The Good News - Home
Dependency Upon God
By David A. DePra
Dependency upon God is fundamental to the Christian life. In fact, we might even say that it IS the Christian life – from a certain point of view. There is nothing a Christian has that is of eternal value they have not received from above. There is nothing we can do except it be by the Holy Spirit. But really, our entire relationship with God is supposed to be one of faith, reliance, and utter dependence upon God, not only for our material needs, but for our very spiritual life.
I don’t know how many of us have ever realized this, but it is the will of God that we be completely dependent upon Him. Of course, we usually think of this as a negative, or perhaps as a DEMAND that God places upon us. But this Truth reveals that dependency upon God is neither one of these. In reality, dependency upon God is the only possible outcome of becoming one with Jesus Christ, and of going on with God into spiritual maturity.
What do you and I think is going to happen if we grow to know God and experience the grace of God in Jesus Christ? We are here talking about coming into a oneness with God Almighty. Could there be any other possible outcome of such a relationship than our full dependency upon God, and His full provision for us?
What I am saying is this: Utter dependency upon God – my weakness by His strength – THIS IS the only TRUE relationship with God that is possible. It is the only relationship with God that reflects the TRUTH about Him, and the Truth about us. Any other kind of relationship with God is error.
Again – this is NOT a matter of God sitting down one day and deciding that He would demand that those who follow Him be dependent upon Him. It isn’t a matter of rules or laws or religion. No. This is a matter of the TRUTH – it is a matter of the nature of things between God and man. If God is God, then what other possible relationship could we have with Him – if our relationship with Him is based in Truth – than one where we are utterly dependent upon Him?
Dependency and Provision
Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would lead us into all Truth. Well, the Truth is that man was created to depend upon God and find full provision for everything IN and FROM Him. There simply isn’t any other Truth, or version of the Truth, out there. Thus, if we want to walk in Truth, and move into a true relationship with God, full dependency upon God is where we are going to end up. This is actually good news.
Now, if you just think about this for a moment, the ramifications of this Truth are fantastic. For if God wants us to be fully dependent upon Him, then there must be something else that is likewise true: God wants to fully provide for each of us. Sure. If God wants us to be dependent upon Him, it is unto a purpose. That purpose is that He wants to provide for us in everyway.
You really cannot have one without the other. Indeed, the Christian life is to express the fullness of both: Dependency upon God, and God provision for us. This is the TRUE relationship.
Think about it. What kind of a God would tell us to depend upon Him, and then NOT provide? What kind of God would demand dependency, and then say, "Ok, I’ve got you dependent upon me. Now, I’m done. You are on your own." No. God’s desire that we depend upon Him is absolutely based on the fact that God wants to provide for us.
What we see here ought to be more than obvious. We see that the reason God wants us to depend upon Him is BECAUSE He wants to provide. In other words, our dependency upon God doesn’t add to God. Rather, it adds to us. God wants to bring us into a relationship of dependency upon Himself SO THAT we can be trusted with what He has to give us, and SO THAT He can give it!
Dependency upon God leads to provision FROM God. Sure. And if you read the Bible, we are here talking about something so basic that it speaks of the Gospel of Grace itself.
The God of All Grace
Dependency upon God is not merely one aspect of the Christian life. It IS the Christian life. For example, we are saved by grace as needy sinners. We are not saved upon any other basis. If you think you are saved merely because you bought into the doctrine of salvation, or gave assent to the right religion, I would reexamine my position before God. The entire gospel is based on the fact that Christ DID for us, and presently IS to us, all that we cannot do for ourselves. That is why it IS the gospel of grace. Indeed, the very definition of grace means dependency upon God, and God’s provision for us through Christ. This applies to EVERYTHING in the Christian life – grace is THE basis.
The RELATIONSHIP that God intends is that we be fully and utterly dependent upon Him for EVERYTHING – both for spiritual and material needs. You will note that I used the word, "relationship." In other words, this is not a onetime issue. No, it is a continual relationship – it is, as I’ve stated, the only possible outcome of knowing and walking with God. Thus, we see why God desires this relationship: Yes, so that He can provide. But also so that we will be walking in the Truth.
