Total Dependence On God
Dependence on the Lord alone is central to our lives as we live for and serve God. Our attitude must always reflect the belief that God is our only source.
Here are two key areas of our lives that automatically show whether or not we truly have the heart attitude of depending upon the Lord:
1. How we deal with the difficulties of life
Many times our natural response to any difficulty, challenge or task tends first to be, “What must I do to get this done?” We look inward to ourselves or outward to friends, family or doctors.
-When we get a headache, the first thing we think is, Where is the aspirin?
-When we get sick, our first thought tends to be, Where is the nearest doctor?
-When a problem comes up in our Parish, the first thing we think is, I must contact my Bishop.
-When we need money, our first response is, I must figure this out.
These things are not necessarily bad in and of themselves. It is when our dependence is upon them rather than on God that we begin to walk on shaky ground.
2. How we handle the vocation to which the Lord has called us
We may have good organization, good leaders or employees, good education and wonderful resources to get our job done. But none of that has anything to do with the authentic work of God if our dependence is not on Him.
A servant of God can be tempted to use his money, power, influence, connections or authority to solve his problems and get things done. That, however, is borrowing strength from the position God has given him and attacking God’s work. Instead of fasting for the ministry and problems that arise, instead of seeking God’s face, he relies on his position or title and uses it to force a solution.
It is because of this truth that my prayer to God is continually, Let me be like a little child. Let me make mistakes. But please, let me not be clever in doing Your work.
Dependent Jars of Clay
Our attitude about vocational accomplishments reveals where our dependence truly lies. When God uses us for His glory, we can easily start to think, “I did it! I am gifted! I am talented! It is my position, my decisions and my ingenuity that got it done! I am the one who . . .” We forget that we are but dust, “jars of clay” as Scripture says (see 2 Corinthians 4:7).
Yet within these jars of clay is a great treasure—the glory and power of the living God! But we must remember we are merely the vessels, and even in that, just clay vessels, not gold, silver, bronze or even steel.
Do you recognize this? Just because God has given us responsibilities and opportunities to serve others does not mean we are gold vessels. In ourselves we have no value. We are simply earthen vessels, and what these vessels contain belongs not to us, but to the Lord who committed it to us. All is from Him, for Him, through Him and for His glory so that the glory may not be in the jar itself, but in the Lord!
Imagine how absurd it would have been if the disciples, after feeding the 5,000, boasted in themselves at the miracle that took place. They were merely distributors, going around with the baskets and giving out from the abundance of food that God had provided.
Who got the glory? Not the ones who distributed, but the One who provided.
Today, reflect on your approach to your vocation or any difficulties in your life. Who is getting the glory? When faced with a decision, choose to turn to the Lord in dependence before relying on your own strength.