As followers of Christ, we are both dependent and independent. We are also independently dependent. What do I mean by that? It’s simple, really, but easily missed or forgotten.
First and foremost we are completely dependent upon God (or at least we should be). I know for me, I can’t seem to wake up in the morning without Him, I can’t tie my shoes without Him, go to work, or anything else for that matter. I certainly can’t express His life without Him. He is our daily bread, our daily supply of nourishment and sustenance. Without bread, without food, we die. Without water in this desert land called the “world” we will die. He is our heart-beat, our ever breath, our every movement. Without Him, we simply perish.
That’s a pretty simple truth, is it not? But the part I have often times forgotten or missed is the other side of the coin. My independence. What I mean is this: My walk with God, my decision-making, my responsibility to listen, trust, and obey Him are solely contingent upon me–no one else. I am not dependent on what you or anyone else may think or know. The decisions I make, even the ones where I may ask advice on, are my decisions. The person giving the advice is not responsible for my decisions. Many (I include myself here too) blame others when they are given bad advice or they fail to listen to God for themselves and everything goes wrong.
That brings me to my next point.
Something I have often times done is I take my responsibility (which is to share in the equal priesthood of all believers by listening and obeying God for myself) and given it to other people. Instead of hearing the Lord for myself, I give that whole responsibility to other people and whatever they feel about a situation I will do. Then when what they said wasn’t what the Lord was saying, I get upset, offended, hurt, or angry. But then the reality sets in –it’s my fault. Not my brother and sister’s fault. Mine.
We are all dependent upon our Lord, Jesus Christ–oh so desperately dependent. But we are also all responsible. A lot could be said about where the church as a whole would be right now if everyone were to understand this. (The modern pastorate/clergy system is based upon a lack of knowledge that all the children of God are responsible to what He is saying to them.)
Cast a vision first, Lord, of your Son; how deep and rich and large He truly is. Also who we are in Him and what our calling is as individuals and how that works out corporately. Show each of us our inheritance, our portion of Christ and what a stewardship that is!