Again – there is a TRUE relationship with God, that is, one that is fellowship with Him in the Light or Truth. But there is also a false relationship with God – one that is not fellowship in the light. The true relationship is full dependence upon God. A false relationship is when we are not fully dependent upon Him. The Holy Spirit will evermore seek to bring us out of the false into the true relationship.
This Truth is not about LAW. It is not about RULES we must follow in order to secure God’s provision. No. Again – it is about RELATIONSHIP. I say that because some Christians have the idea that God DEMANDS dependency upon Himself under threat of punishment. In other words, we imagine God saying, "You had better depend upon Me, or else!" Others think of dependency upon God as something to which we give lip-service so that we can GET from God whatever it is that we want. Sort of like a deal we make with God. We think, subtlety in our hearts, "God, I’ll be good enough to trust You, but only because I think it will lead to what I want You to do for me." Or we say in fear, "I’d better trust the Lord or I will never get from Him what I want." Some of us even think that we are being, "held hostage," by God. So we say we trust Him, rather than suffer some penalty for NOT trusting Him. And then there are others of us hardly ever have any need – spiritual or material – but as long as things stay that way, we proudly proclaim that we depend upon God, and that He is meeting our need. We actually think that we have no needs because of our merits – we think our lack of need is like a reward God has given us because we have trusted Him. In reality, we have little faith in God – something that would show if God allowed our situation to be tested.
The fact is, if I truly depend upon God, it will not be because of any of those false reasons given above. It won’t be a religious exercise, or something I do out of duty. It won’t be because I think I can earn God’s provision in any way. Rather, I will depend upon God if He has MADE me dependent, and consequently, because I KNOW HIM. I will depend upon Him because I know He is faithful. You don’t have to stain and strive to trust someone you KNOW is TRUSTWORTHY. Your faith in them is simply the relationship that results from knowing them.
The Bible calls God, "the God of all grace." Grace is not just a THING God does, it is a characteristic of God Himself. Thus, God is a God who GIVES – it is His nature to give free of charge. But God will not give free of charge if His giving will do spiritual harm to those who receive. Thus, in most cases, we must become rightly related to God before God can give, and before we will receive. That right relationship is that we become fully dependent upon God.
We see this principle in the Truth of grace. The only way to receive grace is if you have nothing to give in return. You must be fully dependent upon God. The moment you try to buy grace, or merit grace, you cannot see or recognize grace. But the moment you realize your utter helplessness and dependence upon God, you will embrace grace. Thus, we see the relationship God desires. He wants to provide. But we must be dependent.
The Truth stands: God wants a relationship with us wherein we are fully dependent upon Him for everything, so that He can be fully sufficient to us for everything. This isn’t simply something that God think would be nice. IT IS HIS GOAL. It is the ONLY POSSIBLE outcome of fellowship and oneness with God! God wants us to be dependent, indeed, the Holy Spirit wants to MAKE US dependent upon God. And then God can give to us all that fits into His will.
It is GOD’S WILL that He provide for us. I say that because many people, even many professing Christians, think that God is hesitant, even difficult, when it comes to this matter of provision. But He is not. If there is one Truth that we find in the Bible, and which characterizes God, it is that He wants to provide, give, and bless. As I said, it is GOD’S WILL that He provide for us.
But again – there is the flip side of this Truth. It is likewise GOD’S WILL that we DEPEND upon Him for His provision – in everything. This is FAITH. How often in scripture God continually exhorts us to trust Him. How often He says it is foolish to NOT trust Him. So as I said, it is GOD’S WILL that we depend upon Him for everything, as it is GOD’S WILL that He provide.
So what we see is that God wants us to depend upon Him for everything, and God wants to provide everything for us. The two go hand in hand. This is the TRUE relationship between man and God because it is a relationship that manifests the TRUTH.
