Dependency

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Many years ago, when I was first trying to comprehend the reality of God and His caring for us and our need to come and remain under His guidance and authority, my mind projected an analogy of a little child that was allowed to go out and play in the fenced yard but not to go out beyond the gate. Of course, in my mind, me being that little child, I decided for myself to go beyond that fenced gate and venture out on my own. And in my analogy there was a woods nearby. You probably know what’s coming next, I decided to go into the woods and very shortly became lost. When I left the safety of the fenced yard, I removed myself from the protection and guidance of my parents. When I got lost, it didn’t mean that my parents no longer loved me, it just meant that I had removed myself from the influence of their guidance and protection. I know, this analogy isn’t perfect but at the time it provided for me, a rationale to understand what had transpired in my life and my need to get back to the fenced yard. That fence gate, in that fenced yard, in many ways, has played a critical role in my walk with God, over the years.

I have been going through the Old Testament again in a new hard copy of the Amplified Study Bible I recently bought. I’m almost finished Deuteronomy now, and as I was saying my prayers yesterday I asked God to help me understand why there is so much of the curses laid out in Deuteronomy for Israel. The short story is there is a lot and it’s not pretty. Oh, the blessings are laid out first, but I’m beginning to see things I haven’t seen before. God doesn’t list all of the blessings in one place like when Moses expounds upon the curses in Deuteronomy in chapter twenty-eight. They are interwoven throughout all of the preceding scriptures, lots of little things that one could easily overlook. An example is that God wanted all of the men of Israel to come before Him at least three times a year and He promises them that if they will do that, they do not need to fear that their land or possessions will be attacked during that time they are away because He will ensure that they aren’t. You won’t find that in chapter twenty eight. And, it’s also important to note, that even though the curses are spelled out very clearly, they are in effect, just a taking away of the previously special blessings promised to Israel.

The short story is that God doesn’t give us the option of having it both ways and He even brings this to our attention in Deuteronomy 29:19-20 NIV where He says,” When such a person hears the words of this oath and they invoke a blessing on themselves, thinking, “I will be safe, even though I persist in going my own way,” they will bring disaster on the watered land as well as the dry. The Lord will never be willing to forgive them; his wrath and zeal will burn against them. All the curses written in this book will fall on them, and the Lord will blot out their names from under heaven.

The over riding lesson that God is trying to impress upon Israel and us is that He really is our source, for everything and we just don’t get it. And it really doesn’t matter how He continually reinforces that comprehension that we need to grasp, be it with what we see with our eyes or the blessings that will and do follow, it is our utter dependency on Him that is the objective because try as we might, when push comes to shove, that is the way that it works. The blessings are everywhere, from the manna, to the quail, to the water and their clothes not wearing out nor their sandals. We continually focus on things whereas He would have us focus on Him and the loving relationship of dependency that He wishes us to be in with Him. He is our Father and we are His sons and daughters. That is what a Father does.

And, as I’ve been studying God’s Word, I can’t help but feel that there is a reversal going on, from the way it is now, after the fall, from the way it originally was with Adam and Eve in the garden, prior to the fall. God’s revelation to us in the Bible is all about returning our hearts and minds back to the way it was before the fall. Prior to the fall there was no greed or shame. Dependency was a given. God’s presence was the pinnacle of the garden, He created us to be in union with Him, in fellowship with Him. Our dependency on Him was total via Adam and Eve prior to the fall. But after the fall that all changed. Self replaced God, self broke that unity. We had eyes to see but we could no longer see. We had ears to hear but we could no longer hear. From Genesis to Deuteronomy, we see God showing us what transpired, how that communion was broken, how He chose faith or trust (dependency) in Him, to do what He says He will do, via individuals, as the vehicle or means whereby His plan of reconciliation is realized. He then expands His revelation and selects a small nation to become a witness to Himself, outlining special blessings or curses dependent upon the recognition of the need to trust in Him to meet all of our needs, both physically and spiritually.

