August 6, 2019. I remember that day like it was yesterday. The vivid image is still engraved in my mind as I sat all alone in the food court desperately thirsting for the Powerade in my bag but with no means to open it.
This was because of the deformity of my hands. Usually, I would depend on a family member to open my bottles, but I was alone. My family had gone to the Independence Day Agricultural Show and I was not going to ask some random stranger to assist.
After wallowing in self-pity and grappling with the frustration of having to always depend on someone else, God spoke, “This is how I want you to depend on me.” These words arrested those dominant thoughts and brought me to a place of humility as I pondered its implication.
According to Dictionary.com, 2020, dependence is “the state of relying on or needing someone or something for aid, support, or the like.” Whether we recognize it or not, we all have a deep thirst that needs to be quenched and yes, the source of Living Water is right within our reach. However, there is a disconnect.
Our crippled, broken spirit is incapable of accessing the source of life and only dependence on Jesus Christ can satisfy this desire. Jesus declared it this way, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (John chapter 15, verse 5).
Striving for independence
Independence is “not being influenced or controlled by others in matters of opinion, conduct, etc.” (Dictionary.com, 2020). The moment a newborn can move about, the quest for independence begins. The child begins to reject aid from others as he or she tries to establish autonomy, an innate attribute of humanity.
Dependence portrays weakness which is one reason men find it so difficult to leave the familiarity of their unhappy life, to rely on a God who promises to be an ever-present guide and who alone can see the end from the beginning of the journey.
It is rather ironic that God chose Independence Day to bring about this illustration. Across the world, different countries celebrate a sacred time in history when they were no longer subjects of the crown, but became free to choose who would govern, protect, and institute laws. America is renowned for the Declaration of Independence written in June 1776 by Thomas Jefferson ET AL.
It states, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2020). The composers of the declaration highlighted their fundamental human rights as the nucleus of their argument for independence.
A form of independence
In the physical, it holds that the right to life cannot be relinquished as God created man to “be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth and subdue it:” (Genesis chapter 1, verse 28). However, in the spiritual, the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness were relinquished the moment Adam and Eve fell prey to the deception of the Devil and forfeited their inheritance. Immediately man became subjects of the kingdom of darkness, with a head of state who is the master of illusions.
In order to be more palatable to man, a rulership style of soft despotism has been implemented which “gives people the illusion that they are in control, when in fact they have very little influence over their government.” (Wikipedia, 2019). It follows therefore that man operates in a state of ignorance.
He embraces the conviction that the ability to do what one desires is the true form of independence, unaware that his thoughts, actions, and identity have been directly influenced by the rulers of the darkness of this world. Only a light strong enough to penetrate the obscurity of the human heart could convict man of his hopeless state.
Jesus Christ came as that light over 2000 years ago to illuminate our ignorance so that we could be truly emancipated from the autonomous rule of the Devil and regain our God-given rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. John chapter 1, verse 12 substantiates this transition, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.”
The journey to independence begins with the acknowledgment of one’s position, followed by the drive to pursue change by whatever means necessary. When humanity becomes inundated by its government, “it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.” (Declaration of Independence, Encyclopedia Britannica, 2020).
Jesus Christ forged the passage to a life of freedom from the bondage of sin so that we can renounce our citizenship of this world to be free citizens of the kingdom of God. This life of independence is most effective if we choose to depend on our Creator; who alone can successfully navigate the path to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
In light of the fact that my God-given rights have been restored, I choose to be dependent on Almighty God for direction, so that I will not be “burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians chapter 5, verse 1).
Kerry-Ann is a wife, mother, and retired High School Mathematics teacher who loves to write Christian meditations and lead the youth in Bible study. She is a passionate worship leader and a youth ministry coordinator at her church. Currently, she is a member of the Christian Game Development Conference pursuing her vision of creating industry standard Christian entertainment.