Dependence on the Lord alone is central to our lives as we live for and serve God. Our attitude must always reflect the belief that God is our only source.
Here are two key areas of our lives that automatically show whether or not we truly have the heart attitude of depending upon the Lord:
- How we deal with the difficulties of life
Many times our natural response to any difficulty, challenge or task tends first to be, “What must I do to get this done?” We look inward to ourselves or outward to friends, family or doctors.
-When we get a headache, the first thing we think is, Where is the aspirin?
-When we get sick, our first thought tends to be, Where is the nearest doctor?
-When a problem comes up in our ministry, the first thing we think is, I must contact my leader.
-When we need money, our first response is, I must figure this out.
These things are not necessarily bad in and of themselves. It is when our dependence is upon them rather than on God that we begin to walk on shaky ground.
We may enjoy good organization, good leaders, good education and wonderful resources to get our job done. But none of that has anything to do with the authentic work of God if our dependence is not on Him.
A servant of God can be tempted to use his money, power, influence, connections or authority to solve his problems and get things done. That, however, is a picture of hell. He is borrowing strength from the position God has given him and attacking God’s work. Instead of fasting for the ministry and problems that arise, instead of seeking God’s face, he relies on his position or title and uses it to force a solution.
It is because of this truth that my prayer to God is continually, Let me be like a little child. Let me make mistakes. But please, let me not be clever in doing Your work.
Dependent Jars of Clay
Our attitude about ministry accomplishments reveals where our dependence truly lies. When God uses us for His glory, we can easily start to think, “I did it! I am gifted! I am talented! It is my position, my decisions and my ingenuity that got it done! I am the one who . . .” We forget that we are but dust, “jars of clay” as Scripture says (see 2 Corinthians 4:7).
Yet within these jars of clay is a great treasure—the glory and power of the living God! But we must remember we are merely the vessels, and even in that, just clay vessels, not gold, silver, bronze or even steel.
Do you recognize this? Just because God has given us responsibilities and opportunities to serve others does not mean we are gold vessels. In ourselves we have no value. We are simply earthen vessels, and what these vessels contain belongs not to us, but to the Lord who committed it to us. All is from Him, for Him, through Him and for His glory so that the glory may not be in the jar itself, but in the Lord!
Imagine how absurd it would have been if the disciples, after feeding the 5,000, boasted in themselves at the miracle that took place. They were merely distributors, going around with the baskets and giving out from the abundance of food that God had provided.
Who got the glory? Not the ones who distributed, but the One who provided.
Dr. KP Yohannan, founder and director of the nonprofit organization Gospel for Asia, has written more than 200 books, including Revolution in World Missions, an international bestseller with more than 4 million copies in print. He and his wife, Gisela, have two grown children, Daniel and Sarah, who both serve the Lord with their families.
Gospel for Asia is a nonprofit organization serving the “least of these” in Asia since its beginning in 1979, often in places where no one else is serving. Gospel for Asia supports national workers who are serving as the hands and feet of Christ by ministering to people’s needs so they can understand the love of God for them for the first time. Gospel for Asia is engaged in dozens of projects, such as caring for poor children, slum dwellers and widows and orphans; providing clean water by funding wells; supporting medical missions; and meeting the needs of those in leprosy colonies. Through Gospel for Asia’s Bridge of Hope Program, tens of thousands of children are being rescued from the generational curses of poverty and hopelessness.
Just like we easily act independently of the Lord, Naaman, the commander of Syria’s armies, almost spent the rest of his life as a leper, simply because he didn’t accept God’s way of doing things (see 2 Kings 5). .
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