Independence is a celebrated quality in American culture. Folklore abounds of those who stood alone, against all odds and prevailed. We honor those business entrepreneurs who build successful companies or outstanding inventions all by themselves. We even look up to Do-it-yourselfers and weekend warriors who can do just about anything around the house.
But Jesus said when it comes to living life, there are some things you cannot do yourself. In fact in John 15:5, Jesus says, without Him, we can do nothing.
That may not seem very empowering, or even complimentary. Without Christ’s presence flowing in and through me, I can’t do anything.
It’s no surprise because Jesus Himself said in John 5:19 that He didn’t do anything He didn’t see the Father doing. Jesus lived in complete dependence on God the Father. He invites you and me to live in complete dependence on Him.
We can do nothing in our own strength and power. When we live, even as Christians, independent of the presence of Christ in our lives, even our best attempts fail.
There is a New Testament verse quoted again and again. We see it in devotion books and in artwork hung in our living rooms. It’s probably one of your favorites, as it is mine. Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”
With Christ’s strength and help, I can do anything. However, the opposite of this verse is exactly what Jesus was referring to. Without Christ’s help and strength, I can do nothing. Yet so often we try and try, hoping to succeed, and each time the result is the same, nothing!
Jesus invites us into a dependent lifestyle where we tap into the power of God in us. We tap into that power by spending time with Jesus in prayer.
Prayer is the Beginning Pont
Prayer is the beginning point of dependent living. When we pray, we confess that we don’t have all the answer, we can’t solve all our problems, and we recognize that we can do nothing without Him. When we pray, we call out to God for His help and strength to meet the challenges and problems of the day.
Prayer is the Evidence
Prayer is also the evidence of the dependent Christian life. If you can go days without prayer, then you are living independently of Christ.
When we live independently, we are putting our trust in our strength and our wisdom instead of Christ.
But, when we take time to stop and pray, we enter into dependence on Christ and the power of Heaven is released for our benefit.
So, are you living dependent or independent of Christ? Are you spending time in prayer daily, or just when you think you need it? The dependent Christian is quick to pray and to invite Christ into every situation of life. They understand that with His strength they can do all things, and without Him, they can do nothing.