For many of us being dependent on someone else goes against our thinking. For some independent thinkers, as I was and still can be, it seems to go against our very existence.
Many of us strive for independence in one way or another. As toddlers, you first start wanting to do it your way. When you graduate from high school, most young men and women declare their independence by going off to college or moving to a place of their own.
Even in your job you tend to strive for a bit of independence. Even working for a major corporation with all its standards and practices, you do little things that carve out room for your need to feel independent.
But what if I told you that being dependent, I mean completely dependent, will actually free you more than whatever you think being an independent person could ever do for you. It will liberate you.
How so? By being 110% completely dependent on God and our Lord Jesus Christ. I believe Proverbs 3 vs 5-6 says it best.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In ALL your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.”
There are many great sermons in that one quote.
- Trust in the Lord with all your heart
- Lean not on your own understanding
- All your ways acknowledge him
- He will make your paths straight.
But, for today, lets concentrate on dependency on the Lord giving you freedom because that is what will happen and God’s word promises it. You will see.
Let’s start breaking down this quote. Lets look at “He will make your paths straight”.
For all of us that believe, being an independent thinking, was the best way to go, you can attest to some of the “less than straight paths” you have taken one time or another.
I was such an independent thinker. My mantra or better-put inspiration was a poem called “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost. Many of you know the poem; it is basically about a traveller coming up to two paths diverging in the woods. He looked down the one and it was well worn, implying many people had taken that path. He looked down the other trail, and it was barely used, brush still covering part of the trail. He pondered going both ways. But, as the poem implies, the traveller was an independent thinker, he chose the road less traveled as it says in the poem.
That was my mantra. I would say that all the time. I would proudly and with conviction quote the last two lines in the poem. “I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.”
Of course to me I was saying I took the road less traveled and that has made all the difference in making my life better. But was that really true?
About 5 or 6 years ago, I began to question that self-imposed truth. I took the road less travel but am I the better for it? As I look back at all I lived through. All the roadblocks, all the crooked paths I took, and boy did I take a lot of crooked paths, I realized that doing the independent thing and making my own roads, was NOT the best thing and I was NOT better for it.
After a one step forward 20 steps back type of life, just the thought of the Lord making my path straight was truly liberating. So I said I’m in for it. Sign me up Lord. I’m all in. Please Lord make my path straight, I am worn out of trying to always do it my way.
Do any of your feel that way or is it just me? Weary of feeling like I was wasting my time correcting all the mistake and poor decisions I made.
Now I have a new way of thinking, a better way to guide my life. A simple, straightforward and less complicated prayer, “Lord you lead and I will follow.”
In the Bible, Jesus said in John 10:27 “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me.” In fact throughout all of John, Chapter 10, Jesus talks about him being the Shepherd and we being the sheep.
Let me tell you a little bit about herding sheep. When working with sheep, they become very familiar with their shepherds voice. They learn to trust that voice and will follow the shepherd anyway. If a stranger tries to command the sheep, they ignore it or will more often runs away from that person because then know he is not their Shepherd and they do not trust him. As it says in John 10 vs 3 – “He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.” Did you hear that? He knows your name and he calls to you by your name. That is something for all to remember in times of trouble, especially when we get intimidated by the awesomeness of who God is.
But how do I hear God’s voice? How do I hear Jesus Christ, my Lord, Savior and Shepherd’s voice so I can make sure I follow him? How do I know it is him leading me through his spirit and not just my thoughts, which may not be his thoughts or his ways for that moment? Well you here his voice in his Word, in Prayer, having your alone time with the Lord and letting his Holy Spirit speak to you.
Maybe it is just me, by there are times when I think about all that happens in one day or even one minute of our lives and how many Christians are praying to God every second throughout the world that I think, how can he hear my prayers and guide just me. And doubt can enter my mind. That is when holding to the truth that my Lord knows my name will eliminate that doubt and my dependency on God is taken to a higher level. But perhaps the word dependency is not as accurate when discussing this subject as the word trust. Trust, now there is a word that can conjure up all sorts of feeling.
So are we talking about the famous trust exercise of one person standing behind another and the person in front, with arms out falls back, trusting that the other person will catch them. Yes that is a big test of trusting someone but what is the worse that can happen with that test. You either find out the person will catch you or they don’t and falling might hurt a little bit and you will be embarrassed but that is all.
Trusting God with everything is so very different and can be scary especially if you are not sure you are hearing or being lead by him. In life, trusting him for things that can be life altering Trusting him when you or your loved one is very sick. Trusting him when your marriage needs help. Trusting him when you are trying to make major decisions. Sometimes trusting for your very life.
Again Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In ALL your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight”
How do you really know you are trusting God. Two Words. DON’T WORRY.
There is no better way to show your trust in God and our Lord Jesus Christ, then to give him your cares and fears and then just freely, with peace, trust that he has your back. A good practice that I do is when I am at that point where I am freaking out in fear, I just whisper, “Jesus, help me.” And then I know it has been given over to him and that I have put my trust in him that at that very moment is trying to lead me.
Luke 12:22 says “Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or about your body, what you will wear.
Philippians 4:6 “Do not be anxious about anything but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving present your requests to God.
1 Peter 5:7 “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
Are you ready to give it a try in your life? Are you ready to just say “Jesus, help me. I trust you”