You can find a lot of motivating memes on Facebook, and a lot of self-help books in the bookstore. Today I ran across a book entitled, “Design Your Life NOW!” that promises, “With 30 thought provoking exercises you will unravel the secret to your personal and professional success. Go ahead dare to dream, dare to live your ultimate life now!” This is what the world suggests – that we have all the answers within ourselves. This type of philosophy suggests that we are our own gods, and it encourages puffing ourselves up with pride.  “Yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.” (1 Corinthians 8:6) This is the way of the world; it is not the life that our Sovereign Lord designed. “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2)

Alternatively, Scripture tells us that our Lord God has designed us — created as His masterpieces for His purposes. “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10) The Greek for handiwork sometimes has the connotation of a “work of art.” In Ephesians 1, Paul wrote of the great purposes and plan of God, culminating in the universal headship of Christ (1:10, 22), all of which is to be for “the praise of his glory” (1:14). In chapter 2, he now proceeds to explain the steps by which God will accomplish his purposes, beginning with the salvation of individuals.

The world tells us that we are the creators of our own destiny. This denies the sovereignty of our Lord God. The world tells us that we can save ourselves. “Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.” (Romans 8:5) The truth is that we are infinite beings, created by our sovereign Lord. He didn’t design us to be self-reliant. He created us to lean on Him. To live our lives being humble and according to His divine will, and allow Him to work through us to further His kingdom. For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’” (Romans 8:14-15)

We are never to put ourselves and our infinite view higher than our Lord’s view. His ways are not our ways. Then Jesus told his disciples, ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.'” (Matthew 16:24-25) The cross was an instrument of death and here symbolizes the necessity of total commitment—even to the point of death—on the part of Jesus’ followers.

I have never felt as free as when I discovered that I will never be enough, and that’s okay. My Lord God is more than sufficient. There’s nothing that I, nor anyone else, can ever do that will be enough. In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.” (Romans 8:26-30)