From the devotional reading: Been Thinking About by Mart De Haan.
He’s writing about People Watcher – about people who watch others and examine their living and how Christian sometimes are hard to identify as the children of God.
I read through ten factors he described in his writing, when I bumped into this point:
On the night of Jesus’ arrest, one of His closest followers, a tough-minded fisherman named Peter, announced that he was ready to follow his teacher to prison or to death (Luke 22:33). Within a few hours, Peter denied repeatedly that he even knew the man from Galilee. His failure reminds us that even the original disciples of Christ learned about the danger of self-reliance the hard way.
I realized how true his words, because that’s exactly what I’m facing right now. I feel very helpless to see myself – and how far myself wandered from the truth of God, from the image He has set in me – and most of the time is because I denied the fact that I should rely on Him alone, and not rely on myself.
I found that God-Reliance sometimes can be too troublesome – all the process I must go through when I face problems can be too much for me at one time. When the problems come over, my first reaction is to call for my old self, digging on my own character and let myself do the talking. And I found myself for talking too loud, too many times. And surely I can’t stop myself. My own character, my own personality never stop myself from talking too loud, and too much. And I surely suffered when I realize this is one of the form of Self-Reliance. I let myself handle the situation – when I do that, I let myself to make things even worse than before.
So it saddened me a lot, because in the meantime I’m using all my effort to do it my way, I somehow know that God doesn’t agree with me, and He actually intended to use things for His own reason – to change me, to form me, to perfect the image He has put in me.
I scroll down the article and found the next point:
One reason Peter was blindsided by self-reliance was that, at a critical moment, he did not enter into a prayerful dependence on God. Together with his friends, Peter did not respond when Jesus urged, “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:41). Instead, the
disciples slept. Years later, a New Testament writer penned a letter that linked prayerlessness to some of the most destructive kinds of spiritual failure (James 4:1-6).
How easy it is to be slept – instead of praying. Prayerlessness, no other word can describe it better – is to have no eagerness to pray.
Praying is on my top list of self-reliance cause factor.
I hate to pray, because praying makes me helpless. I feel very weak whenever I pray, and this state leaves me weak and sometimes hopeless. It’s a great fear to be powerless and let God take over the control. How if this God takes away all the control and leave nothing for me? And how if He chooses something that I dislike?
I hate to pray, because praying makes me looked wicked and flawed.
How far can you go to curse on others in your prayer? Will you not feel wicked and wrong in doing that?
How far can you go to complain about your life in your prayer? Will you not be reminded how big God’s grace that you’ve received above all of your problems?
How far can you blame God on your misfortune in your prayer? Will you not remember how much your mischief and trouble you’ve caused in front of Him?
How far can you say you hate your life, your neighbor, your job, and your spouse, yourself in your prayer? Will you not see that He is love and He loves you so much?
Praying can cause a lot of tiredness and frustration because it leaves you in a state of helplessness. You are absolutely out of the control, you don’t own yourself, and you must let go your ego, your heart, your soul to God alone. And you must do it all to be able to get into your prayer, unless if you want to stop praying – one I always do.
I read the verses from James 4: 1-6 as the point described.
Here is the version of “The Message” Bible:
4:1 Where do you think all these appalling wars and quarrels come from? Do you think they just happen? Think again. They come about because you want your own way, and fight for it deep inside yourselves.
4:2 You lust for what you don’t have and are willing to kill to get it. You want what isn’t yours and will risk violence to get your hands on it. You wouldn’t think of just asking God for it, would you?
4:3 And why not? Because you know you’d be asking for what you have no right to. You’re spoiled children, each wanting your own way.
4:4 You’re cheating on God. If all you want is your own way, flirting with the world every chance you get, you end up enemies of God and his way.
4:5 And do you suppose God doesn’t care? The proverb has it that “he’s a fiercely jealous lover.”
4:6 And what he gives in love is far better than anything else you’ll find. It’s common knowledge that “God goes against the willful proud; God gives grace to the willing humble.”
And Indonesian version, for me:
4:1 Dari manakah datangnya sengketa dan pertengkaran di antara kamu? Bukankah datangnya dari hawa nafsumu yang saling berjuang di dalam tubuhmu?
4:2 Kamu mengingini sesuatu, tetapi kamu tidak memperolehnya, lalu kamu membunuh; kamu iri hati, tetapi kamu tidak mencapai tujuanmu, lalu kamu bertengkar dan kamu berkelahi. Kamu tidak memperoleh apa-apa, karena kamu tidak berdoa.
4:3 Atau kamu berdoa juga, tetapi kamu tidak menerima apa-apa, karena kamu salah berdoa, sebab yang kamu minta itu hendak kamu habiskan untuk memuaskan hawa nafsumu.
4:4 Hai kamu, orang-orang yang tidak setia! Tidakkah kamu tahu, bahwa persahabatan dengan dunia adalah permusuhan dengan Allah? Jadi barangsiapa hendak menjadi sahabat dunia ini, ia menjadikan dirinya musuh Allah.
4:5 Janganlah kamu menyangka, bahwa Kitab Suci tanpa alasan berkata: “Roh yang ditempatkan Allah di dalam diri kita, diingini-Nya dengan cemburu!”
4:6 Tetapi kasih karunia, yang dianugerahkan-Nya kepada kita, lebih besar dari pada itu. Karena itu Ia katakan: “Allah menentang orang yang congkak, tetapi mengasihani orang yang rendah hati.”
So today, I feel very tired of being me. The wicked and loud-mouthed woman (I’m not longer a girl now) who wants to take control and yet fails down.
Darimanakah datangnya sengketa dan pertengkaran di dalam hatiku?
Bukankah dari hawa nafsu yang berjuang keras di dalam tubuhku?
Aku mengingini sesuatu, tapi aku tidak memperolehnya, lalu aku membenci orang lain.
Aku iri hati, tapi aku tidak mencapai tujuanku; lalu aku bertengkar dan berkelahi.
Dan pada akhirnya, aku tidak memperoleh apa-apa,
Karena aku tidak berdoa.
Yet I do not have because I do not ask.
I’m tired of being me today. I pray God will take this ‘me’ away.