That gate, in my previous analogy, plays a critical role in Israel’s history and their recognition of this requirement. I guess what I am saying is that when you read the blessings and curses in Deuteronomy chapter 28, don’t look at them as a summation of do this or else, look at them as the reality of what happens when you go through that gate and remove yourself from His guidance, love and special caring. It’s not pretty, not pretty at all but that is what happens when we walk away from God’s love. It’s our choice, not His.

I also can’t help but remember when Nabeel Qureshi died and how Nabeel said that regardless of his stated desire to remain with his wife and child, Nabeel trusted God. And what did Nabeel trust God for? I think he trusted God’s choice over his own. He saw beyond what his eyes could see, he heard beyond what his own thoughts said. As much as Nabeel wanted his own will to be realized, he trusted God’s will for him over his own.

I can’t help but think that is where we all need to be.

Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!

 

About

Disciple of Jesus, married to Peggy, with 5 grown up children, 7 grand children, ex-Canadian military and residing in beautiful Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada. a.k.a. "Papa"

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Posted in Apologetics, Defending Christianity, Faith
15 comments on “Dependency
  1. bcparkison says:

    I think it was Erma Bombeck (sp) who wrote about “the grass is always greener over the septic tank. Another way of saying the same thing about your fenced yard.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Jeff Rab says:

    Excellent, Bruce! True about how the blessings and curses are written in the Old Testament and true that God wants us back in full relationship the way He created us. Narrow is the gate….

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I saw Nabeel Qureshi’s final video and was so touched by what he said. Such faith and devotion …
    An important part of my prayer time is acknowledging that I am utterly dependent upon God, and thanking Him that He is utterly dependable.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I love the analogy of the child leaving the fence, Bruce. It’s a great way to explain the necessity of us staying under the Lord’s guidance and authority. Good to remember and use with others! Thanks!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Curran says:

    Great read Bruce. Thank you for sharing xo

    Like

  6. Jan says:

    Bruce I like the way you carefully analysed Graham Cooke’s ‘God inspired’ book on prophecy. You were kind, cautious and to the point as much as one can be with Cooke’s ponderous and mostly fair writing. But as a reader commented, ‘Satan floats one lie on a sea of truths’.

    I have come to realize that I have slowly swallowed many lies along with truths taught by big names in Christian charismatic, Pentecostal, Word Faith and now more traditional churches. I guess it is a sign of the times that we think we will do a better job than our ancestors did in every way including the way of following Jesus – and that by personal inspired guidance without too much study of the Bible. I have repented of my sin of seeking to hold the power that only God has authority to hold and of buying in to the many popular teachings today.

    God kept showing me Simon Magus in Acts 8. It took me 4 years to understand how this applied to me and my belief in the many misconstrued scriptures taught in the latest best seller.

    This leaves me with an ongoing problem, how do I discern the spirit of God now and which of my past experiences to I dismiss? How do I relate to God now that I know it is not about what I can do for God? Micah has the answer, Walk humbly with my God, but this may be an interesting topic for others like me who are re-calibrating their walk with God.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bruce says:

      Hi Jan, thank you for responding back to me. You raised a couple of good questions. Trust me when I say that I am not the end all authority but I do sincerely try to stay within the guide lines that God’s Word provides. I also come from a Pentecostal background and I still speak in tongues when in prayer at times. It should also be noted that there is a significant difference between what the Assemblies of God sanction in the USA and what the NAR movement says is the way to go. I personally don’t attend a Pentecostal Church anymore but now attend a non-denominational Church. To be candid with you, neither one of them seems to be perfect but I have learned to proceed prayerfully and carefully. There are a lot of excesses going on out there. God’s Word is what I stick with and I spend a significant amount of time studying His Word. I also believe that the various gifts of the Holy Spirit are still in operation. I know good people on both sides of the Pentecostal fence. Note that does NOT include anyone who is into the NAR doctrine. I’ve done a lot of research on the NAR and if you select “the New Apostolic Reformation” option under POST CATEGORIES on my main page, a significant number of posts will come up. Being aware of the doctrinal differences and what is sanctioned and encouraged within the NAR is obviously a step in the right direction. I see you sent me another comment so I will close off this one and pick it up again on your next comment. Grace and blessings!.

