"I did it my way!" has been America's theme song for the last couple of generations.
We applaud self-sufficiency, independence, and that "can-do" attitude. We cheer for the ones who defy convention and make a name for themselves. That tenacity often passes for character.
We are enthralled with our own potential.
Naturally, the world loves its warped logic, calling it tolerance. "Why can't we put a mosque on this corner next to the terrorist monument? One religion is as good as the next. And while we're at it, let's take "God Bless America" out of our repertoire. We don't need anyone's God to bless us. We are fine on our own."
Unfortunately, preachers are some of the worst offenders. "We're starting a new building project! The Lord is blessing us with so many new families, we've got to build! Don't have time to wait on God. With a five million dollar loan, we can be in our new building by next year, so turn in those pledge cards today!"
Average Christians do it too. "Sure I'll teach that Sunday School class. I've taught the past eight years. Don't necessarily hear God asking me to, but it needs done, so I'll do it."
Self-confidence is nothing we thought up. It has deep roots. It also has deep consequences. Remember this guy? "We need water. Badly. I'm so sick of this complaining. These Israelites are getting on my nerves. Last year I whacked a rock and a flood gushed out, so I'll just whack this baby again and stop this complaining. I think the Lord said to speak to it, but what the dif? God and me are buddies now. He'll bless anything I do."
Moses miscalculated and it cost him dearly. He called it confidence. God called it rebellion.
It seemed like such a little thing. What's the difference whether he spoke to the rock or hit the rock. Same rock. Same God. Couldn't God have played along with Moses? Made him look good in front of those grumbling Israelites?
God is not interested in playing our ego games and He takes disobedience very seriously. For that little act of arrogance, Moses lost the privilege of leading his people all the way into the Promised Land.
He'd taken them so far, been God's right hand man, witnessed miracles every time he turned around. Yet, God would deprive him of that one last victory march all because of over-confidence.
What about you?
What are you attempting that wasn't God's idea? We love to charge ahead, inform God of what we plan to do, then ask His blessing on it. And we wonder why often it flops. So we get mad at God.
Are you mistaking self-confidence for God's approval? Just because you are good at something doesn't mean you should do it. Just because it appears to bring results, doesn't mean it is from God.
Water did, in fact, come out of the rock when Moses whacked it in error. To everyone else it appeared that Moses was THE GUY. Wow! Watch him go!
But Moses knew it the moment he did it. God made certain of that. What Moses did to ensure a bit of quick admiration ended up costing him all the honor God wanted to give him.
How much are you forfeiting due to your own attitude of self-sufficiency?
Are you satisfied with man-sized results when you could be experiencing God-sized results?