Now, having said all of that, we come to a problem. We might even say that it is an impasse of sorts. Have you recognized it yet? That problem is this: We cannot make this happen. You and I cannot make ourselves dependent upon God. And you and I certainly cannot drag down from heaven God’s provision. Oh, we may develop religious exercises and gimmicks that we think will do the trick. But the relationship that God desires of full dependency is one that cannot be created by man. God must do this through a work of the Holy Spirit.
This is quite ironic and amazing. Not only must we become fully dependent upon God, but we are actually utterly dependent upon Him to MAKE US dependent upon Him! Do you see that? We are dependent upon God to make us dependent. We really are, and the sooner we realize this, the better.
Many Christians don’t understand the Truth on this matter. In fact, most legalism is based upon ignorance of this Truth. I have known people, for example, who try to make themselves dependent upon God by giving away everything they own. This won’t work – not unless God specifically brings you to that point and you know this is what He is requiring. But even then, it isn’t the discarding of possessions that is making you dependent. Rather, for you, this is necessary to walk with God. I’ve known many Christian people who have little, or nothing, but they aren’t dependent upon God. They are actually bitter and resentful towards Him.
Someone once said that it is not wrong to own possessions, but what is dangerous is if those possessions own you. This is true. But whether we have much or little, the Holy Spirit will absolutely seek to make us dependent upon God for what we DO have – and for what we continue to have. God will not ultimately tolerate it if we are possessed by anything in t his life except HIMSELF. HOW God does this may vary from individual to individual. But it will be His goal.
So all of this is really pretty simple. God wants us dependent upon Him. But as noted, for this to be possible, we must be MADE DEPENDENT upon Him. Sure. And even this work of the Spirit – to make us dependent upon God – is something for which we must depend upon God. We must literally say to Him, "Lord, do whatever it takes to bring me into this relationship with You. Do whatever it takes to make me dependent."
You will notice that I did NOT say that in order to be MADE dependent or needy that what we need to do is follow principles or laws. No. This is about TRUTH, and it is about a spiritual relationship with God. We must be MADE SPIRITUALLY BANKRUPT in ourselves before we will be able to fully rely upon God, and fully receive what He has to give.
If you want a principle, this is a basic principle of grace. You will never embrace the grace of God until you see that it is your only hope. You and I will not be utterly dependent upon God until we are brought to the place where we are out of other options. This is simply the nature of things – it is our nature to make it difficult. Then we will see that God was our only option to begin with – and we will rejoice in the fact.
It is a miracle of God, and a work of the Holy Spirit, to bring a person to where they are not only utterly dependent upon God, but to where they rejoice in the fact. But then again, we are not talking about religious principles to follow. We are talking about knowing God, and entering into a fellowship with Him based in Truth.
God will make us dependent upon Him by creating a need that we cannot meet with our own resources. This is usually where the work of the Spirit begins. This may be a spiritual need. But usually it begins with a material need – and then as we seek God on the matter, the spiritual need will be exposed. Over the course of time, we will come to realize how utterly void we are of any resource before the Lord.
This is the work of the Cross – to expose natural man for what he is – utterly void of anything of value; completely unable to live independent of God. Of course, when they is happening, it will seem as if everything is falling apart. Well, it is. For we all live from the resources found in natural man. And when God begins to dismantle that, it will, for a time, seem bad. But it is all unto the end that we be set free to fully depend upon God.
What is NORMAL for natural man is ABNORMAL in the eyes of God. Natural man knows only the natural. The abnormal is all he knows, and all he has ever experienced, and since everyone else around him looks the same, he thinks that the abnormal is normal – to him it IS normal. Thus, to be strong in oneself seems normal and desirable. The Truth is, God never intended for any of us to be strong in ourselves. Man was created to be dependent upon God. Yet to natural man, this will seem ABNORMAL and wrong – as will everything else that is NORMAL in the eyes of God.
We see the fact that man is upside down and abnormal all through scripture. We also see the need for him to become adjusted back to NORMAL through a relationship and fellowship with God. Indeed, there is no other way TO be brought back to a NORMAL condition. This is why dependence upon God is not optional. It is the NORMAL in the eyes of God. It is the only relationship possible if we want to live in the Truth.
