Frogs and the Sin of Self-Reliance

Posted on Posted in Christian Living, Residency

In about a month, I will lead my last worship service at FBC Livingston and my family and I will plunge headfirst into the next season that God has for us. We believe that this next two years of our lives will be spent in the residency program at The Austin Stone. There is one thing holding us back though, our self-reliance and lack of faith. We are admittedly nervous about the move. We believe it is the right thing but we are still looking for houses and working towards meeting our financial goal. Even though I have spent the last few years of my life trying to become more dependent upon God, new seasons and big moves like this still don’t come easy. We are staring down moving a newly adopted son, as well as our other two kids to a new place, all the while depending on other faithful brothers and sisters in Christ to provide for us by giving according to God’s leading. In need of some encouragement,  I did a quick google search for ‘Fully Rely On God’ and was taken back about 20 years…

Screen Shot 2015-07-14 at 3.34.10 PMUnfortunately there were shirts, bumper stickers, hats, bracelets, and more with this cute little phrase on it. Good phrase, but even the not so subtle reminders were not enough to help me live the last 20 years or so fully relying on God. Please understand, I rely on Him for my salvation and certainly try to rely on Him for my “big plans,” but even in the little everyday things I want to actually depend on God instead of only what I can do. I’ve found that often times our reliance on self and our abilities to plan and provide can actually be sin. I get caught in this sin often. In those times I’m reminded of verses like Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me…” I love that verse and what it means for each of us today!

Not only do I love that verse, but more specifically this breakdown of the verse by John Piper,

Verse 20 spells out for us what this experience of death to law and life to God is like. “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” What does it mean to be crucified with Christ? I think it means this: First, that the gruesome death of the all-glorious, innocent, loving Son of God for my sin is the most radical indictment of my hopeless condition imaginable. The crucifixion of Jesus is the open display of my hellish nature. And, second, when I see this and believe that he really died for me, then my old proud self which loves to display its power by climbing ladders of morality and intellect and beauty and daring dies. Self-reliance and self-confidence cannot live at the foot of the cross. Therefore, when Christ died, I died.

What then remains? Verse 20 puts it two ways. First, “Christ lives in me.” Christ remains. He rose from the dead, and he took over where the life of pride and self-direction had died. The great and awesome mystery of the gospel is “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27). Brothers and sisters, this is conversion. A Christian is not a person who believes in his head the teachings of the Bible. Satan believes in his head the teachings of the Bible! A Christian is a person who has died with Christ, whose stiff neck has been broken, whose brazen forehead has been shattered, whose stony heart has been crushed, whose pride has been slain, and whose life is now mastered by Jesus Christ. “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me!”

 ‘I Do Not Nullify The Grace Of God’ by John Piper, Desiring God

Wow, we get to look to Christ for our protection, provision, motivation, and enablement. How awesome! That is the prayer of my family right now, that we would see Jesus as good and willing to be all that we need in this time. We are praying for all of our ministry partners (current and future) as they serve and give faithfully. Please join us in praying for God’s protection, provision, motivation, and enablement for our family as well as FBC Livingston during this time.

currentprogressSo here’s the deal for the Wiginton’s. We are one month out from having to be fully funded to join in God’s work in Austin. That means by August 5th we need to be as close to fully funded as possible or we cannot join the residency program, which would not be our favorite thing (but we’ll cross that bridge if we get there).

To put it in perspective, we need 36 people/families to partner with us, and we currently have 12. What we are asking of the 36 partners is to give $100 a month for the next year or two, to support us full time in ministry. If you are unable to give the full $100, any amount of financial support would be appreciated.

If you would like to become a ministry partner, go here to learn more and support us through prayer and giving.

To give right away, click here.

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