Dependent Independence

Today we celebrate the signing of our Declaration of Independence in 1776.  July 4th is a national observance of the anniversary of the beginnings of national independence of the American colonists from the authority of the British Crown.  As important as this day is in the life of our great nation for independence, it is critical that we never forget to declare our dependence upon God.

Sadly, Adam and Eve forgot this truth and sent the entire cosmos into a downward spiral of depravity, decadence, and death.  Many Christians mistakenly believe our dependence began in the Garden of Eden when our first parents sinned.  Not true!  Prior to sinning, Adam and Eve were fully dependent upon God for everything.  Their divine design was one of dependence.  They were created never to live for a single moment independent and separated from God.  Self-focus, self-centeredness, self-satisfaction, self-reliance, self-rule, and self-survival were never part of their blueprint—these were a result of their act of cosmic treason. 

The serpent in the garden convinced Eve of a lie, and Eve convinced Adam that they should seek their independence from God and live above and apart from the One who created them.  Ironically, instead of the “independence” Satan had promised, our first parents were now totally dependent upon God for His mercy and forgiveness, which they received through the grace of the promised Savior.

I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel . . . And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.

(Genesis 3:15, 21)

God would have been totally justified in striking down Adam and Eve right on the spot to satisfy His holy justice.  But He did not.  What God’s justice required—payment for sin—God’s grace provided in the giving of His precious Son, Jesus Christ.  Adam and Eve were dependent upon God for life prior to sin and they were dependent upon God for life after sin . . . through the cross work of Christ. 

When was the last time you considered just how dependent you are on God?  Most people immediately reflect back on a season of struggle, suffering, or sorrow and acknowledge how dependent upon God they were to get through it.  But what about the times in life when the sun is shining, the sky is blue, and the clouds are fleecy?  In seasons of plenty and prosperity we have a tendency to forget about our dependence upon God. 

Regardless of where this finds you, your next breath is dependent upon God.  The next beat of your heart is dependent upon God.  Your hearing, eyesight and the circulation of your blood are dependent upon God.  “For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever” (Romans 11:36).  If God were not upholding you right now, life as you know it would cease.  This is true for every person who has ever lived and for everything that was ever created.  Everything in the cosmos was created by God, for God, and is totally dependent upon God, originally existing as a holy hymn for His glory.  So—as Americans celebrate their independence from the evil and self-centered rule of sinful man—let us all be reminded of our total and utter dependence upon God, “For in him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28).

I cannot think of a better time than right now to declare and celebrate our utter dependence upon the righteous, self-sacrificial, and benevolent rule of our Gracious God. 

This is the Gospel.  This is grace for your race.  NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!

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