Saturday, March 23rd, Day 16 Author: Brent Shoemaker Church: City Church Marietta
The Discipline of Dependency
Phil. 3:3-8 NLT
For we who worship by the Spirit of God are the ones who are truly circumcised. We rely on what Christ Jesus has done for us. We put no confidence in human effort, though I could have confidence in my own effort if anyone could. Indeed, if others have reason for confidence in their own efforts, I have even more! I was circumcised when I was eight days old. I am a pure-blooded citizen of Israel and a member of the tribe of Benjamin—a real Hebrew if there ever was one! I was a member of the Pharisees, who demand the strictest obedience to the Jewish law. I was so zealous that I harshly persecuted the church. And as for righteousness, I obeyed the law without fault. I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake, I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ
Do you remember the last time when you were desperate for the Lord’s help, a time when you genuinely needed Him to intervene for you or someone close to you? Usually, our level of dependency on God rises and falls based on the difficulty of our circumstances. The more painful the circumstance, the more dependent we become for God’s help. The greater the trial or tragedy the louder we cry out for God to step in. But when life’s on par and everything is great we don’t feel the need to depend and trust on God. As people, our normal gravitational pull is toward being independent and not dependent on God. We naturally drift toward self –sufficiency, especially when our lives are comfortable and in order. With all the prosperity we experience in life and even in our church, it’s easy to forget how much we still need Jesus for every breath we take.
God’s passion for us is not independence from Him but complete dependency upon Him in all circumstances, good or bad. Dependency is not the strategy we use to get God to bless us or answer us but it’s the strategy God uses to shape us. Dependency is the pathway to real intimacy with Jesus and the platform where He does His most amazing work in us and through us. The discipline of dependency is a daily choice to humbly acknowledge our frailty before God and our great need for Him in everything we do. Like the Apostle Paul, we have so many great accomplishments, resources and relationships to place our confidence in but we must make the daily choice to place our complete trust and dependency on Jesus at all times and in all circumstances just as Paul did.
Think About it
• What things, relationships or status do you tend to put your confidence in?
• What are the obstacles both personally and in ministry that make choosing dependency so challenging?
• What practical steps can you take to daily depend upon the Lord?
Lord I need you. I confess that I often forget how much I need you and that I often put my confidence in other places than you. I’m grateful for your forgiveness, your promises, and protection in my life. I choose to confess my need for you and ask you to continue your work in me and through me this day.
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