Your Strength is Your Weakness...
"...don't lean on your own understanding..." Prov. 3:5
Can I tell you how.many.times this has been brought to my attention this year? Sigh, for I so apparently love my own understanding. Don't lean on it?! I lean, lay, embrace, all consume and then set it high as a shrine so my own understanding is never out of my sight.
This has played out as well for me as you are imagining. That is to say, disastrous.
I have struggled (understatement of the year) with even understanding (that might be the problem) how this could be a stumbling block. I can certainly write post after post with a long litany of all my weaknesses, don't get me wrong. But if someone asked me what a strength of mine is, I would probably have to say I am strong in analyzing and understanding the root issues of problems - relational problems, specifically. I am not a fan of relational problems, so I want to figure out where the problem is so we can fix it. I don't think this is bad or wrong in of itself... I think this is indeed a strength, and consequently, can be a true blessing to others.
However, it can also turn on me.
Because it's a strength of mine, I know it well. I know how to use it... to get what I want.
I know it's my best chance of supporting my inner desire to be my own god.
Oh, yes, there are some things that I am wanting. Wanting very badly. At times, desperately trying to demand. And when the answer from God is no or wait... my flesh realizes, "hold on, maybe I don't have to do it this way. I happen to know a strength about myself. Maybe I can use it to get what I want, so I don't have to accept "no" or "wait."
Another way of describing it? Maybe I don't have to trust God for what I want because I can trust my own understanding to get me what I want.
There's also a (false) sense of security I am trying to gain through understanding. If I can understand the problem, I can manage it because I feel greater than the problem. If I can manage it, or if I'm greater, or more powerful than it, then I am in control and have a (false) sense of safety or security.
Yet, God wants to be my Safety. I don't have to try to gain it any other way but Him. He's sufficiently safe - I don't need anything more. I don't need to find ways to feel greater, because the Greatest is IN me! I'm already more powerful through Him.
In the Bible, the twelve disciples, especially during the three years of training with Jesus, lived a life where they didn't understand a lot. Jesus was changing up everything and the disciples were consistently clueless.
They learned to embrace this as a lifestyle - not understanding, but trusting Jesus and saying "yes" to whatever He said.
"Trust God with all your heart... in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight." Prov. 3:5-6