“God helps those that help themselves”. It is a saying that I have heard my entire life in and out of church.
While it seems to have the appearance of being righteous thinking, there is really a false humility that is associated with it and it is a line of thinking that destines us for failure and fatigue.
Granted, God wants us to learn to be good stewards of the things we are blessed with and it is important to God that we are obedient to do what God asks us, but that’s not really what this statement is saying.
This statement is actually implying conditions upon God’s goodness, His concern for us and his willingness to help us based on what WE can do for ourselves in our own strength.
By doing so, it in essence agrees with the line of thinking the Galatians had that Paul sharply rebuked them for in chapter 3;
3 Are you so foolish and so senseless and so silly? Having begun [your new life spiritually] with the [Holy] Spirit, are you now reaching perfection [by dependence] on the flesh?
Throughout the scriptures, there are numerous teachings and examples of people who tried to reply upon themselves and their own works and through them met with failure.
Believing that we can help God do what only He alone can do, eventually leads to pride and pride eventually leads to distancing ourselves from seeing God as our all in all.
We begin to hold God at arm’s length only letting Him in to help us when we can’t manage the situation or it is something that is drastically far beyond our control or ability to do for ourselves.
God however, is not content to only be someone on call or standby for our life crisis. God wants to be involved and help us with the small details of our lives.
God is in the business of helping us even in things that he has given us grace to do in our limited strength. Even though it is something that we may be able to handle such as a decision or small task, He is still with is and in us giving us strength as we rely on Him.
Phillipians 4:13 tells us:
13 I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency].
But what about those people who just can’t seem to get it together or what about that issue or besetting sin that keeps coming around and hounding us?
Each time it comes around, we try to do the right thing. We want to make good choices, (after all we are responsible for our actions right?) but even in spite of our hearts desire to make the right choice, to do the right thing, we fall down in weakness.
After doing so, the enemy comes with a laughing chorus to ridicule us, to shame us and to accuse us. His goal, simply put is to get us to take responsibility for something that Jesus has already conquered in our lives.
He wants us to see our identity wrapped up in failure and to take responsibility for failing God so that we will not embrace the truth of our situation and our identity- that Jesus has already defeated the enemy and that He sees us already as we are going to be through His eyes.
He has already taken care of every need and he has already provided the strength and ability for us to rise up and be who he has called us to be – and the beautiful part? It had nothing to do with anything we could do on our own to help ourselves.
The phrase I introduced at the beginning of this blog, is nothing more than an ideology that the enemy tries to get us as believers to embrace so that we rob ourselves of the power of the grace of Jesus Christ.
Grace is so complex. It is full of mercy and full of gifts and promises but it is also full of power that allows us to live in a way that is above sin, crushing it under our feet.
Grace allows us to do those things that in our natural ability or strength we cannot.
Paul said this of his weaknesses and grace:
2 Corinthians 12:9
9 But He said to me, My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully]; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in [your] weakness. Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ (the Messiah) may rest (yes, may pitch a tent over and dwell) upon me!
God does not simply help those that help themselves, God helps those that cannot help themselves and He lovingly helps those whom the world has labeled as beyond help.
To quote the lyrics of a song by Someonebrave, “There is no sin unforgiveable, when I’m looking in His eyes”
There is no failure, no mistake, no weakness, no situation that Jesus did not give full provision for when He went to the cross.
He alone finished the work, He alone has seen to every detail of you becoming a champion in His kingdom.
There is perfect hope for you when you cannot help yourself and there is revelation and peace in knowing that God Himself will be your strength and your resolve and bring you to a place on complete victory.