You Must Kill Self-Dependence and Grow in God-Dependence
Have you ever been at the end of your rope? Ever felt like you wouldn't be able to see the next step you should take even if you had a giant spotlight and a magic compass? Has your heart and mind ever been crushed under the weight of tragedy?
As a child of God, it's times like those when we throw ourselves at the feet of the Father and cling to Him desperately. We live "on every word that comes from the mouth of God" (Matt. 4:4). We realize in those moments that we are fully dependent on Him.
But . . .
Have you ever felt like, "I've got this"? Ever seen the next step so clearly you went full speed ahead? Ever been content with the status quo? Have you ever made a choice you knew was best—even though you skipped over praying about it or checking it with God's Word?
As a child of God, it's times like those when we think we've got it together, figured out, and under control that the way we depend on our Father is far from full. When we think we have enough strength or enough knowledge to act and choose on our own, we're relying on ourselves. It often ends badly.
The Israelites' Independence
We can act a lot like the "Out of Egypt" Israelites, summed up in Deuteronomy 1. Moses was recounting the Israelites' journey out of Egypt to the Promised Land. He spoke of how God had proved Himself faithful time and time again in so many ways. But when the Israelites came to the edge of the Promise Land, they essentially told God they had requirements that needed to be met before they would follow His plan and accept His promise. They had their own plan and acted in their own power. Once again, they forgot about their dependence on God.
Start with Dependence
Our dependence on God cannot be based solely on our life circumstances. We can't throw our dependence on God when we're out of our own wisdom, energy, or options. We cannot depend on God only when we feel our need for Him. Nor can we depend on Him because we think that will assure us the outcome we desire. We must depend on God first and foremost because of who He is. Because He's God—Creator, Holy, Righteous—our starting place must be our dependence on Him.
God's Word as Our Guide
I've often heard people say (and I know I've said it myself), "When I was all out of strength, I called out to God, and He gave me His strength to go on." What that really means is, "When I did everything I could in my own power, strength, and wisdom, then I went to God." I don't think that's the perspective and order God gives us in His Word.
"Be to me a rock of refuge, to which I may continually come; You have given the command to save me, for You are my rock and my fortress. For You, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O Lord, from my youth. Upon you I have leaned from before my birth; You are He who took me from my mother's womb. My praise is continually of You" (Ps. 71:3, 5–6).
Do you see when that dependence started? Before birth. God is the psalmist's rock, refuge, fortress, hope, and trust, and he continually comes to Him.
That's how I want to describe my dependence on God—choosing to continually start with full reliance on my Savior because I know my strength and wisdom is radically insufficient.
- I need His Spirit to give me understanding (1 Cor. 2:12).
- I need His strength to persevere in all He calls me to do (2 Thess. 1:11).
- I must have His power in me (1 Cor. 2:1–5).
From the start, no matter the circumstance, I am fully and wholly dependent on God.
Do you recognize your full dependence on God, or do you try to "go your own way"?
Written by Heidi Jo Fulk