but you will fail. The fact that you can teach a Sunday school class, run a bus route, preach a sermon, teach in a Christian school, play a church instrument, or sing a special on your own should cause you to stop and realize that you need God in a greater way now because your strength has become your weakness.

Second, when you become your “own man” is when you are doing God’s work on your own. No believer is ever their own person if they do God’s work through His power and strength. David, the great warrior, told Goliath that he didn't come in his own strength to defeat him, but he would defeat him in the power of God. When Nebuchadnezzar wanted to honor Daniel for interpreting the dream that nobody else could interpret, he quickly deferred the ability to interpret these dreams to God’s help. If you stopped trying to be your own person and simply depended on God, you would find that God could use you in a greater way.

What are you doing on your own? Are you independent from God? It doesn't matter if you say you are not doing things independently from God, because if you do them without asking for His help, you are doing them independently from Him. Make it your habit to ask God to help you before you do anything.

Dr. Allen Domelle


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