A recent Sunday was a bit unusual for me.
Without going into all of the details, risking boring you to death, I would like to share with you a message that our gracious God shared with me in a brief moment in our Church's Prayer Room.
As I was rushing around with different perceived responsibilities I caught a brief moment to pop into the Prayer Room.
Already there were several people who had gathered to pray for the morning's services. As the prayers began an individual asked God to bring independence to all of those who are locked into dependencies.
Immediately, God expanded the thought in my mind. Here is what He said:
We easily choose for ourselves to be independent:
independent from parents, independent financially, independent from rules; this leads us to dependency: dependency on drugs, alcohol, pornography, gambling, approval of others...
If we were to choose dependency on God, He would give to us true independence!
Galatians 5:1 says: "It is for freedom that Christ set you free; therefore keep standing strong a do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery".
So over the last couple of days I have had to ask how it is that one can turn his/her dependency toward God and away from the things that enslave.
It has occurred to me that there is a key indicator of one's dependency on God.
Prayer is the definitive indicator of one's dependency on God. Let me hasten to add that it is not just the ordinary, everyday type of prayer that most of us Christians have learned to offer; it is instead the desperate cry from a hungry heart.
You will probably be familiar with a couple of stories Jesus told that illustrate this:
The first is a brief discussion with His disciples regarding the goodness of God
Matthew 7:9&10: "what man is there among you, when his son shall ask him for a loaf , will give him a stone? Or what if he shall ask you for a fish, he will not give him a snake will he?"
So often when we consider this scripture we do so from the perspective of the giver of the gift and the goodness of the giver. For a moment lets consider the requester rather than the giver.
What attitude would a son have as he approached his father to request something to eat?
I would suggest that the son has few if any other options for getting his hunger addressed. It is dad or it is no one! His request is dependent upon his dad being the good dad that he has previously proved to be.
The second story that Jesus told was about a man who received a visitor late one night but had nothing to feed his guest.(Luke 11:5-8)
The man therefore went to his neighbor's house and knocked on the door. The neighbor refused to open the door due to it being late and he and the family were already in bed. The man continued to knock and knock until the neighbor got up and gave him what he needed.
Once again I ask that you look at this story a bit differently than you usually do. We tend to think of this story as an example of persistence in prayer. However, I would like for us to consider the desperation of the man who made the request. Why bother the neighbor over and over if there were other options available?
This brings us to consider the way we pray. We live in an opulent society that has taught us the extreme value of independence and self reliance. We hold these values as precious and true.
We are at a huge disadvantage when it comes to prayer that comes out of desperate dependency. We have too many options outside of our God!
For us to approach our God in absolute dependency we must first come to understand Who He Is and allow Him to reveal Himself in us! Outside of that revelation, our trust will be more easily place in the things we know, and see and have experienced.
Desperate dependency comes at a huge cost but it brings true independence!