We live in a culture that shouts to us “trust yourself!” and “you can do it!” But how is that working for us? The Bible has a different perspective.
Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!
And see if there be any grievous way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting! Psalm 139:23-24
Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. First Corinthians 10:12-13
David in Psalm 139 writes some of the most eloquent statements ever penned about the glory and majesty of God: His omniscience, His omnipresence, and His goodness. That goodness is not only seen at a cosmic level but also on a personal level. God’s thoughts toward David are beyond counting.
Then the author calls for the judgment of God against the wicked. Is that a result of all the reflection on God’s holiness? It seems so. David hates sin. He doesn’t want any part of those who are God’s enemies. But he is not so foolish as to think he is incapable of sin himself. “Search me, O God, and know my heart! See if there be any grievous way in me,” he prays. “Lead me in the way everlasting!”
Paul tells the Corinthians that the history of Israel was given to provide examples to them of the dangers that come, even to those who know God best, from giving in to our sinful natures. The Israelites knew more about the power and glory of God than anyone since Adam and Eve, yet they sinned grievously against God and were punished with death in the wilderness. “Don’t think you could never do the same. Learn from their bad example,” Paul tells them. Sin is not inevitable because God always provides a way of escape to the one who does not trust in himself.
Think about it
The slogans of western society “trust yourself” and “you can do it” are failing us. God tells us that He knows us and that we must trust in Him if we are to walk in the way everlasting, the way that leads to heaven. Face it. You can’t do it. Trust God. He will open your spiritual eyes to the truth and lead you through temptations to victory, ultimately, in glory.