Amy Hall–one of the excellent writers over at Stand to Reason–picked up on this when she wrote about atheist John Loftus "retiring" as an atheist apologist. She notes:
She goes on to quote John Piper in making the point that we are far more likely to be willing to sacrifice knowing that there is more beyond this life. I fully agree with her. This life is merely a shadow of what is to come when we trust in God. Yet how often do I actually live as if I believe this?
"I think there are many answers to that, but I see a big one in Loftus’s explanation. If this life is indeed the only life you will ever have, then it’s true that life is too short…to spend it suffering thanklessly for the sake of others."
It is really easy to say that I trust in God to provide for my needs. It is really easy to say that I don't really need all of the luxuries of this life. Yet I still worry about things that are out of my control. And I still tend to lust and covet things that I want but don't really need. My desire is to be self-reliant in this life which is indicative of my desire to be self-reliant when it comes to spiritual matters. Being self-reliant is one of the driving forces in my life.
Unfortunately when it comes to my eternal salvation being self-reliant isn't going to do me much good. Jesus makes this clear in Mark 10:23-27:
We all have differences in what we claim to be our theology and how we actually live. It is part of being human. It is also sinful when our actions do not line up with what the Bible teaches. When we find that we have these differences we need to admit our sin to God. They say that the first step to fixing a problem is admitting that you have a problem. What is great is that when I confess to God that I am being too self-reliant I am not just admitting that I have a problem. I am actually taking an action that relies on God. I am relying on him to forgive my sin.
"And Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, 'How difficult it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!' And the disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said to them again, 'Children, how difficult it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.' And they were exceedingly astonished, and said to him, 'Then who can be saved?' Jesus looked at them and said, 'With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.'"
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.