Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God,2 Corinthians 3:5(NASB)
Legalism boasts in oneself to keep rules and regulations, but grace boasts only in the Lord. Keeping laws or rituals, whether self-imposed or insisted upon by a denomination or organisation, inflates the ego, for our sufficiency is dependent on my abilities and what I do. However, the gospel of grace nurtures humility, for it admits one's own inabilities and insufficiencies and depends completely on God and His abilities and sufficiency: "For we are not competent in ourselves to claim anything as coming from ourselves, but our competence and sufficiency comes from God."
When God calls a man or woman into a work that He has prepared for them to do, it is God Who works in them and through them. Our own ability is always insufficient for the task and so we have to rely on God's abilities, for our sufficiency is from Him alone.
Without the sufficiency of Christ, I can do nothing for it is only as God works in me, to will and to do His good pleasure, that I can do all things through Christ because He gives me His strength by the power of the Holy Spirit within, because my sufficiency is in HIM alone.
Self-importance, self-sufficiency, self-reliance, self-esteem, and a self-inflated ego are what the world sees as important but in truth, our life should be one of God-importance, God-sufficiency, God-reliance, God-esteem, and a gentle spirit of humility and grace - for we can never ever be sufficient in ourselves and claim anything as coming from us, for our sufficiency is from God alone.
When we realise that we can do nothing of ourselves, we can finally take the pressure off ourselves and instead rest fully in the capable arms of the Lord. It is only then that we realise like Paul that: "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
Let us stop relying on self and start living in total dependence on God, Who is all sufficient, and Who will work through us: "Both to will and to do for His good pleasure."
Loving Lord, help me to develop the humility of heart that only comes from total dependence on You. Without You I can do nothing. Praise God that in my weakness, I can do all things through Christ, Who gives me the strength. In His name I pray, AMEN.