I hope you enjoyed Happy Birthday USA, Yesterday. How did you celebrate your independence day? For most, it has turned into a day off work to celebrate and be a little self-indulgent with friends and family, food and fireworks. Not all bad, right? I mean if I earned my paycheck, I’m entitled to spend it however I want, etc, etc. Most of us think we are fairly independent, self-sufficient, and masters of our own domains, yet we do not often realize how much we owe to those that have gone before us to make this country and our lives what they are today, as well as how dependent we truly are on others for our day to day existence. How much to you depend and rely on others, or on God each day to get your needs met?
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6
Maybe you even heard some reference to the Declaration of Independence, which was the statement which initiated the movement away from Great Britain and into our own sense of self-identity. Yet, even after the revolutionary war and onward in the world, the United States was still quite dependent on other countries to accomplish these things. Trade within the colonies, and with other countries was robust and essential for growth as a nation. Even today, with all the drama over trade and tariffs, we are all still fairly dependent on international trade to sustain our appetites, as much as we would like to be self-sufficient. How much of what is in your home was made or sourced from outside the region, state, or even country you live in?
Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Romans 13:1
In the same way, we are really dependent on our government for meeting many of our needs. As much as we complain about taxes and keeping the government ‘out of our business’, we often take for granted the infrastructure, protection, laws, and means for living our lives each day. It is not a perfect system, but without highways, law enforcement, medicine, and recourse for injustice, our lives would be much different. It is also said that many in this country are one paycheck away from disaster, or being homeless, if they lose a job. Even if you have enough savings or other supports to keep you off the streets, if the supply of gas, electricity, or food at the grocery store were cut off today, mass panic would ensue, as most of us are extremely dependent on these things for our day to day comfort and survival. Also, when we become sick or injured, we realize we depend on technology and the expertise of others for our continued survival. Not as independent as we believe ourselves to be.
For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? Matthew 16:25-26
So, how much do we depend on God each day? With an attitude and culture of ‘doing it my way’ and wanting to have it all without much effort on my part, or anyone else’s help, is there any wonder many don’t feel the need for God in their lives? Many, whether Christian or not, would like to make the life they want without any consideration or consultation from God in the equation. How do we avoid this mindset, or how do we grasp the concept of how much we truly need God for our existence? Little do we realize, how much we depend on God for all that sustains us…food, water, air, shelter, etc. We can start just by regularly giving thanks for these things. The more I do this, the more I understand His provision. We can also move away from excess and things that take away from what is most important in life, e.g. less entertainment and more engagement. As you come to understand how dependent you are on others for your needs, may you grow more in your trust and faith in God as the ultimate Provider and Sustainer of our lives!
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Matthew 4:4
I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me. Psalm 3:5
Yours in Christ,