Jesus said, "He that would save – seek to possess – his life, will lose it. But whoever loses his life for My sake will find it." Here we see that what is normal to God is abnormal to us. We think that to save our lives we must hold onto them. Jesus says we must lose them – into His hands. We have other Truths in scripture along this line: Life comes from death, victory comes through surrender, the mature are like little children, and strength comes through weakness. Of course, all of these things are only true because of how they relate us to God. But they are true because of the nature of things due to the sin of Adam. We are abnormal and upside down. Every one of these things speaks of our need to be BROUGHT BACK to the normal relationship with God.
So what we see is that when God begins the work of making us dependent upon Him, what He is doing is restoring the NORMAL. But to us, it will seem ABNORMAL. This is why we must know the Truth. God wants to provide for us. But He must make us needy. He must bring us back into the TRUE relationship He intended from the beginning.
Not Our Own
Christians talk about giving their problems, or about giving their needs to God. But what God really wants is that we give OURSELVES to Him – all of ourselves and all that we own. Do we seriously believe that we can continue to OWN OURSELVES, but that once in awhile, if we are in need, that we can only then invite God into our lives to help us? Is THAT Christianity?
There are many Christians who act as if surrender to God is a terribly negative thing that will deprive us of something good. Others treat surrender like a deal we are making with God – and so they surrender to God because they think that it is the way to ultimately get what they want from Him. It is easy to depend upon God if you think it pays you to depend upon Him. But none of this speaks of the Truth.
In Truth, you and I never did belong to ourselves – the fact that we think as if we do, act as if we do, and even try to walk with God as if we do, is part of the deception. Indeed, there is NO Christian life revealed in the Bible except one where we belong to God. Just as dependency upon God is the only possible outcome of fellowship with Christ, so it is here: If you are one with Christ, you belong to God – for Christ belongs to God.
Christian people, as never before, are completely blind to the fact that WE ARE NOT OUR OWN. We do not even get to decide even WHO WE ARE in Christ. I’m not talking here about some, "deeper Christian life." Or about some, "deeper surrender to Christ." No. This is the only kind of Christianity that the Bible knows anything about – it is what Christianity IS.
For example, just take the name, "saint." This is the term God uses more than any other in the Bible to refer to a Christian. Well, the word, "saint," means, "a holy one." But, "holiness," means, "to be set apart for GOD’S USE." In other words, a, "saint," is someone who does NOT belong to themselves, but one who belongs to God. That is what a Christian IS. That is what the relationship between a Christian and God is supposed to be. It is that BY DEFINITION; by IDENTITY.
We act as if belonging to God is a favor we do for Him. Actually, He is doing us, "the favor," if you want to call it that. Fellowship with God; belonging to God -- it is a relationship He has made possible for US – through the death of His Son. Let’s get it settled: You and I have no rights, and no entitlement, and no merits before God. None. Zero. But guess what? If we knew the Truth, we would rejoice in this, for God is the God of all grace.
So what we see here is that since a Christian belongs to God, then the only possible walk with Christ, and the only possible relationship with God that reflects this Truth is one where we are fully dependent upon God.
To be utterly dependent upon God may sound scary and abnormal to natural thinking, but it is actually the most blessed relationship possible. It sounds scary because it means WE are not in charge, and we don’t get the final say. But it is not scary. It is actually the most secure place to be. That is because God is faithful. He is not faithful to natural man, but to His own purposes in Christ, which is exactly what we ought to want Him to be.
Fellowship With God
God wants the TRUE relationship. The true relationship is dependency upon God leading to provision from God – both materially and spiritually – on many levels. But dependency upon God isn’t simply a doctrine to which we give assent. It is not merely a hollow, legal position we take. No. True dependency upon God is a fundamental part of fellowship with God.
Fellowship is, "a having in common." That is what the word means. But God cannot find anything in us with which to fellowship. He cannot look at man and see something in him to, "have in common." Thus, what God has to do is PUT INTO man the basis for fellowship – He has to put into man something of Himself. Thus, we have CHRIST IN US through the Holy Spirit. It is Christ Himself who provides US with common ground with God – and who provides God with the basis for fellowship with us. Christ is the living Mediator between God and man. He IS that – He doesn’t just DO that. In Christ, we have fellowship with God.
