A Prayer for Rest from the Need to Prove Ourselves
By Jennie Allen
Psalm 103:12, “He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.” (NLT)
We all have our own version of star [sticker] charts, something we are trying to get approval for, from our parents, friends, spouses, kids, online acquaintances, coworkers or even from God. Most of us carry that striving feeling all our lives.
But the way we interact with people eventually makes its way into our spiritual lives. So often we try to relate to God through star charts — and we end up feeling shame or disappointment that our performance didn’t bring the outcome we wanted. We try to work harder, achieve more, jump farther, score higher in order to win His approval or blessing. We end up relating to God with an underlying fear rather than full of expectant, childlike, joy-filled faith.
God doesn’t work with star charts. He is not manipulated by our performance. In Jeremiah 9:23-24, He says: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the LORD.”
God is not after great performances or great movements. He is after us!
God already knows we aren’t enough, but He’s not asking us to be. We are the ones who have chosen to walk through the desert with enormous packs strapped to our backs full of everything but water. As if the kingdom of God were held up or together by us.
To get to the place where God can be enough, we have to first admit we aren’t. Pretending we are okay is how many of us are making life work. With that illusion gone, we might have to live needing God.
And it might be hard. Strike that. It is hard.
No more performing. No more pretending. No more proving ourselves.
Because we have nothing to prove.
Dear God, I’m realizing it’s not my curse that I believe I’m not enough; it’s my sin that I keep trying to be. Thank You for the reminder that life with You means I can rest, and I have nothing to prove. Will You continue to show me Your freedom, Your power and my need to stop striving to please You and instead just live life with You? In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Editor’s Note: Content taken from the Encouragement for Today devotional, “Tearing Up the Star Charts,” written by Jennie Allen. You can read that piece in full here. All rights reserved.