Welcome! I’m so glad you’re here. I’d like to run something by you.
See, I think we’ve been going at this all wrong, you and I.
We’ve been working our whole lives to prove that we’ve got it together–we’re strong, competent, independent. That’s the goal, anyway. And well, if we’re not quite there yet, we just need to read that book, or start that thing, or try harder or do more. Or, well, pretend.
But maybe, just maybe, we weren’t meant for independence. Maybe that having-it-all-together thing is a sham. Not because we can’t achieve it. But because we were never supposed to.
What if the way forward is actually through dependence? I know, I scrunch up my nose when I say it, too. Dependence. It sounds like weakness, failure, neediness to our ears.
But I don’t think that’s how Jesus understood it. Look at John 5:19:
Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.
That’s Jesus talking. Telling his disciples that he, the Son of God, can do nothing by himself. He is totally dependent on the Father.
Apparently, to be Christ-like is to be dependent.
He tells us as much a little later in John 15:5:
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.
So often, if we’re truly honest, we want Jesus to fix us, heal us, redeem us, sanctify us so that we can go on to lead competent, successful, independent lives.
But Jesus seems to have a different goal in mind. He sees dependence as the goal. He wants us to grow in our need for Him, to become ever more dependent on Him. To need Him more tomorrow than we do today.
Dallas Willard says it this way: The greatest saints are not those who need less grace, but those who consume the most grace, who indeed are most in need of grace.
What would it look like to need more grace tomorrow than today? What would our lives have to look like for tomorrow to require more of Jesus than today? How would our days look different if our goal was to get needier, more dependent?
I don’t know about you, but I think I’m ready to flip the script.
Maybe together we can challenge the ways we’ve been taught to think about this, examine our ill-conceived notions in light of the truth of Scripture, and discover what it really looks like to live…in dependence.