John the apostle spoke of fellowship with God. In fact, he told us the key to fellowship with God. He said:
This then is the message that we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another…"(1 John 1:5-7)
John is saying that LIGHT is the only common ground upon which we can have fellowship with God. Of course, Jesus Christ IS THE LIGHT – so Jesus is, as I stated, that common ground. But here John uses the picture of LIGHT. He says, "God is Light." Then He says, "If we walk in the Light as He is in the Light, we have fellowship with Him." Thus, LIGHT is the basis for fellowship. Darkness is NOT – we cannot have fellowship with God if we walk in darkness. But practically speaking, what does this mean?
It means that you and I have no fellowship with God unless it is according to the TRUTH. Not only must we be walking in the Truth – the Light – but we must be in the process of BEING MADE TRUE. So there is no need for any further debate in Christianity as to whether Truth is essential. It is essential if we want to fellowship with God.
Now, get the picture as to how all this figures into dependency upon God. The more I step into the Light, and the more I am made true, the more I will commune with God IN THAT TRUTH. And that Truth reveal God as one-hundred percent FAITHFUL. It will also reveal me to be one-hundred percent without resources. Thus, the Truth, and the fellowship in the Truth, can only be lived and experienced to the extent that I am dependent upon God.
You cannot walk in the full Truth unless you are dependent upon God – for only a relationship of utter dependence reflects the Truth about who God is TO US, and who we are TO HIM. This is, for example, why we cannot come to God unless it is by His grace through Christ. We are not merely following some rule or religious principle in doing so. No. We are walking in the TRUTH. God MUST save man solely by grace because it is the only way possible for God to save Him. The gospel, therefore, reflects the Truth in every way – the Truth about God, and the Truth about us.
Truth is never the result of what I believe or don’t believe. I don’t create Truth, or destroy it, by my faith. Rather, Truth IS. And since God is Light, and Jesus is the Truth, it never changes. Thus, if I want to fellowship with God, I must come to see the Truth, embrace the Truth, and be MADE TRUE BY THE TRUTH. And the TRUTH IS THIS: I am completely empty without God. And He is the Source of all life. Thus, the closer I get to God, the more dependent I will become upon Him. Not maybe. Dependency upon God is the result of fellowship with God, and the result of walking in the Light.
God or Things
So far we are seeing that God wants fellowship and relationship with us, but that the only relationship possible with God is fellowship in the Truth. And that Truth is that we have nothing in ourselves, and God is all. Thus, the only TRUE relationship possible is one wherein I am dependent upon God for everything, and He is my provider for the same.
Unfortunately, this is not often taught in our churches. At best, we are taught to depend upon God once in awhile, usually only when we are in need. Thus, we seek God for THINGS – for material things or for what we think are spiritual THINGS. But we are seeing that dependence involves more than that. Dependence is the essence of a true relationship with God.
For example, I said that there are many Christians who seek God for THINGS. We turn to God for provision, or for some THING we want from Him. And the THING we want from God may be legitimate. We may have a real NEED – even a desperate need. But there is a real danger here; a real deception possible. It is quite possible to want THINGS from God, but to not really want God Himself. It is possible to want THINGS from God, but to have little idea of the true, eternal relationship God desires to have with us.
I used to think that in order to get from God what I wanted – I was assuming that what I wanted was also God’s will – I used to think that to get this from God that I simply needed to do all the right things. I was taught that I needed to keep certain Bible principals, and if I did, then God was sort of obligated – by His own Word, of course – to make things come out the desired way. And of course, it is possible to dig out of the Bible all kinds of promises to supposedly support such a theory. But what I was blind to was that this was a disguised way of seeking THINGS FROM GOD – rather than God Himself.
It is so easy to fall into this subtle trap. But fortunately, God will not play along in this for very long. God is not going to help us stay in our blindness and error. He will actually begin to disturb it. For God doesn’t merely want to give us THINGS. He doesn’t want to simply supply material needs. No. God wants a true relationship and fellowship with us. And He will not settle for less.
