Thursday, October 31, 2013

Childlike Dependence

Us grown-ups are dependent on God. We just don't acknowledge it because we don't like to be reminded of what is out of our control, and our weaknesses.

We started out like dependent children (dependent on others for literally everything), but gradually we learned to do everything for ourselves, and it seems so pathetic, now, and weak to be dependent on anyone, even God. Paul saw that, too, when he realized God's power was "made perfect" in his weakness-- because then everything points to God.

Too often I find myself trying to live independent of God. And get this-- I get into the mindset that he wants me to. But as I read my Bible I realize he doesn't.

Nope: God wants us to acknowledge our dependence on him. He's the one who sends rain. He's the one who sends us blessings. He's the one that provides for us. And if you just take a moment to read about the life God wants us to lead, (1 Thessalonians 5:12-22, for example) you'll soon realize you can't.

You can't.

You just plain can't. But don't give up. That's the whole point. Paul even says so in the next verses (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24)!

Later, in his letter to the Galatians, Paul tells Christians that we can't be saved by our works (because our lives are never good enough), only by Jesus' love-sacrifice on the cross (because his life was).

Usually, Christians get that. But then, as they live life, they forget. The Galatians did this, too. Paul speaks pretty harshly to them "You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you?... Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh?" (Galatians 3:1a, 3).

Once they became Christians by faith they started trying to live on their own means, not relying on the Spirit, on God.

The second graders come to me at lunch with water bottles, fruit cups and well-closed Tupperware. They just look up at me and hold out their food. So I stop my own eating, take up their problematic lunch portion and open it. Once, I asked one of the 'regulars' if she'd even tried to open her water bottle and she just looked up at me, almost amused, and her 'no' came out half-laugh. Now, I'm all for second graders learning to open their waters and tie their own shoes, but can you imagine if we came to God like that? Without first trying to solve the problems ourselves?

They are dependant. And they know it. 

"If you're happy dependent and you know it clap your hands pray to God. If you're dependent and you know it pray to God. If you're dependent and you know it then your prayers will surely show it, if you're dependent and you know it pray to God."

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