button

surprised woman
What shuts out God's activity in your life may surprise you. (Charisma archives)

The SpiritLed Woman podcast is empowering women weekly to follow their purpose in Christ and boldly walk in faith. Listen at charismapodcastnetwork.com.


Have you ever watched a small child transition from the infantile state of total dependence to relative independence? As he learns to dress himself, brush his teeth and so on, he develops an attitude that declares, "I can do it myself!" This attitude, encouraged by parents and reinforced by a culture that prides itself on its own resourcefulness, can become a stronghold of self-reliance. And self-reliance shuts out God.

I learned this truth the hard way. I had always been an independent person, and though I was quick to seek God's intervention in circumstances that were beyond my control, I tried to handle the bulk of my life situations on my own. In fact, I thought that was what God wanted me to do.

But as I grew closer to God, I learned I was wrong. I began to pray, "Lord, show me anything that is a hindrance to knowing You." One day when I uttered this prayer the presence of God filled my car.

Rather than revealing some forgotten sin or offense, the Holy Spirit said, "Your independence is a stench to Me." I came to understand that He didn't want me to wait until I had run out of my own resources to put things into His hands; He wanted me to depend on Him for everything.

Proverbs 3:5 spells out the attitude we are to have: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him" (NKJV). Notice that this verse doesn't tell us to acknowledge Him in just some of our ways--but in all our ways. We are to depend not on ourselves but on Him.

To the extent that we rely on our own abilities, gifts or resources to accomplish what God is calling us to, we limit Him. He is much more powerful than we are--and He wants to do much more than we could do on our own! Because we operate in the natural realm, we will certainly use our gifts and abilities in carrying out His plans, but we have to remember that it is He who not only gave them to us but also empowers us to use them. We couldn't even take our next breath without His grace.

Total dependence on God is not weakness. It is a place of surrender that acknowledges that we can do nothing without Him (see John 15:5). We can take this stance in confidence, knowing that whatever resources we need, He will provide, and whatever tasks He assigns, He will do through us. After all, if He is to receive the glory for everything we do, He has to do the work.

Catherine Marshall (p.64) is right: Helplessness "is one of the greatest assets a human being can have"--if it is coupled with knowing God. When we accept the truth of our own inadequacy in light of His limitless power and infinite love for us, we can trust Him to do "exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think" (Eph. 3:20).

Draw closer to God. Experience the presence of the Holy Spirit every month as you read Charisma magazine. Sign up now to get Charisma for as low as $1 per issue.

Get to know the Holy Spirit and how to interact with Him on a daily basis. Learn to enter God's presence and hear His voice clearly for yourself! Go deeper in your faith with Life in the Spirit and change your life and destiny. Are you ready to start your journey?

Your Turn

Comment Guidelines
View/Add Comments
  • Chuck Pierce is calling the month ahead "critical."

    Chuck Pierce Prophesies 'Short, 10-Year Window' in the Nations

    Russia is a big part of what he sees.

  • A bit of flirting may seem innocent, but it can lead to destructive behavior.

    3 Do's and Don'ts When Communicating With Women Other Than Your Wife

    Do you and your wife have any other rules for communicating with the opposite sex?

  • The Things That Hold Us Back

    The Things That Hold Us Back

    The rich young ruler, like many of us today, was in a “quandary.” He wanted to follow Jesus, but he loved the lifestyle his money provided for him.

  • Warring angels

    Prophetic Word: 'I Saw Angels at Almost the Speed of Light'

    Here is why you must pray them through for yourself and for your nation.

  • Get the answer to your challenging circumstance in this insight from James 1:5.

    Early Warning Signs You're About to Make a Terrible Decision

    Is Holy Spirit sounding off these alarms in your life?

  • Cindy Jacobs is encouraging intercessors across the country to pray to keep the nation stabilized through December 19th.

    Cindy Jacobs Issues Critical Post-Election Prayer Alert

    Will you keep watching and praying?

  • This revivalist had a vision of hell.

    Revivalist: I Went to Hell in a Dream

    After God took him on a prophetic journey, John Burton left with an important message for the ...

  • Fidel Castro

    Castro Couldn't Kill Christianity in Cuba

    The sober truth is the world is a safer place now that Cuba's dictator is dead.

  • Don't let pornography impede God's plan for your life.

    How Watching Pornography Ruins the Destiny God Has for You

    If the devil can seduce you, he can reduce you.

  • Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Follow God on the most fulfilling journey of your life with Encounter the Holy Spirit! Break away from past hurts and press into the One who wants a personal encounter with you.

  • Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Reach your full potential and be led by His Spirit. In His Presence takes you to a deeper understanding of who God is and how he communicates with us.

  • Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Receive the power and gifts that come through the Holy Spirit Baptism. Don’t go empty-handed; accept all that He has for you! His power is available to those who ask.

  • Put on the Full Armor of God

    Put on the Full Armor of God

    Break every stronghold with the power of the Holy Spirit. Use the power of your tongue to declare and decree the Word of God. Witness heaven move on your behalf.

Use Desktop Layout
Charisma Magazine — Empowering believers for life in the Spirit
button
button