Do you remember your childhood, having fun, jump roping, or playing on the playground, with not a care in the world? There was nothing to worry about. Ah, blissful ignorance! My daughter has shouted at me in frustration many times, “Adults have all the fun!” when she doesn’t get her own way. She obviously doesn’t understand the pressure and responsibilities of an adult or parent. Did you feel the same way growing up, that adults had all the fun? The fact is that children can live without a care in the world, because they look to their parents for answers and survival. But, who do you as an adult, look to for answers?
As I ponder this, I am reminded of the book of Genesis, chapters 1 and 2. When the Lord created the heavens and the earth, the waters, land, plants and animals, and Adam and Eve, the Lord had provided everything. Adam and Eve had no needs. They did not go without. How lucky were they! That sounds like paradise to me! They did not worry about food, water or clothing (they didn’t need it) or anything else you can think of. God provided it all for them because of his love for them. All the Lord asked of them is one thing.
“But you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” Genesis 2:17
As my friend and I have been studying discipleship, through Francis Chan’s book Multiply, one part stuck out to me.
“In the case of Adam and Eve, Satan cleverly avoided asking them to reject God outright. Instead, he offered them the knowledge of good and evil. He gave them an opportunity to be in charge, to decide for themselves the difference between good and evil. God made people to be dependent on Him (that’s not a bad thing, by the way!), but from this moment on, every sin has involved men and women claiming the right to govern themselves. Sin is always a declaration of autonomy. God had given Adam and Eve specific words to follow, but they failed to view the word of God as the supreme authority. They allowed someone else’s words to carry weight. They treated God’s word as a lesser authority, putting their own desires above His. Whenever we disobey His commands, we are rejecting His authority and asserting our own. We basically say, “God, You may be the author of my life, but You’re not the authority in my life. I choose what I do, not You. I’m in control here, not You.”
Have you ever thought that you know best? In your everyday situations, have you ever found your own solution to your problem, and ignore even the thought of asking the Lord for help? When fear or selfishness settles into my heart, I see myself acting as Chan describes. I often turn to myself and try to solve my circumstance, instead of depending on the Lord.
This is where faith comes into play. When we put our dependency (faith) in the Lord, we are saying, “Lord, I can’t do this by myself but I look to you to help me through this situation. You, Lord, are the authority in my life. Help me Father!” In your life, how are you being dependent on yourself? What would it look like if you placed your faith in the Lord and depended on him to guide you? He may have you do things that can be uncomfortable. Are you ok with that?
Reflecting on my life, I realize I didn’t make God the authority in my life. Even now, it’s still a challenge. I did things my way instead of asking the Lord for his help and guidance. I chose to not forgive friends and family. In high school, I would party and rebel against my parents. As a parent, I have walked in fear and relied on myself to protect my children. I would leave no room for the Lord to protect them and walk in peace. When someone is in financial need, I have made decisions based on my bank account and my desires, rather than trusting and obeying the Lord with our money. Even, when I read the Bible and it clearly teaches a truth, I have trusted in myself instead of letting those words transform me. How do you trust in yourself?
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3: 5-6
This is one of my favorite verses. God is asking us to trust him and be totally dependent on him. In doing so, the crooked, difficult paths in our life are made straight. As followers of Christ, his Word should be the supreme authority in our lives. It is living and active. It corrects us and teaches us. Do you submit yourself to the authority of his Word or like Adam and Eve, choose to be your own authority?
One morning, the Lord spoke to my heart, ”Michelle, I’m dependent on you as well.” I was surprised, “What do you mean, Lord?” He showed me that he uses all of us to reach the lost and broken hearted. He needs us to share the gospel and to help others in need!
I am dependent on the Lord for all my physical, spiritual, and emotional needs because he’s my Father. And, he’s dependent on me. I need him. He needs me. This is called an interdependent relationship. You’re needed by the Lord and you need the Lord.
As a child I went to church, but didn’t have a relationship with Jesus. As I grew older, I knew I wanted to follow Jesus. If you are his child and following after him, then you can trust that he will take care of you. You are not an orphan. You are a child of God.
Will you ponder this? This week, ask the Lord how you are living life independently from him. Ask the Lord how you can be dependent on him.
Connect Group Ministry Leader