Dependent Independence

This month in America we celebrate the adoption of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. July 4th is a legal holiday celebrating the anniversary of the beginnings of national independence of the Colonists from the authority of the British Crown. As important as this day is in the life of our great nation for independence, it is critical that we never forget to declare our dependence upon God. Sadly, Adam and Eve forgot this truth and sent the entire cosmos into a downward spiral of depravity, decadence and death.

Many Christians mistakenly believe our dependence began in the Garden of Eden when our first parents sinned. Not true! Prior to sinning, Adam and Eve were fully dependent upon God for everything. Their divine design was one of dependence. They were never to live for a single moment independent and apart from God. Self-focus, self-centeredness, self-satisfaction, self-reliance, self-rule and self-survival were never part of their divine design.

This was the lie in the garden by the serpent when he convinced Eve, who convinced Adam, that they should seek their independence from God and live above and apart from the One who created them. They quickly found out just how dependent they were upon God. Now they were totally dependent upon God for His mercy and forgiveness, which they undeservedly received through the promised Savior.
Genesis 3:15, 21 states: “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel….And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them. “

God would have been totally justified to strike both of them dead right there on the spot to satisfy His holy justice – but He did not. What God’s justice required – payment for sin – God’s grace provided in the giving of His precious Son, Jesus Christ. Adam and Eve were dependent upon God for life prior to sin and they were dependent upon God for life after sin through the cross work of Christ.
When was the last time you considered just how dependent you are on God? For most people, they immediately reflect back on a season of struggle, suffering, or sorrow and how dependent upon God they were to get through it. But what about the times in life when the sun is shining, the sky is blue and the clouds are fleecy? In seasons of plenty and prosperity we have a tendency to forget about our dependence upon God.

Regardless of where this finds you, your next breath is dependent upon God. The next beat of your heart is dependent upon God. Your hearing, eyesight and the circulation of your blood are dependent upon God. If God were not upholding you right now, life as you know it would cease. This is true not only for every person who has ever lived, but for everything that was ever created. Everything in the cosmos was created by God, for God and is totally dependent upon God, originally existing as a holy hymn for His glory.

So, on this day of Independence let us all be reminded of our total and utter dependence upon God – “For in him we live and move and have our being,” Acts 17:28.

The Bible makes it clear that the person who is most aware of his dependence upon God is most often pursuing God through prayer. The more you feel your need for Him the more time you spend in prayer to Him. If your prayer life is short or shallow you can be assured your sense of dependency upon God is short circuited. To be sure, the best example of someone who was sold-out in pursuing God through prayer is Jesus. Here are a few other examples:
And the people complained in the hearing of the Lord about their misfortunes, and when the Lord heard it, his anger was kindled, and the fire of the Lord burned among them and consumed some outlying parts of the camp. Then the people cried out to Moses, and Moses prayed to the Lord, and the fire died down.” (Numbers 11:1-2)

“After they had eaten and drunk in Shiloh, Hannah rose. Now Eli the priest was sitting on the seat beside the doorpost of the temple of the Lord. She was deeply distressed and prayed to the Lord and wept bitterly. And she vowed a vow and said, “O Lord of hosts, if you will indeed look on the affliction of your servant and remember me and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a son, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and no razor shall touch his head.” (1 Samuel 1:9-11)

“Then the kings said to me, “What are you requesting?” So I prayed to the God of heaven. And I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favor in your sight, that you send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers’ graves, that I may rebuild it.” (Nehemiah 2:4-5)

“When Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open toward Jerusalem. He got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously.” (Daniel 6:10)

John Piper rightly observes, “Prayer for God’s help is one way that God preserves and manifests the dependence of his people on his grace and power. The necessity of prayer is a constant reminder and display of our dependence on God for everything, so that He gets the glory when we get the help.” Dependence is a good thing when we are depending upon God and our prayer life is one of the best indicators of just how deeply we sense and show our dependence.

I cannot think of a better time than right now as American’s celebrate their independence from the evil and self-centered rule of sinful man, to declare and celebrate our utter dependence upon the righteous, self-sacrificial and benevolent rule of our Gracious God.

For more on information, including Bible study resource materials, please e-mail Tommy at: [email protected] or visit www.tommyboland.com.

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