      Like

  7. Jan says:

    Bruce, further to my comments – and probably not for posting – this email I just received encapsulates the modern flow of charismatic/NAR whatever typed of teachings and methods. It comes from Danny Silk. I won’t be enrolling in his class, but I did enroll in an earlier version of Graham Cooke’s online mentorship, The Warrior Class. Who threatened to get a Chartered Accountant on to me to get last remaining months of subscripton to TWC off me…
    Anyway this language of transformation etc is very common in the new thinking
    I want to invite you on a journey to heal and restore the most important relationships in your life.
    • Break free from powerlessness and pain
    • Strengthen your connection, communication, and boundaries
    • Heal areas of your relationship you didn’t even know were broken
    • Experience new levels of peace, joy, and love with the ones you love
    What to expect
    • Eight 20-25 minute video classes
    • Teaching on the steps to restored relationship
    • Interviews with friends who have gone through betrayal
    • Enriching and activating homework assignments designed for your personal growth
    Join me on the journey to restore the most important relationships in your life! Enroll here!
    https://loplifeacademy.com/courses/thepathtorestoration/

    Like

    • Bruce says:

      Hi Jan, ah yes, the never ending promise of more and more to come. Graham Cooke is especially deceitful because of his New Age associations. What I found difficult to understand is that sometimes his explanations seemed very knowledgeable yet there are always those clear red flags present. This may sound a little corny but I basically thought of myself as a man who lived on a farm away from all the noise and clatter that is associated with today’s Church. It seemed to me to be reasonable to expect God to honor His Word and instruct me in the way to go. I’ve also been around long enough to know that there are very few who perfectly agree on everything. There are in my mind critical elements of Christianity and non-critical aspects such as Old Earth and New Earth Creationism as an example. Evolution and Intelligent Design is another one although I still think the world view of evolution is strongly tied into naturalism. I am also aware that the views that I hold now are different from some of the views that I held when I was younger in the faith. God is faithful and He understands, much like a parent loves a child who still has much to learn. You mentioned humble in your previous comment and that is an excellent position to start from. The more that I learn, the more I have come to realize how little I know. Dependency on God is 100 %. I’m not there yet nor do I think I will ever be while in this body but He knows I am trying. He knows our hearts, just be as honest as you can with Him and study His Word as often as you can. It doesn’t take too long before you become aware of unauthorized “strange fire” or practices which have no foundation in God’s Word. It can be a scary road to walk but there is a path that He puts you on and keeps you on it. Don’t get discouraged, it isn’t easy, because God is continually expanding our faith and trust in Him. We’re always looking for that which reinforces our faith and the kicker, from my perspective, is that our walk with God is really all about our trust and dependency on Him. Jesus said that without Him we could do nothing. Nothing is pretty absolute from my perspective. He is our starting point and He is our end point. It’s hard to put into words what I feel in my heart. He is faithful and wise beyond all that I can imagine. And loving, also beyond what I can imagine. I’ve tasted and His presence is precious. In the end, from where I sit, all we can do is study His Word, establish and maintain our communion with Him and serve Him as He enables us. It’s really day to day and hour to hour. If we do that, He changes our hearts in the process. I’m 74 and He is still changing mine.
      I hope I’ve answered your questions, feel free to follow up at any time. Grace and blessings my friend.

      Like

  8. Cindy Dawson says:

    If I would have just followed His will to begin with, I could have saved myself a lot of trouble! Great post, Bruce. Blessings!

    Like

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