Two hundred forty-one years ago our Founding Fathers declared independence from Great Britain and King George. I don’t know if we’re just too used to being independent, but it seems that most Americans today have also declared independence from God. We want to do things our own way, with our own strength. But just as declaring independence from King George changed everything for Americans, I suggest that declaring dependence on God will change everything for you.
You need to depend on God for salvation. That seems obvious, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked Christians where they’re going when they die and they tell me, with some worry in their voices, “Well, I hope I’m going to heaven.”
When you depend on God for your salvation, you can be certain you are saved. John said in 1 John 5:13 that “you may know you have eternal life.” If you don’t have that certainty, that means you’re trusting in your own ability to obey God perfectly rather than in God’s promise of forgiveness.
You need to depend on God to guide you and give you power as you do his work. Have you ever met with other Christians to plan a good work and totally forgotten to pray and declare your dependence on Him to guide you? Whose power were you relying on?
How often do you feel the need to talk to your Heavenly Father? I think that might be a good gauge for measuring how dependent you are on Him.
As Toby has reminded us recently in his “Better Together” sermon series, Jesus told his followers, “Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.” (John 15:4).
You need to depend on God to take care of you. Do you often find yourself worrying about tomorrow? Peter encouraged you to “Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).
On July 4 in America we pay special honor to our flag, “Old Glory,” the “Stars and Stripes.” But as Christians, our glory should be in the scars and stripes of Jesus. As Paul said, “May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Galatians 6:14).
This July 4, as you celebrate America’s Independence Day, I encourage you to recommit yourself to celebrating Dependence Day every day of the year.