by Dr. Charles Stanley
Friday April 1, 2005
Spiritual independence means living outside the restraints of God's will and choosing instead to please ourselves.
What leads us as believers to take matters into our own hands? First comes desire. We either want what we do not have or would like it in a different form. We chafe at the constraints of our faith that call us to deny ourselves and obey God. (Luke 9:23) Personal satisfaction becomes a priority, and that leads to deception. Our Enemy paints a beautiful, albeit untrue, picture of how things will be if we just change our circumstances—our job, marriage, or lifestyle. We start believing the lie that gratification can be found elsewhere and forget the truth that our life is complete in Christ. (Ephesians 1:3)
Next comes a decision. If we do not sift our desires through the will of God or hold onto the truth that God's grace is sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9), we will choose to act independently of Him. Though we will make a decision which sounds right, looks good, and seems harmless, in actuality we are taking our departure from God's good and perfect will. For a period of time, we will find delight in walking outside of His plan. Sin—doing what we want instead of what God wants—brings temporary pleasure but is eventually followed by despair and, if unchecked, disaster.
No matter how far you have wandered spiritually, turn back to God. Like the father in the story of the Prodigal Son, He waits to welcome you home. In Him, you will find all you need. (Ephesians 3:18-19)
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