IS GOD A CRUTCH THAT I NEED FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE?
Step 5 is the toughest step of all. It’s not a matter of receiving a boost from God to get us started so we can proceed on our own. This step involves the realization that we will be dependent on God forever, not only to cleanse us from sin, but to empower us to keep His commandments in the future.
Step 5: I need to ask: “Empower me.”
Intelligent, competent, successful people find this a hard pill to swallow. Our human nature causes us to resist the necessity for a lifetime dependence on God to correct our tendency to sin. And if it’s sin, there is no human cure.
For Christians to try to live the Christian life without total dependence on the Holy Spirit is a contradiction in terms. Anything less is just acting. Paul’s words are true:
My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:19, NKJV
Be filled with the Spirit.
Ephesians 5:18, NKJV
We want to be self-sufficient and independent. Many people have enough self-control to act the way they choose to act. They can rightly say, “Now that I know what to do, I will act like a Christian.” They think they are in total control of their own lives. What they have is only a sad counterfeit that appears to be a cure.
To be clean, forgiven, and renewed is a great relief. Now it is time to turn around.
In my story of driving down the freeway, we were three-and-a-half exits down the pike. Isn’t it amazing how long we will fight the truth?
Finally I was ready to reach out to God for help. I had to admit to my proud, rebellious, angry stubborn spirit. My wife can’t help me here. She can’t cure me. I must deal with God. I asked God to cleanse my heart, to restore His love, peace, and joy to my heart, to help me face the truth. Guess what? He answered my prayer. Up to that point you could not have dragged me off that freeway. Now, the most delightful thought in my mind was to look for the next exit. I was free from the effects of my sins. Happy thought. I could turn around.
“Eva,” I said, “we are headed in the wrong direction” (as if she didn’t know). “I am sorry. Forgive me.” It was now easy to admit the truth.
Soon we came to the next exit. We turned around and drove all the way back. And that’s sometimes the trail of repentance; we retrace a lot of steps and make some corrections along the way. There is no other way to start fresh and clean.
Personally, I find that I need to frequently repeat these steps. And the mystery is that one can be determined to be consciously wrong, no matter what, and then, in response to a repentant prayer, be transformed into a person who delights in being consciously right.