Growing up in a geographical location where it would be considered the Bible Belt and living in Texas, you hear some misappropriated things claiming to be Scripture. Usually it’s something someone said in a sermon, and it’s been skewed. OR it’s something that’s been said so often, that people ASSUME it’s in the Bible. The one I heard most growing up? “God helps those who help themselves.”
Good grief. Not only is this phrase misapplied applied as the Word of God, its anti-God. Wait, what?
The idea of Followers of God taking things into their own hands is totally opposite what God wants from us. God wants us to “lean on him.” Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. Ina ll your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” And Jeremiah 17:5, “This is what the LORD says: ‘Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength, and whose heart turns away from the LORD.'”
As followers of Christ, God wants us to follow his lead, and let Him Direct our lives. Not take initiative and create our own direction. I know that sounds weird, even as Christians, we’re used to taking a bit of initiative, right? I know I do. And it’s tough to let someone else take lead, right?
Recently, as I stated in a previous post, I attended a senior level college course entitled: Cowboy Church Culture. This course taught me a few things, and one thing I learned was the process of putting a horse in a new containment area. You have it all fenced off, several acres, or smaller, whatever you deem fit. What you don’t do is just let it go in alone. You introduce it to the pen. What happens if you just let it do it’s own thing is, it may get spooked, or just “jump into a run,” and this is dangerous. It’s dangerous because you haven’t shown the horse it’s bounds yet. If it doesn’t know it’s bounds, it will run into the fence maiming or killing itself.
So, instead, you walk it the perimeter of the area, in it’s entirety.
This is what we need God to do. We need to let Him lead us around, so we know our bounds and His will.
So no, “God helps those who help themselves,” isn’t in the Bible, and it’s definitely not after the Heart of God, nor for His people.