God-empowerment (a working definition): relying on God every second of every day and in every circumstance of life.
Does anyone really believe in the old expression, “Lift yourself up by your own bootstraps”? It bears all the marks of an impossible task. Try it and see for yourself.
In recent years, that expression has been repackaged into the more seductive catchphrase, self-empowerment. If there is a more misguided and unconvincing concept being touted today, I’m not aware of it. This idea that we have in and of ourselves the resources to accomplish anything we want–just believe it and you can achieve it–is not self-empowerment, but plain and simple self-aggrandizement. A little humility please.
Colossians 1:16-17 reads: “For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities–all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” Catch that last part in particular? In Him all things hold together. Self-empowerment is pure fiction. If not for God, we’d fall apart! And so would our boots!
If Jesus knew He needed His Father to accomplish His work (“By myself I can do nothing” -John 5:30), what makes us think we can ever do anything of lasting value apart from God? If the disciples could have mustered the ability to witness to the world in their own power, there would have been no need for Jesus to say, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth” (Acts 1:8). How far do you suppose the Gospel would have spread without the Holy Spirit indwelling each of these men?
As followers of Christ, too often we fall under the self-sufficiency spell. We should know better. Vain attempts to lift ourselves up by our own bootstraps are the ways of an egocentric world. It’s time to give credit where credit is due. It’s time to release our own boots and embrace the work God is doing in and through us instead. Self-empowerment? No thank you. We choose something we can believe in. It’s called God-empowerment.
I hope this encourages you to rely on God today.

-Kevin Murray
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