From False Self-sufficiency To True Sufficiency
As a young man in college and later in business, I was full of self-sufficiency. I believed that a man could do just about anything he wanted to do through his own effort, if he was willing to pay the price of hard work and sacrifice.
Then, when I became a Christian, the Bible
introduced me to a whole new understanding. I began to see that a man could really do nothing in his own efforts but must depend on God for everything, especially living the Christian life.
In my desire, I had gone from total self-sufficiency to total Christ-sufficiency.
But even with this new attitude, I still tried on occasions to do it myself, but now I was being "spiritual." I resorted to all kinds of self-imposed disciplines, such as long days of fasting
and prayer and begging God for His power. However, the more I tried to live a victorious life, the more defeated and frustrated I became.
So now I had gone from total self-sufficiency to pretended Christ-sufficiency, but I was still depending on my own efforts, a carryover from my past natural mindset.
Then one day I was liberated while reading the book of Romans, Chapter 8, verse 7, which says, "The sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so" (NIV).
I also discovered the truth of chapter 8, verses 1 and 2: "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death."
What a relief it was to me to discover that I would never be able to live the Christian life through my own efforts, but by faith I could trust Christ to live His resurrection life in and through me by the power of the Holy Spirit!
So now I had gone from (1) total self-sufficiency as a non-Christian, to (2) pretended Christ-sufficiency as a Christian, to (3) actual insufficiency through the realization that I could not live the Christian life through my own efforts, and now to (4) complete sufficiency in Christ! Many Christians go through this cycle of growth.
At last, I began trusting God for His promises. Faith in God replaced my old attitude of self-sufficiency, or faith in myself, both as a non-Christian and as a Christian.
Today I realize how totally incapable I am of living the Christian life -- how really weak I am in my own strength, and yet how strong I am in Christ. "I can do everything God asks me to with the help of Christ who gives me the strength and power" (Philippians 4:13, TLB).
Yours for fulfilling the Great Commission each year until our Lord returns,
The late Dr. Bill Bright was Founder and President/Chairman Emeritus of Campus Crusade for Christ, an organization which began as a campus ministry in 1951 and now has more than 27,000 full-time staff and up to 500,000 trained volunteer staff in 196 countries in areas representing 99.6 percent of the world's population. In the past 50 years, Campus Crusade for Christ has seen approximately 6 billion exposures to the gospel worldwide. The film, "JESUS," which Bright conceived and funded through Campus Crusade for Christ, is the most widely translated and viewed film of any type ever produced. Since its use began in 1980, the film has been translated into 839 languages and viewed or listened to by over 5.7 billion people in 228 countries. Dr. Bright was also the author of more than fifty books. Visit campuscrusade.com for more details
Copyright (c) 2003, Bill Bright. All rights reserved. However, readers may copy and distribute this message as desired, without restrictions in number, as long as the content is not altered. Forwarding this e-mail to friends is encouraged. For many evangelistic and spiritual growth materials, visit the Campus Crusade for Christ Web site at ccci.org. See campuscrusade.com for Bill Bright's own materials.