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Being forced to depend on God

I’ve been making the case on this blog that brokenness is a good thing insofar as you’re forced to face the reality that you are in fact broken. But beyond that, it’s also good in that it’s a place where you are forced to depend on God. It’s a place of personal bankruptcy. When you have nothing…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes
I’ve been making the case on this blog that brokenness is a good thing insofar as you’re forced to face the reality that you are in fact broken. But beyond that, it’s also good in that it’s a place where you are forced to depend on God. It’s a place of personal bankruptcy. When you have nothing,
you look around for help. I’ve been there and I both loved and hated being there.
If you’ve been emptied and feel your
inadequacy, you’ll look for those who can provide what you lack. And on a
journey like the Luke 10 journey where your hands are empty and Jesus sends you out expecting you to find places to eat and sleep
that you know nothing of, and where he has given you the assignment of praying for impossible situations and expecting
miracles, your dependence will be total.
Whether you understand or
believe is almost incidental. Because your hands are empty and you need help, you’re forced into a trusting posture.

Look at Jesus –
even as a 12 year-old kid, Jesus understood that he had to be about the
Father’s business. Later in life, as a miracle-worker, Jesus’
dependence on the Father was total. “The son can do nothing by himself;
he can only do what he sees the Father doing.” (John 5:19), “By myself I
can do nothing; I judge only as I hear.” (John 5:30), “My teaching is
not my own. It comes from him who sent me.” (John 7:16).

Jesus modeled the kind of
life we as his followers are to imitate. If the Son of God had to learn
dependence on the Father, then so must we. The Bible says God has
stored up good works for us to do (Eph. 2:10). James 1:17 says every
gift comes from the Father. Understanding this, if we are to do the good
works the Father has stored up for us, we must learn to pay attention
to what we see and hear the Father doing, and we must learn how to
depend on him.

How do we practice this dependence? We
know that the Father is rescuing the lost, healing the sick, and setting
the captives free. We might begin by asking the Father for his heart of
compassion. Then we might ask him where he’s working and how we can
join him.

Of course the real test comes as we step out
in obedience based on what we see and hear him doing. The more
frequently we risk by trusting him to show up, the more he’ll prove himself trustworthy.

We humans are so
limited in what we can achieve. We need to plug into another power
source if we are to come close to doing what Jesus did. Dependence is
the plug connecting us to the divine power source – that place in the
journey where we experience another level of grace.

Comments (11)

  • St. Mark of the Cross

    Being dependent on God makes us independent of the world. We struggle with the whole idea of being dependent because it is seen as a weakness or something is wrong with us. However, being dependent on God is what makes us right, and we become strong. Dependency has taken on such a negative tone because we see people who depend on others as being weak or users. I am totally dependent on Jesus Christ and Father God, I am nothing without them, and I need those people they put in my path to recognize my dependence even on them. There, I admit it…I am dependent on the Christ in all of you, and I can’t make it without Jesus in you… Signed, Self-proclaimed independent liar…

  • Here we are at 3:20 a.m. at the close of a monthly period of 3 days of fasting prayers. We are nearing 2 years of 100% dependence upon God. Has it hurt? Quite a bit but mostly when we take our eyes of of the LORD and the Lord. Your article is very timely Seth as I am nearing completion of a new book called: “The Sweet Spot” – WHERE FAITH IN ACTION MEETS GOD’S HOLY SPIRIT! This is exactly the spot where God can most easily bless us when we move out in faith hearing His voice and doing His will. This is profoundly what Jesus did on the cross. It wasn’t originally his idea but the Father’s and Jesus came to do all of the Father’s will. We need to be more like Jesus saying, “Abba let your will be done!” If I am poor I belong to Jesus. If I am rich I belong to Jesus. If I am in the USA I belong to Jesus. If I am serving overseas I belong to Jesus. Abba with Jesus on the throne let His will be accomplished through me and those like me. I use to read your story of how you started and how you endured 3 or 4 months with no personal income and how the supply of your income was the sign at that time that God was with you in your calling. I used to be amazed.I am even more amazed that I am on month 20 with no income-yet without any lack.Without income yet able to give liberally for orphans and widows in their distress and to help support a network of native ministers around the world.I’m amazed.ICan’t loose weight, the clothes don’t wear out… much like when Jesus sent out His disciples without anything and upon their return he did not ask them saying, How many souls did you win? How many homes did you visit? What big crowds did you draw? How many people heard about me? No…what he asked them was a single question which was amazing, “Did any of you lack anything?” and they answered, “No Lord nothing”. Perhaps the great truth is that they didn’t have all that they may have wished for but they truly lacked nothing that they needed. Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all of these things shall be added unto thee.
    I thought back 2 years ago that perhaps my ministry would be to work with AIM but I now see more clearly that God has a reason for this season of suffering as each cornerstone has to be tried and tested so that when the load is placed upon it …it will crumple and fail.
    It’s surely easier to speak of 100% faith based dependence upon the Lord than it is to actually live and move in it but we would have it no other way.
    Blessings to you and your family,
    Wayne Gaines
    M300 Ministries.

  • I hate typos at 3:48 am…correction… “each cornerstone has to be tried and tested so that when the load is placed upon it …it will NOT crumple and fail.”

  • The Protestant work ethic created a generation of “doers” who somehow thought their “labor” is what mattered. At some level it does. What matters more is a heart tender to the whispers of Jesus and hands ready to get dirty i whatever the endeavor. Thanks for the prompt here Seth.

  • iam going through this same experience im my life right now
    Seth. It is my Faith in God,my continued asking for forgiveness and his salvation.
    I had to “BURIED” my “Self Will” yrs ago.Now iam living by “GODS WILL”.His “GRACE” iam always GRATEFUL for and can “NEVER” take for granted.
    I will continue to live one day at a time seeking Gods will reading my bible and MY UTMOST FOR HIS HIGHEST BY OSWALD CHAMBERS, For GUIDANCE KNOWLEDGE and ANSWERS.
    God bless u and i will continue to read and respond to your articles.

  • Circumstances have me positioned for total dependence. Never have I been more at rest, literally and spiritually.

    Funny, I didn’t realize how tired I was but the rest, restoration is beyond words. Thank you Seth!

  • The first two days of this week (Sunday and Monday) entering the Daniel Fast was weaning me from every dependence except on Almighty God. I was feeling physical discomfort and also a “cloudy” (as opposed to clarity) and weariness and achy feeling. I felt as if the Lord had pulled away the “feeling” of His presence although I KNOW that is not the case because He promises never to leave or forsake us so I stayed the course. The third day was different and the “feeling” changed but not returned to the former. That night came increased dreams and Scriptures and the word that the brokenness is Blessing and joined with thankfulness they are like 2 wings of a bird that soars above the earth.
    The bird is basically a defenseless creation YET it never fails to sing each morning at dawn and evening at sunset.
    Always joyful in singing. Then came more clarity, more strength and more creative flow. He has tied this together with the emptying of Jacob @Brook Jabbok and today I see your article. God is my SOURCE my STRENGTH my ALL! Hallelujah! AMEN!

  • Some Parents would be happy to say they raised their boys/gals to be independent. I will be blessed to say I raised mine to be dependent on the only one who can provide for body and soul.

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.

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