DO I DEPEND ON GOD?
Garden City, Michigan church of Christ
We depend on many things. We depend on food, water, air, and a properly functioning body. We depend on these things because they are essential for the continuation of our lives.
We depend on God in the same way. Without God, we would die. With God, we continue to live. God is our Creator and the sustainer of life through His Son Jesus Christ. (Genesis 1:1ff, Colossians 1:16-17, Hebrews 1:3).
In one sense, the question is not whether we depend on God but if we realize our dependence on Him. But in another sense, we must turn our lives over to God and thus depend on Him for everything. Peter commands “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him, for he careth for you” (I Peter 5:6-7)
What does it mean for Christians to depend on God? As a little child depends upon his parents, so Christians must depend upon God. Jesus said “And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3-4)
“Depend” means to be contingent (Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary) Whatever a little child does is contingent upon his parents. A little child cannot feed himself or prepare food to eat. A little child cannot take himself to the doctor when ill. A little child depends on his parents for everything. Christians must turn their lives over to God and thus depend on Him. Their lives must be contingent on God’s will.
— “Depend” means to exist by virtue of a necessary relation (Webster) God’-s existence is not dependent on His relationship with us. But, our physical and spiritual existences are dependent on our relationship with Him. Everyone must depend on God for their physical existence. But only those who believe and obey God have given themselves over to Him and thus depend on Him for salvation.
“Depend” means to be pending or undecided (Webster) Christians put God first in their lives. Their motto is “Let God’s will be done, not my own.” Christians do not make decisions based upon their own will but upon God’s will. We do not know what will happen tomorrow or even the next minute. From our perspective, everything is pending.
“Depend” means to place reliance or trust (Webster) Do we depend on people we do not trust? Our dependence on God is linked to our trust in Him. And trust is linked to faith. Paul says that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God (Romans ). The more faith we have in God, the more dependent we will be on Him.
“Depend” means to be dependent, especially for financial support (Webster) Without God’s blessing we would have nothing. We would not have any food or money. Do we realize our dependence on God when we sit at the table to eat? Do we realize our dependence on God every time we make a purchase?
“Depend” means to hang down (Webster) This is a literal definition of depend. A pendant hangs down from a chain. If the chain breaks, the pendant falls. We are the pendants and God is the chain. Our life is totally dependent on God’s firm grasp. Our very existence is contingent upon God.
What is the result of realizing our dependence on God? It is the same as a little child who realizes his dependence on his parents. Little children are grateful and thankful. In a manner of speaking, they “worship” their parents. Little children seek their parent’s favor. Little children are obedient. Should we not treat God in the same way?