God has promised to supply all of our need. Jesus said, "Seek you first the kingdom of God and all these things will be added unto you." (Matt. 6:33) But anyway you want to read this verse, the, "all things being added to you," is absolutely conditioned upon seeking first the kingdom. God will not allow it to function any other way, because it can function only in the TRUE way.
What this means is that God will NOT add to us much at all unless we are seeking first HIS RULE and HIS WILL. In other words, we must SEEK FIRST GOD HIMSELF – and if we do, then God is free to add to us everything that is fit to come along with Him. Or, to put it another way, if we are rightly related to God by faith – if we are dependent upon God – then OUT FROM THAT TRUE RELATIONSHIP can emerge, "all these things."
But it is just as certain that God will never bless any prosperity and will never bless any success that is NOT the outcome of being rightly related to Himself – and this includes even any prosperity in the lives of Christian people. If I am not dependent upon God, I may prosper greatly, and I may even think it is because I am pleasing to God. But it is NOT. God is never happy with any prosperity or success unless it is the result of seeking HIM FIRST, and of being dependent upon Him.
You can serve mammon and become rich doing so – even as a professing Christian. But if you are not dependent upon God, you are OUT of God’s will. The only prosperity that God will bless is that which is the by-product of being rightly related to Himself – in other words, YOU BELONG TO GOD. Christian people are never to be living as if they do not belong to Him.
I realize that there are many who give lip-service to dependence upon God, but who really do so only as a cover-up. But not to worry. God has a way of testing our faith. If I truly believe I am dependent upon God, it will be proven one way or another. For despite all of our hypocrisy and self-deception, the Holy Spirit nevertheless is promised to lead us into all Truth. So if I’m not dependent, God will seek to make me dependent. If I am dependent, God will prove it so. Either way, the purpose of the Holy Spirit is to bring us into the TRUE relationship with God.
Being Made Dependent
It is God’s will for us to be dependent, and for Him to supply our need. This is the true relationship. But in order for it to happen, we have to realize our need. We also need to realize the faithfulness of God. Until we realize both we aren’t going to go to God with our needs. So God has to bring us into a knowing of this Truth.
The way He usually does it is by creating or allowing a practical need. Only if God cuts us off from our other dependencies – including our own abilities – will we begin to honestly turn to Him. God has a way of cutting us off from all other resources. The flesh usually won’t turn to Him otherwise.
I have found that quite often God will NOT immediately respond and supply our need – no matter what we do. I’d never make a rule out of that, because situations are different, but quite often when we encounter a great need and turn to God, God doesn’t immediately respond. Sometimes He doesn’t respond for a long time. Indeed, there are times when the more we cry out to God, the WORSE the situation seems to become.
Why is this the case? Hasn’t God promised us? Sure. And He will keep every promise He has made. But the explanation here is what I was talking about earlier. We want a THING – we want the THING that will solve our problem, or supply our need. But God wants more – He wants the true relationship with us. He is merely using our need for some THING to get us on our knees.
I have also found that if God allows us to get into a desperate situation, that once we turn to God, we are going to get caught up into something that is much deeper than we bargained for. God could supply a need with a THING in a moment. But what He is after is an eternal relationship. He is after a relationship wherein we are dependent upon Him, and He is our provision.
It sounds ironic, if not contradictory, that the way in which God builds this relationship is by NOT immediately giving us what we need. Natural thinking would suggest otherwise – it would suggest that the way God builds faith in us, and the way in which we become dependent upon God is if He immediately supplies our need. But often it is the opposite – God builds faith by delaying, withholding, and allowing all kinds of things to call Him a liar.
Why? Why does God work this way? Because faith MUST be tested. Otherwise it will remain simply an intellectual assent to Truth. To put it another way, it is only if God delays giving me the THING I need will I go on to find God Himself. Only if God withholds the THING will I enter into the true relationship.
When God won’t supply my need presently, it is because He wants to give me something eternal. I want the THING from God, but God wants the true relationship. Only if my faith is tested will that relationship be possible.
