WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
JUNE 5, 2021
TOPIC: INCREASING DEPENDENCE ON GOD
BY T. O. BANSO
“But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me” (1 Corinthians 15:10 New King James Version).
In natural growth, maturity involves less dependence on one’s parents. The opposite is the case in spiritual growth as regards our relationship with our heavenly Father. If you’re growing spiritually, your faith or trust in God increases, knowing that without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6a).
Jesus depended on His Father when He was on earth. He said, “I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me” (John 5:30 New King James Version).
In John 6:38, He said He had come down from heaven not to do His own will but the will of Him who sent Him. Even in the Garden of Gethsemane, before His arrest, His priority was to do His Father’s will (Mathew 26:39, 42; Mark 14:36; Luke 22:42).
Peter said there was salvation in no other person and no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12). In other words, there is no alternative to Jesus as far as salvation is concerned. He is the way, the truth, and the life and no man comes to the Father except through Him (John 14:6). We have to depend on Him for our salvation. Anyone who claims to have attained spiritual maturity to the level that He doesn’t need Jesus is a victim of self-deception.
Growing spiritually means you become more dependent on God as you daily see your inadequacies, your weaknesses, your insufficiency, and your need for God. The more we walk with Jesus, the more we see the need to depend on Him. Jesus said, “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5 New King James Version).
Jesus continued, “If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples” (John 15:6-8 New King James Version).
If we don’t depend on Him more, we could easily get deceived by the results we are getting or our successes and think that we are solely responsible for them. As Jesus said, if a branch separates itself from the vine, it will die. Therefore, we must abide in Him to continue to bear fruits or see the results we are seeing. Depend more on God, not less. This shows you’re growing spiritually.
Don’t let anything go to your head and make you think you need to depend less on God or not at all. If you have this attitude, you may soon begin to fail where you have been succeeding before. You may soon begin to have a problem with what was never a problem. Some people started with God but after some time excluded Him from their lives.
The lukewarm church, the Laodicea church, appeared to have shut the Lord outside the church (their hearts)! In Revelation 3, the Lord was standing at the door knocking. He said, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me” (verse 20 New King James Version). Did you see that? He was standing outside seeking permission to enter! The owner of the church was outside pleading for entry!
Only God knows how long they had kept Him outside the church or their hearts while they continued to run their services and enjoy their wealth without His presence in their midst or lives! The most important person they needed was absent. Don’t live your life that way. Don’t exclude Him. Don’t feel self-sufficient. Don’t feel you are now mature to run your life. The more mature you are, the more you should depend on God.
In Revelation 3:17, the Laodicea church felt she was self-sufficient. She said, “I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing” (New King James Version). She was depending on her wealth, material possessions. She didn’t need God! Depend on God both in good times and difficult times. Don’t let comfort or prosperity make you feel you don’t need to depend on God for anything or some things.
God told this church in her false security that she was wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked. He said she must depend on Him. “I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see” (Revelation 3:18 New King James Version).
Who are you without God? What can you become without Him? Paul knew he was nothing without God. He said grace made him even though he laboured. “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me” (1 Corinthians 15:10 New King James Version). So if grace made him, he had nothing to boast about. He didn’t fail to acknowledge his insufficiency.
He said, “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life” (2 Corinthians 3:5-6 New King James Version).
Concerning a thorn in Paul’s flesh, the messenger from Satan given to torment him, he said, “Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, ‘My gracious favor is all you need. My power works best in your weakness’” (2 Corinthians 12:8-9a New Living Translation). He had to learn how to continue to depend on God.
If you’re growing spiritually, you, too, will discover that you need to depend on God more. You could have a thorn in the flesh that God would not remove and you would have to depend on God’s grace. Also, you would learn to say as Paul said that you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you (Philippians 4:13). Do you increasingly depend on God for power in life and ministry or on your strength, education, contacts, ability, talents, etc? Or do you have other sources of power you depend on other than God?
If you’re experiencing spiritual growth, you’ll depend on God more daily for strength, direction, wisdom, protection, provision, etc. You won’t lean on your own understanding, experience, etc. but on God. “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 paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6 New King James Version).
To increase your dependence on God, you need to regularly study the Word of God and meditate on it, obey His Word, have faith in God; put your trust in Him, pray to God, and praise His name.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Holy Spirit, help me to increasingly depend on God at all times and not on myself, other people, or other things. I shall not be self-sufficient but God-sufficient. Jesus, I will abide in You so that I will bear much fruit; I will not separate myself from You. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens. Father, give me the grace that will cause my labour not to be a waste.
(For over 600 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit: www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
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