By myself I can do nothing. (John 5:30)
If ever there was a life that could have been lived independently from the Father in heaven, it was the life of our Lord Jesus Christ. As the second person of the Trinity, Jesus had all the power of the Godhead within Him. But instead of using His power independently of the Father, Jesus made the decision of dependence . . . and this is the pattern we must choose for our lives too. Read on and be encouraged!
When we read our Lord’s words, “By myself I can do nothing,” it might be easy to picture someone who is utterly helpless or even hopeless. But nothing could be further from the truth when it comes to the One who uttered these words! The omnipotent Son of the Most High God made the decision not to live in the prerogative of His power; rather, in the power of the Holy Spirit He chose to submit to the will of His Father in heaven.
Jesus made the decision of dependence. His message and His ministry were performed in utter dependence on the will of the Father. In the same sense that our Lord Jesus lived a life of dependence, you and I must do the same. We must keep these words of Jesus ever before us, “Apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). Apart from Him, even the apparent good we may do is nothing more than filthy rags in the sight of God (Isaiah 64:6). Apart from Him, we can do nothing that will bring glory to God.
By nature, we all want to live in our own strength and for our own glory. This is exactly what Adam and Eve did when they bought into the serpent’s lie in the Garden of Eden. When they chose the way of independence, the consequence of their willful rebellion against God was the utter collapse of all of creation. Ironically, our first parents got what exactly what they sought when they were booted out of the Garden to live east of Eden: a life lived apart from God. But now their lives were marked by confusion and chaos . . . fear and frustration . . . disillusionment and death. Is this not what we all experience when we choose the way of independence?
How have you chosen to live lately? Have you chosen the way of independence or the way of dependence? To be a disciple of Jesus is to be dependent on Him. And to be dependent upon Jesus is to live a life of both faithfulness and fruitfulness.
When Jesus called the disciples to “Follow me,” at the deepest level, He was calling them to follow His pattern of dependence upon the Father in heaven. You and I have received the same calling 2,000 years later. But remember, dependence is always a choice, and that choice is always yours to make. He says to us all –
I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life . . .
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!