Tomorrow is the Fourth of July. In the United States, it’s a major national holiday known as Independence Day. With fireworks and picnics, we celebrate overthrowing the king of England several hundred years ago and gaining our freedom and independence as a nation.
I enjoy celebrating Independence Day, but the Bible doesn’t celebrate independence. On the contrary, the Bible mourns and warns about spiritual independence.
Independence is what the serpent sold Adam and Eve, and independence is the reward that the enemy continues to wave in front of each one of us today. At some time and in some way, we will all buy into the delusion of independence.
The lie of independence is designed to make me believe that I’m wiser and more righteous than I am. It makes me think that I’m a mature person living in a colony of the immature. It causes me to reason that if I do bad things, I do them not because of what’s inside me, but because of the pressures that I am forced to deal with that are outside me.
The lie of independence is meant to convince me that I’m capable and okay.
Here’s what the Bible makes blatantly clear: The quest for independence never ends in independence; it always ends in slavery.
How so? Because I was carefully designed by the Creator to live in a dependent, obedient, and worshipful relationship with him and in humble, interdependent relationships with other human beings.
The quest for independence is not merely a spiritual mistake; it’s a fundamental denial of my humanity. The pursuit of independence always leaves me addicted to a list of things that I’ve looked to for hope, life, strength, and rest.
In a vain attempt to distract myself from the evidence that I’m not independent, I get hooked on things that can distract me, but can never give my heart rest.
The message of the Bible is clear: I’m a person in desperate need of help, and if I were to walk with God for thousands of years, I would continue to need his help as much as I did the first day I reached out my hand for him.
The only way you will ever run to the Helper is by running away from the delusion of independence. Why not do that once more today?
Below are nine questions to help you run from the delusion of independence:
1. In what ways do you live more independently than you should?
2. How can you more accurately view yourself as a person in need of help?
3. Do you perceive others as needier than you?
4. As you minister to others, how often do you remind yourself that you are in need of ministry as well?
5. How do you respond when God sends someone your way to correct or confront you? (Do you bolster yourself with evidence of your righteousness, or do you regularly look in the mirror of the Word of God and admit how needy you are?)
6. Does the way you relate to members of your family picture a person who believes that you are in daily need of help?
7. Does your level of commitment to the body of Christ and transparent fellowship depict a person who thinks you require support?
8. Does your personal devotional life paint a portrait of a person who humbly acknowledges your need of help?
9. Why is dependence something to be celebrated, and how can you celebrate it more?