March 30, 2023
Dependence on God
Jesus - “Pray like this: Our Father in heaven, may Your name be kept holy. May Your Kingdom come soon. May Your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us today the food we need, and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us. And don’t let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one.” (Matthew 6:9-13)
John Wesley was about 21 years old when he went to Oxford University. He came from a strong Christian home, and he was gifted with a keen mind and good looks. Yet, he was known in those days to be a bit snobbish and sarcastic. One night, however, something happened that set in motion a change in Wesley’s heart. While speaking with a porter, he discovered that the poor man had only one coat and lived in such impoverished conditions that he didn’t even have a bed to sleep in. Yet, he was an unusually joyful person, filled with gratitude to the Lord. Wesley, being immature, thoughtlessly joked about the man’s misfortunes. “And what else do you thank God for?” he asked the porter with a touch of sarcasm. The porter smiled, and in a spirit of meekness, replied joyfully, “I thank Him that He has given me a life and being, a heart to love Him, and above all a constant desire to serve Him!” Needless to say, John Wesley was deeply moved. He then realized that this poor man, a porter, knew the meaning of true thankfulness and contentment that can only come from the Lord.
Someone once said, “There’s nothing like being hungry to make you realize that you can’t do this life on your own.” Truth be told, even when praying the model prayer, most of us aren’t praying “Our Father in Heaven…give us today our daily bread” (Matthew 6:9,11) in a spirit of desperation. One international member of our church who is from an impoverished nation once said, “We forget that we are dependent on God when we have a credit card in our wallet.”
Jesus said, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God.” (Luke 18:24) Notice that He did not say it was impossible, only that it was difficult. Being financially wealthy can be a spiritual disadvantage to us because it makes it harder for us to depend on God. It puts us at the center of our universe and points to us as our own ultimate provider. How sad this is, because our resources are miniscule compared with the Lord of the Universe, who owns everything that ever was and ever will be.
When we surrender our lives to God, we must realize our total dependence on Him. Billy Graham once said, “Living for Christ is a day-to-day going on with Him. It is a continuous dependence upon the Spirit of God. It is believing in His faithfulness.” We must remember His faithfulness and follow the advice of Proverbs: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
FOLLOW UP ACTIVITY
In your journal or on a piece of paper, write out a prayer to the Lord, asking Him to help you place your complete confidence in Him for your needs. Then, pray that prayer aloud at least three times throughout your day. If you’re leading your family through this devotion, ask each of them to write their own prayer as in the exercise above, then pray them aloud, one by one as a family.
PRAYER FOR TODAY
Lord, help me to remember that I am completely dependent on You for everything I have or ever will have. In Jesus name, I pray, Amen.