No, that is not a typo! As we prepare to celebrate Independence Day for the United States of America, I am reminded of how our country gained its independence from Britain. It was with dependence on God. As a matter of fact, the very first resolution brought before the First Continental Congress, and immediately passed was the declaration that they would open every meeting with a prayer. Our founding fathers were dependent on God. Our country was founded on Biblical principles.
Have you ever actually read our country’s founding documents? I have and was pleasantly surprised. I was not aware of how many times God and Our Creator are mentioned and honored in several of our official founding documents. As Americans, we depend on the Constitution and these documents to guide our lives. Knowing our history makes us all better Americans. Just as knowing, depending on and living by our Bible makes us better Christians. Many who claim to believe the Bible have never even read it.
We become stagnant, when we become dependent on wrong or destructive things.
“Stagnation is seen often in people who abuse substances such as drugs and alcohol. Their emotional development likely stopped at the age they began to escape life through substance abuse. One cannot grow when one no longer participates in life” (Dr. Henry Cloud).
This rings true in our relationship with God, as well, when we become dependent on anything else over God. Just as when we stop participating in our Christian life, stagnation occurs. The one and only thing we must become dependent on is God, our Creator.
Peter Scazzero states in his book, “Emotionally Healthy Spirituality,” Christianity is not about our disciplined pursuit of God, but about God’s relentless pursuit of us—to the point of dying on a cross for us that we might become his friends. The inexhaustible God loves us so intensely that every time someone turns to Him after wandering from His love for us, all heaven breaks out in a thunderous celebration (see Luke 15:7).
Most of us believe this in our minds. This is the message of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. Experiencing this infinite love in our hearts, however, is another matter. But only when we stop fighting God and submit to dependence on Him, will we ever be transformed and experience His infinite love in our hearts. Once God has won our hearts, we pursue Him with a hunger and thirst that can only be quenched by more of Him. Then spending time with Him and His love letter, aka, the Bible is not a duty but satisfying an inner craving to know Him more. Like me–if that is you, then you too will celebrate “Dependence Day”!
Pastor Kristi J. Rhodes
Hillcrest Community Church
5994 18 Mile Rd. Cedar Springs, MI 49319