Summary: Just like the Prodigal son our self-sufficiency leaves us spent and worn-out as we leave our Father to make a name for ourselves. Like the younger son, we want the father Dead to enjoy the world he created for us without his rules. The Father lets us go
Message: The Prodigal Father!
Texts: Luke 15:11-24
Date: July 31
Pastor: Dave McBeath
This morning I want to begin with a confession. One of my greatest struggles is self-sufficiency and this self-sufficiency usually results in my being tired, worn out, or spent!
Sometimes my self-sufficiency is related to over-confidence in myself and sometimes my self-sufficiency related to my lack of confidence in myself. However, I can always be sure of this my struggle with self-sufficiency is always related to my pride.
Here are a few examples. Let me start with one from my over-confidence. In college I realized God had given me a heart for ministry and was calling me to make this my vocation. So, I made plans to go to seminary.
Here is the self-sufficient part. Looking back, I had a good chance to go to seminary and get it paid for by the church I was attending. Even more than that, after I attended this seminary for a semester or two I could have got a job with the same church….AND gotten paid for ministry while in seminary. Money in the pocket and seminary paid for! Win…Win!.
The catch—I needed to go to seminary that I had some very minor differences with—like what will happen when God returns! The differences really amounted to a hill’s worth of beans. They were nothing. As a matter of fact, today, I would probably agree with many of little disagreements I had with the school back then. Anyway, I thought it would be better to be self-sufficient than to entertain any different ways of interpreting a minor passage or two in the Bible! I wanted to make it on my own!
So I went to a seminary that I had to pay for myself, where I didn’t have an opportunity to work in ministry right away. I had to have two or three jobs at one point to pay for school. I spent my time, my energy, my money, I didn’t make as much room for Paula and our new marriage as a result. I was spent all because I was overconfident. I pridefully and self-sufficiently wouldn’t entertain another person’s point of view! I knew what was right and I paid for it as a result!
Other times my self-sufficiency is driven not by my confidence but my lack of confidence. I have to prove to myself—I can do it by myself! I have to build my self-worth by doing it myself. A quick example: I am not that handy! But I want to be! I have to prove I can fix, let say the toilet—and I do! But what should have taken 30 minutes took me 6 hours. I feel good about myself. But my family doesn’t. I’m spent by the time I’m done. I could have spent the day with the family if I would have asked someone how to do it, or even asked them to do it for me. But I wouldn’t have “built” my self-worth.
Don’t we do this with God too? Don’t we choose self-sufficiency over God? Maybe you’re in a relationship or even a marriage, its going bad. But you have to be self-sufficient. You have to fix it on your own. You don’t go to a counselor for help, or God for help. And you spend yourself trying to fix that relationship ‘till you have nothing left to give.