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Does God Want You to Become Independent?

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As my kids get older, it’s satisfying to see them do more and more on their own.

Today, Daphne spent five hours working on a horse ranch. She won’t be paid any money; she’s earning riding lessons.

At breakfast, Abby was teaching Scout how to make oatmeal. She already knows how to make the instant pouch kind. It was time to learn the old-fashioned way.

It’s good to see them do things without us. We want our kids to become independent of us, and it hurts to see them struggle. You don’t want your kids to become strangers, but you do want them to be independent.

But does the same principle apply to the spiritual life?

Is God pleased to see that you can do more and more without Him? Is that part of what it means to become spiritually mature?

Not at all. Isn’t the opposite true? All through the Bible, the faithful are called to depend upon the Lord for all things:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not rely on your own understanding;
in all your ways know him,
and he will make your paths straight (Prov 3:5-6).

This is what the Lord says: “Cursed is the person who trusts in mankind. He makes human flesh his strength, and his heart turns from the Lord” (Jer 17:5).

Remain in me, and I in you. Just as a branch is unable to produce fruit by itself unless it remains on the vine, neither can you unless you remain in me (John 15:4).

I am able to do all things through him who strengthens me (Phil 4:13).

Unlike human parents, God wants His children to depend more on Him, not less. He designed us that way—like branches on a vine.

The older I get, the more I become conscious of how much I need God in big and small things. As Peter Reid told me,

“Spiritual maturity is doing less and less without Jesus and more and more through Him.”

Thought for the day: Start the new year with a declaration of dependence.

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