I depend on God alone; I put my hope in him. He alone protects and saves me; he is my defender, and I shall never be defeated. My salvation and honor depend on God; he is my strong protector; he is my shelter. Trust in God at all times, my people. Tell him all your troubles, for he is our refuge. Psalm 62:5-8
Letting freedom ring, flying the star spangled banner, and adorning ourselves in red, white and blue are all a part of the federal American holiday we all know and love—the 4th of July (aka Independence Day). Independence Day commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence (let’s see, 241 years ago). And it’s one day of the year that I actually celebrate “independence” and its meaning for our country—sweet freedom! But I sure am grateful that the other 364 days, I can rejoice in the fact that I’m dependent—dependent on my Lord and Savior.
What does being dependent on God mean? It means trusting Him for our salvation, and depending on his wisdom and love in our lives. As I’ve grown in my walk with the Lord, independence and I have parted ways. I depend on God for everything. He is my rock, my deliverer, my ever-present help in times of trouble. Being dependent also means recognizing the gifts that the Lord has given me, and using those gifts to not only make a living, but more importantly to touch others’ lives in ways that bring joy, comfort and hope.
What it doesn’t mean is to act without good sense. Yes, I believe in the power of the Holy Spirit in my life, and I believe that God cares deeply for me. But I do not blindly follow. God has given me the wisdom to trust, and to know the difference between trusting him and putting him to the test.
Depending on God alone doesn’t mean to act foolishly. I may be driving a car in treacherous weather, but I’m not going to close my eyes, let go of the steering wheel and ask Jesus to get me home (“Jesus Take the Wheel” a beautiful song by Carrie Underwood, is an analogy about letting go (being dependent on God). It’s not about closing our eyes in an already blinding snowstorm.
When my daughter was diagnosed with a rare and chronic illness, of course I prayed, but I didn’t choose just to pray. I knew that God had provided others with gifts to help her—doctors, nurses, specialists—and those who developed the medicines that she has to take daily. So while we can still depend on God, we also visit the doctor. There are dozens of other examples of how God provides support through the lives and talents of others. I’d love to hear from you on the many ways you lean into the Lord and cast your burdens on him.
Let this Independence Day be a reminder that you do not have to be independent. For it’s in being dependent on God that truly sets you free!