When I was very young, my parents sheltered me and exposed me, little by little, to the outside world. They registered me for school, swimming lessons, music lessons. All for the purpose of enriching me and teaching me about the great big world around me.
Eventually, Dad and Mom nervously handed over the car keys to me and watched me drive away to my first real job.
A parent’s goal is to bring children up to a confident state of independence.
Not so with the Lord. His goal for His children is to bring them to a state of humble dependence.
Weird. As children of God, we, in a sense, regress to the level of a small child:
trusting, completely confident in our Father’s ability to navigate the world and to keep us safe. Confident that we will be fed, clothed, protected, loved.
But we begin the life of a Child of God, struggling each day to submit to Someone else’s leadership. Not confident that our Father can and will supply all our needs through Christ Jesus. Wondering about our future. Sometimes very afraid. Sometimes worshipful. Sometimes angry and perplexed about the way things have turned out. Sometimes downright rebellious. Sometimes tearfully repentant.
Little by little we learn, through experience, through prayer, and from meditating on our Father’s words that He can be relied on, that He is intimately acquainted with us and desires our best.
But the things he allows into our lives are often painful, frightening, frustrating. Why God, Why? I thought a parent was supposed to shelter us from all harm.
And I thought we were supposed to grow up and depend only on ourselves.?? This learning to submit and be dependent seems so counter-intuitive, especially in a society where freedom has reached the level of lawlessness.
But the life of the child of God is marked by dependence on God. That is when His power works through us. Not the other way around.
Jesus said that the work of the disciple is to believe that He, the Redeemer, came in the flesh as the perfect God/man.( John 6:20)
Notice Jesus didn’t say that the work of the disciple is to somehow muster our own human love, faith, trust, strength and then go out and do what we imagine is God’s work.
again. The work of the disciple is to depend on the Holy Spirit to lead, and allow Him to work through us.
“God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Submit yourselves, then to God.” James 4:6,7 NIV Bible)