On the weekend of Independence Day, my dearest Danielle and I decided to get away and go camping. It was a fantastic time, we were able to connect with each other while being disconnected from distractions. As we spent time in nature, I was reminded of all the blessings in my life and how when I have fully been focused on God, the way always is much clearer. Then I began thinking about the holiday weekend. In America we celebrate the formation of our nation, through an act of independence. The thing is, that mentality has continued culturally, Americans love independence. We don’t like people telling us how to live or what to do, and that has spilled into our faith. We try to fit Jesus into the way we want Him to be in our lives, but the Bible doesn’t stress independence, it focusses on having a dependent faith.
When Jesus came to earth, He was very clear, He called us to love Him with everything and love our neighbors as ourselves. The American church tends to put Jesus in a box. He is in the box of a Sunday morning faith. He is put into the box of whatever political party one follow. He is put in the box of loving people we like, and treating those we don’t poorly. The truth is, Jesus is not a thing to fit an agenda, He is a King.
Jesus is a loving and just king, and He expects to be treated as such.
Jesus came to free us from sin, so that we would follow Him; follow Him with everything.
When Jesus called the disciples, they left everything behind and followed. Jesus didn’t promise job security or the promise of having everything they needed. In fact, most of the disciples were martyred for their choice in following Jesus. Jesus wasn’t trying to become a political figure, He is the ruler. He calls for everyone to follow with everything.
I think it can be so easy to want to live the way we want, making choices that benefit us and then later think about how we can serve God. A relationship with Jesus is a loving thing, but Jesus requires a life completely sold out to Him.
Being a Christ follower by definition cannot be independent, it is a life living dependently on God alone.
Colossians 2:6-7 says, “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” Life is found when being rooted in Christ. We must live a dependent life, asking God to direct our paths and lead us, every moment of everyday.
This may cause you to wrestle, and that’s a good thing. Wrestling with your independent way of thinking, but know that when you let go of your desires, you allow God to step in and make a radical shift.
Being Christ focused changes everything.
Church, hear me when I say that people are hurt by you the most when you act independently of God. Independence clouds our vision and causes us to go first to our sinful nature, and in that place, only death is found. When the body of Christ is Christ centered, we act out of the love of God, and in that, life is found.
As my dear Danielle and I were able to get away, I felt so much clearer. I was reminded of how much clearer life is when I allow myself to be fully dependent on God, rather than independent on my own desires. I am thankful for the freedom I have being in this country, I am able to worship God and serve Him without fear. At the same time, I want to live dependently on God, and not try to fit God into my life. I want to live a life fully sold out for Christ, loving others and serving them with kindness every day.
Jesus is king, so live fully dependent on Him.
About the Author: Joshua Thomas is a writer by day and superhero by night. When he’s not writing and crimefighting, you can find him reading a good book, sipping warm tea, taking pictures, or dreaming. The young writer doesn’t fully know what he’s doing, but is enjoying the journey of it all. You can follow his hipster photos and Jack Kerouac musings on Instagram @joshua_thomas__