As we celebrate the 4th of July, of course we’re
going to reflect on all that’s good about America. We have a rich Christian heritage and we’ve
fought tyranny around the world for the last century or so. It’s great stuff worthy of all the fireworks
But let’s not confuse our heritage with what is often
advertised as “the American Dream” – that good life in the suburbs with all the
toys. Our independent ways can have a
spiritual downside, and we’re not unpatriotic to take note of it.
God wants a partnership with us where we are neither
autonomous, nor are we independent contractors.
We say it so much we lose the meaning: He wants to be Lord of our lives
– that is, He wants to be involved in our decision-making. He wants us to depend on and consult with
Some Christians misinterpret this and won’t make a move
unless God tells them to. A much larger
group of believers fail to involve Him at all in their decision-making.
We are self-sufficient by nature; we have to be taught how
to depend on and consult with our Lord.
This is why the “American Dream” is so at odds with the life of
God. The American Dream is about
security and comfort. The two cars, the
house, the nice job, the insurance policies, can all release us from the need to
depend on God. None are wrong in and of
themselves, they are just twigs in a nest.
Jesus told his disciples to pray for their daily bread. When you need God to this degree, it gives
you the opportunity to see His goodness as He provides, which in turn enables
you to trust Him.
I am one of many American Christians who struggle with this
issue of trusting God (in the radical way that He wants to be trusted). Why?
Because we don’t really
have to trust Him. And many of us don’t fundamentally know if He
Self-sufficiency is an insidious trap that can sideline us
for life from God’s Kingdom purposes.
Which is why it is so important to practice the life of abandon as an
exercise of our will before our nests become so comfortable that leaving them
Happy Independence Day everyone – may God grant you a measure of dependence on Him as well.
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