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Scripture Reading: Deuteronomy 8:11-18
Self-Sufficiency: Is there Room for God in Your Life?
1. Rugged individualism and self-sufficiency are hallmarks of the American spirit. (Pioneers, trailblazers, presidents and peasants)
2. It is counter-intuitive to the American spirit to be dependent. Yet, the gospel calls on us to depend on God instead of thinking we are self-sufficient, cf. Phil 4:13; Heb 13:5-6.
a. “Self-sufficiency is a terrible place to be, because it is the worst deceit you can bring on yourself. You need God. You need God every minute of your life.” (Dr. Joseph Stowell)
b. To whom do you turn in times of abundance? In times of scarcity?
3. Whether little or much – our sufficiency is of God, cf. 2 Cor 3:5; Phil 4:10-13.
I. DANGERS OF THE COMFORTABLE LIFE. (God is on the “back burner”; a convenience – or an inconvenience)
A. The Danger of Forgetting God, Deut 8:11-20.
1. Remember God…obey God; Forgetting God…disobey God, 8:11, 14, 17, 18-20.
2. Can lose fear of God in times of abundance, Psa 106:6-15, 19-21.
3. Stubborn, unthankful hearts develop toward God, Psa 78:5-11.
B. The Danger of Trusting in Self and in Material Things, Lk 12:15-21.
1. Our ability to learn contentment comes from the challenges of both deprivation and prosperity, Phil 4:10-13; 1 Tim 6:6-10.
2. Economic crisis: In what are you putting your trust?
C. The Danger of Self-Indulgence, cf. 2 Sam 11:1-2; Amos 6:1, 3-6.
1. cf. America: “Roaring ‘20s” marked by excess, while the ‘30’s marked by crash, depression and survival.
2. Forgetting God instead of turning to God, cf. Dan 4:30; 5:20.
II. WE ARE SUFFICIENT ONLY IN GOD, BECAUSE GOD ALONE IS SUFFICIENT.
A. Sin Takes Us to a Place Where We Need God: Only God is Sufficient to Save Us from Our Sins, Col 1:19-22 (Lk 15:17).
1. Salvation is only in Jesus and in His power over sin, Acts 4:12; 1 Cor 15:55-57.
2. Unbelief is a mark of self-sufficiency, Psa 78:21-22.
a. By rejecting His plan of salvation, cf. Mk 10:17-22.
b. By rejecting our need to obey God to be saved by His grace (cf. Israel, Deut 9:4-7), Eph 2:8-9; Heb 5:9.
B. Suffering Takes Us to a Place Where We Need God: Only God is Sufficient to See Us through Our Times of Suffering.
1. When you suffer for His sake, Phil 1:29; 1 Pet 3:14; 4:12-14.
2. When life brings its share of suffering and sorrow, Eccl 3:1-8 (4).
-Teaches us perseverance (the prophets and Job), Jas 5:10-11.
3. Suffering keeps us humble and trusting in God, 2 Cor 12:7-10.
4. Suffering teaches us to be empathetic toward others when they suffer, cf. Heb 2:18; 4:15-16; 1 Jno 3:16-17.
C. Not Knowing Where to Turn Takes Us to a Place Where We Need God: Only God is Sufficient to Guide Us with His Truth, Jno 14:6.
1. God’s word a complete guide; we must keep it, Psa 119:105-106.
2. Full treasure of wisdom and knowledge are in Jesus, Col 2:3.
3. Only the self-sufficient are arrogant enough to say, “What is truth”? Or, “Truth is whatever I say it is”!
1. We must depend on God; the wise person lives by this truth:
“Consider the work of God; For who can make straight what He has made crooked? In the day of prosperity be joyful, But in the day of adversity consider: Surely God has appointed the one as well as the other, So that man can find out nothing that will come after him.” (Eccl 7:13-14)
2. The all-sufficient God will fully supply your needs when you make room for Him in your life, Phil 4:19.
a. Room for doing every good work, 2 Cor 9:8.
b. Room to endure every suffering with faith and good courage, 2 Cor 1:6-7.
3. Only the “self-sufficient” arrogantly says, “Where is their God?” Psa 115:1-3 (Our God is in heaven and does whatever He pleases!)