Think about what the Bible calls, "the trial of faith." The words in that phrase mean exactly what they say. A trial of your faith is when your belief that God is faithful is TRIED and TESTED. Now, what is the only way in which such a belief can be tested? In only one way: You must be in a spiritual environment, and even a physical environment, that brings contradiction to God’s faithfulness. Your faith in God is only tested if everything around you, and perhaps even inside of you, is contradicting your faith.
This is always the case in any trial of faith. Your belief that God is faithful and true is assaulted and put under ridicule and challenge. And really, the only way that this is possible, is if what God has said is true is presently NOT coming to pass – but seems to be impossible. In this matter of provision, God has promised to provide. If we do believe Him, the trial of faith will be when God doesn’t provide, and it seems like He is going to.
But notice the purpose of God in all of this. If I say I believe God will provide all of my need, this may not at all indicate that I am, in fact, DEPENDENT upon God. It is quite possible to believe that I should be dependent, and in fact, it is possible to give assent to the fact that God is faithful – and yet for this to all be nothing more than a mental assent to the Truth. All of that is fine and good, and is a nice place to start. But none of it means that I am actually dependent upon God. For that to be the case – for me to BE dependent – God has to take my agreement to the fact that He is faithful and put it through the fire. He has to face me with contradiction to the Truth I say I believe. Then it will be proven as to my real faith.
If I am in a trial of faith, God is not testing me so that He can find out whether I have faith. No. Rather, God is seeking to BUILD in me a stronger faith. But He cannot do this by giving me THINGS. He can only do it by opening the door to a greater relationship. In short, the whole trial of faith is so that I can begin to fellowship with God Himself.
One of the things in a trial of faith that God will do is expose our desire for THINGS, and give us the opportunity to seek God Himself. This is one reason why He doesn’t immediately meet our needs – if He did, we would not know to seek God Himself.
The ways of God are unto the eternal, even though our ways tend to be towards the temporal. We want God to give us THINGS. God wants to give us HIMSELF. We want God to speak to us and tell us what to do. God wants to reveal Himself to us. We want God to remove the difficulty. God wants the difficulty to remain so that through it we might be set free. We want God to supply our need. God wants to build into us an eternal relationship.
It is a fact – to the degree that we are dependent upon God we will be spiritually strong. Of course, in order to be made dependent upon God, we must be made weak in ourselves. Thus, we see that if the work of the Cross makes us weak, that we will depend upon God, and be made spiritually strong.
What does it mean to be weak in oneself? It means to have no righteousness of our own. It means that all the resources of the flesh are cut off. It means that we no longer are able to function and live according to our own strength and abilities. If God makes us weak we won’t be able to. But it also means that we will live from above, in the strength of Christ within. This will not be a religious position we take, or a frame of mind we create. It will be real.
Notice what Paul said about himself in this regard:
And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong. (2 Cor. 12:7-10)
Most of us probably won’t have this drastic of an experience. But I would submit that if we want to go on with Christ that we are going to have to have something along this line. At some point in our life in Christ, we are going to have to enter into the sufficiency of His grace – and that is only possible if we literally experience our own weakness. You simply cannot be strong in Christ unless you are made weak. You will never truly depend upon Him unless you are made utterly weak and needy.
Paul spoke of this same principle, that of strength through weakness, elsewhere:
Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. (Phil 3:8-11)
Natural man knows nothing of dependency upon God. Indeed, natural man will push it away, redefine it, neglect it, or deny it. But as I have stated, if you want a TRUE relationship with Christ, this is where you must come. A true relationship with God is that I am utterly dependent upon Him, do not belong to myself, am crippled in my own flesh, and can no longer live in the power of my own resources. But I find that Christ is sufficient as my life, that God meets my every need according to His will, and I can live in the power of His resurrection. This is Christianity.
So if it seems as if God is allowing you to LOSE, it is only so that you might GAIN. If you are becoming weak in yourself, it is not cause for despair. For there is eternal strength in Christ. It is all unto the end that we might be dependent upon God, and that He must be our provision.
The Good News - Home