I used to think freedom was something expressed by independence—a liberation from anything which restricted you, but as I prepared to celebrate our country’s National Independence Day, another thought occurred to me. Are they really the same thing?
According to the definition, “independent” is defined as, “free from outside control; not depending on another’s authority; not depending on another for livelihood or subsistence.”
When the American forefathers founded my country, this type of autonomy was exactly what they searched and fought for—the right to live and believe as they wanted. But when it comes to our spiritual lives, this type of independence doesn’t work. When I try to operate outside of my dependence on God, I usually end up making a bigger mess out of things! Click To Tweet I don’t know about you, but when I try to operate outside of my dependence on God, I usually end up making a bigger mess out of things —and not just for myself, but for those around me too.
When I try to be my own boss, or fix things on my own, it doesn’t ever turn out the way I’d hoped it would. Most times, after I’ve messed things up, I just want it to be better than it was or at least “good enough.” But that’s not what God wants for me. God doesn’t want me to settle for “good enough,” or even “better.” He wants what is best for me.
That’s what I love about David’s 23rd Psalm:
“The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me besides quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and staff,
they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. (Psalm 23)”
This Scripture reminds me that I can be dependent on Jesus. In fact, that’s what He wants! He wants me to rely on Him completely. Jesus, my Shepherd, desires to take care of me. He will lead me to the green grasses and the quiet waters where my soul will find rest. He will guide, comfort, and protect me. He will fill my soul until it overflows. He will lead me in ways of everlasting life! I can be dependent on Jesus! Click To Tweet
When I experience the goodness of Jesus, when I walk in this dependent freedom, I finally get to experience His best for me. I don’t feel the drive to be my own boss or figure things out anymore. My need to be in control is replaced with a need for Him, and as crazy as that sounds, it’s incredibly liberating!
Do you ever find yourself clinging to your independence rather than Jesus? How can you trust Jesus as the Good Shepherd in your life?
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