Spiritual Gifts: Dependence and Trust
October 13, 2011 2 Comments
What is one thing you can do that would require God’s involvement for it to be successful? There are two ways of looking at that question. One way is to say that really everything depends on God, without God allowing me to live, breathe, move, etc I can’t really do anything. The more helpful direction I want to take this question is this…how many things do we do that are so small that we really don’t expect God to have to be involved in it for it to be a success?
I don’t think anyone says they don’t need God but sometimes we live like it. We don’t consult him, rely on him, or do anything other than what we think we can handle on our own. Too often we don’t learn to trust God because we stay too comfortable. More often we need to engage in things that recognize the need for God’s involvement for it to succeed. We need more times where our faith and God’s faithfulness intersect on a regular basis. Only then will we learn that it really does all depend on God. Self-reliance and self-sufficiency are myths…they just aren’t true. Without God it all falls apart. Paul recognized our own weakness when he wrote this,
“ 7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” – 2 Cor 4:7-9
Without God’s involvement these verses would read very differently, “We are hard pressed on every side and crushed, perplexed and in despair, persecuted and abandoned, struck down and completely destroyed.” The difference is not the jar of clay of self…the difference is God. We only have hope in Him and so we have to depend on Him for everything but before we do we have to learn to trust Him. Most Christians’ lack of trust is less about outright defiance and more about outright indifference. We just don’t think about it and go out on our own and do our own things.
What does this have to do with our gifts, talents and abilities? It is important that we use the things God has given us for His glory. In order to do so we have to trust God so that we can serve Him with our time, talents, and everything else we can give. Instead of using our gifts for our glory, our happiness, our success, we use them for God. Happiness or success may come as a by product of that dedication but it is not the end we are seeking. We have to rely on ourselves less and on God more. We have to start relying less on happiness as a general indicator of what is best to do and start trying to discern God’s will on what we need to do, regardless of whether it makes us happy or not. That takes complete trust and dependence to make the shift in how we utilize the gifts God has given us.
So let me ask it again, What is one thing you can do that would require God’s involvement for it to be successful?