"Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life." 2 Corinthians 3:4-6 I'm going to admit something to you: as a minister, I very much dislike presiding over weddings. Usually, it's overpriced, the couple is happy to get married but not happy about much as to how their families are behaving, there's unnecessary Drama over unnecessary things, and an event that should be unifying usually is not. What is more, the couples usually go in to the wedding with high expectations, but don't like to do the work for the marriage to follow. When I do premarital counseling (I require it of every marriage I do, whether myself, or someone else does it), Many times the couples have brushed off the warnings and severity of issues married couples face. Usually, though, I'll get a phone call some time after the ceremony is over, because those same warnings have come to pass, and what I tried preparing them for was ignored. I think the reason I dislike weddings so much is it reminds me of what happens every Sunday morning at church. The Word of God speaks life, but people pick up what they want, dismiss what they don't, and wonder why God isn't as close as he should be. What happens to us in our walk with Jesus is what happens at weddings: we invite Jesus to be a guest, even the guest of honor, but we don't let Him rule over it. Why is that? It's because, just as in pre-marital counseling, we go unprepared in to the Christian walk, attempting to rely more on us than Jesus. We say to Jesus, just as couples say to me in counseling, "I got this! I can do that! I don't have to worry about that! When will I ever face that, really?" and so we don't take His word seriously. We learn to rely on ourselves instead of the One to whom we should cast our burdens on. We forget that Jesus Himself said "I am the vine, you are the branches, apart from me you can do nothing." Self-reliance fails 100 percent of the time because our goals are out of line with Jesus. We don't take His warnings seriously of complete trust and faith. Let go. Trust in the One who designed all of creation to bring it back to what it is meant to be. Stop relying on yourself. God is more than enough. Philippians 4:10-13
I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Ephesians 2:4-10
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.