THE LURE OF INDEPENDENCE
In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind. – (JOB 12:l0)
God’s grace assumes our sinfulness, guilt, and ill-deservedness — and it also assumes our weakness and inability. Just as grace is opposed to the pride of self-righteousness, so it is also opposed to the pride of self-sufficiency. The sin of self-sufficiency goes all the way back to the Fall in the Garden of Eden.
Satan’s temptation of Eve was undoubtedly complex and many faceted. That is, it included what we would now consider a number of different temptations. But one of those facets was the temptation of self-sufficiency.
Satan said to Eve, “You will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:5). Mankind was created to be dependent upon God — physically: “In him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28); and spiritually: Jesus said, “Apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). God intended our dependence on Him to be conscious and continuous, just as it was for Jesus with the Father: “The Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. . . . I can do nothing on my own” (John 5:19,30).
But Satan tempted Eve to assert her autonomy and self-sufficiency. As G. Ch. Aalders said, “That ideal of sovereign independence, which had been presented to her by the serpent, lured her on, ‘and she took some [of the fruit] and ate it.'”74
Ever since the Fall, God has continually worked to cause His people to realize their utter dependence on Him. He does this through bringing us to the point of human extremity where we have no place to turn but to Him.