In part 1 of this article we began to look at how the truths of God’s Word refute recent claims made by authors in the “hustle and self-help” culture in which we live. One author recently made the claim that when you get to heaven, God will introduce you to the person you could have been, had you worked harder to reach your full potential and made all your dreams come true. Today, we will look at the final two truths to remember when faced with claims like that one.
3. God is not ultimately interested in you making all your dreams come true.
Our God is not a genie in a bottle at your beck and call, waiting for you to work harder and faster than anyone else so that He might then make your every dream true. He is interested in your following His lead, as we saw in part 1 of this article, and making it your aim daily to love and serve others well. We are to live our lives loving God and loving people, neither of which we can do well if we are concerned only with our own work, plans, or dreams. This life is about others. It is to be our aim to be ambassadors of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17) who are daily fulfilling the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20). That, however, is something we cannot faithfully do when all-consumed with how we can help ourselves and get ahead. In all the talk these days of “taking control of your life”, “getting ahead” and “making all your dreams come true”, it is time we remember the words of Philippians 2:3-4, “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.”
4. God is not interested in your seeking self-help. He wants you to pursue God-help.
Christian publishing and the Christian women demographic have been taken by storm with messages of self-help and taking control of your life. The problem is that these messages of pulling yourself up by your bootstraps and making things happen do not hold up when compared to the teachings of Scripture. For example,
Psalm 40:17 – “But I am poor and needy; Yet the Lord thinks upon me. You are my help and my deliverer; Do not delay, O my God.”
Psalm 42:11 – “Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God.”
Psalm 121:1-2 – “I will lift up my eyes to the hills— From whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.”
Proverbs 16:9 – “A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.”
Isaiah 41:10 – “Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’”
John 14:26 – “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.
Second Corinthians 12:9 – “And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
Living out the Christian walk in our day-to-day lives means that we lean into the strength and help that is our God. We realize that on our own we are weak and needy, but in Him we have access to all we could ever need. I don’t know about you, but the last thing I want is to be the hero of my own story. I don’t want to have to rely on myself and only myself to get through this life and “make things happen”. I want to be able to rely instead on the strength and help of the great God of the universe Who is ready and willing to come to my rescue when the going gets tough and I find that I can’t do it all on my own.
That, my friend, is the good news of the gospel – that we never have to go through this life solely relying on ourselves and hoping we have what it takes to be successful. We have God Almighty on our side, helping us and directing us through life. That is far better than anything self-help could ever offer us!