Stepping Forward In Faith Requires Total Reliance
By Myckelle P. Williams
Happy Independence Day!
The upcoming 4th of July holiday represents a signing of the ‘Declaration of Independence”, which was an exciting time in U.S. History. It has been annually celebrated yearly as a time of freedom, liberty and justice for all. Everywhere you go in America, you hear talk of independence in schools and Politics, talk of ‘Freedom of Speech’, even hear songs about ‘Independent Women’ who will never be ruled by a man. In the media you often see movies which portray young people on a quest for “self-sufficiency’ and “being free to find themselves’. We are a country that values and upholds Freedom and Independence as a God-given right that is worth fighting and even dying for.
It’s only natural to desire independence in our own personal lives. When we are born into the world we start off as helpless, totally dependent infants, lying in our mother’s arms, looking to our parents to provide and fill every need. When we are thirsty, hot, wet, in pain or just tired, we communicate a need… and have faith that our parents will fulfill it. They usually do, out of love, and slowly we grow. We then make an effort to become independent. We eventually learn to feed, bathe and change ourselves, and no longer need our parents to do it for us. As our parents raise us, part of what is taught to us at a young age (especially young girls) is that we don’t need anyone to complete us, etc. because in independence we measure strength. We consider ourselves to be ‘grown’ once we are old enough to drive, have a job, etc. and during this time you will often hear your teens say “I’m grown!” in an arrogant, often rebellious manner. The problem is, they usually still depend on you to feed, clothe and keep their lights, gas, and water on. So they aren’t fully grown… But our desire as parents is that one day they will eventually ‘leave the nest’, venture out, get their own place, go to college, and have a life of their own that no longer involves us having to meet their daily needs.
When they have finally accomplished that, we call it Maturity.
God, however, says that he does not think as we do. His thoughts are not our thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8) On the contrary, He desires to take us from INDEPENDENCE in the World to DEPENDENCE on Him. He wants us to rely fully on Him to take care of our needs, being just like the tiny new infant with its parents.
Isn’t it interesting how our definition of strength and maturity are so very contrast to God’s definition? Once we recognize this, it’s time to start taking steps towards becoming like a ‘child’ or ‘infant’ in our relationship with God. The hardest part of this Dependence is sitting back and allowing God to make the decisions, and lead the way. That means Letting Go of our need to have control and allow God to be in charge. God sees this as true strength There is an old saying that “God helps those that help themselves. “ This is found nowhere in scripture. Actually, the bible says to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean NOT on your own understanding…In ALL your ways acknowledge Him, and HE shall direct your path.” ~Proverbs 3:5
God considers true maturity being as infants…that total dependence of every need, with faith that He will bring it to pass. It can be a challenge in our own lives to relinquish that control…because our entire lives have been about gaining independence as a ‘badge of honor’ of reaching adulthood. It sometimes goes against everything in our flesh to lean on and rely on anyone…God included.
“I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” -Mark 10:15.
In my Human Growth, and Child Psychology classes (as well as the experience of giving birth to and raising 6 kids) I’ve learned that there are basic 5 characteristics of infancy that are usually found no matter what his race, creed, or culture: We can actually learn from this list, so we can better understand what God is looking for in His relationship with us:
1) Total Dependence. Babies rely on and trust in their parents to meet all needs. So should we trust in God and His Word daily to sustain us. “Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation,” 1 Peter 2:2
2) Stays Close. You won’t catch and infant wandering too far from a parent. They crave the protective nurturing and covering. They will often cry, kick and scream if separated, and seeks for the parents to return. We must be like that about our own Father. We want to crave to be in His presence all the time, and distraught when we are away from it. “In Your presence is fullness of joy”-Psalm 16:11
3) Looks to them for all needs. In times of stress, they automatically look to parents for comfort and assurance, many times before they try new things, they also turn to look for the approval of those parents. “Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always” Psalm 105:4
4) Imitates the parent. A baby learns to pattern its speech, walk, expressions, phrases, and attitudes after it’s parents. They sound, look and act like those that they have been raised around. As Christians, we should also strive daily to imitate, and be like our own Heavenly Father. “Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children” Ephesians 5:1
5) Eager to learn from the parent. If you show the infant something several times it learns, and brain cells are formed. It’s always looking for new experiences to learn through, with wide eyes excitement and curiosity. We should also be willing to learn the ways of God. By reading, meditating and studying his word, you develop knowledge into His character. “Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths” Psalm 27:11
As we move forward into celebrations of Independence, let’s keep in mind that although want to be independent of the World system, and way of doing things, we should start to make steps to become DEPENDENT to God and His way of doing things. This should be the ultimate goal of Christians who desire to truly grow in their faith. The more dependent on God you become, the stronger your faith increases as well!
With our B.L.O.G. Magazine™ July ‘s “Independent to Dependent’ theme, our wonderful writers are discussing ways to give our control back over to GOD, with our lives, family, finances, jobs, and even relationships. We will be offering helpful hints and advice on how to relinquish some of the control, in order to allow God to do the work that he needs to do to turn our situations around. Please read through the articles, and share with friends and family members who need a greater understanding on becoming independent in the Word vs. the World. We have wonderful articles from writers all over the country, who desire to inspire and uplift you towards a greater spiritual growth…from independence to dependence!
“At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good…. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.” ~Titus 3:3-8
Thank God this Independence Day for the greatest form of independence…The freedom that we celebrate this Fourth of July, should be freedom from the BONDAGE of sin that continually entraps us and keep us hostage. We have removed our shackles, and now are free, the price was paid, and we no longer have to live in the old stronghold and habits that once enslaved and kept us captive in their powerful grip.
By His ultimate sacrifice, we are given freedom in Christ…it was a gift of liberty that we need to acknowledge not only on July Fourth, but all year long!
B.L.O.G. Magazine Co-Founder
Myckelle P Williams, co-founder of B.L.O.G. Magazine™ and creator of the Heartwood Project™ for Women, lives in Tennessee with her husband of 20 years. She is the mother of 6 children and one grandchild. Once a teen mother who overcame the odds, Myckelle helps empower women to overcome the traumas of their past, and mentors young women over the country. She was featured on “Joy in our Town” on TBN Network, for her development of the PURE Satisfaction Abstinence Program in Atlanta in 2009. Her upcoming book ‘The Road Less Traveled.” is due to be released in late 2012. For more information about her upcoming Heartwood Project™ Seminars, you can reach Myckelle at firstname.lastname@example.org