Dependency in God Alone

Romans 1:8-12 ESV

“First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world. For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I mention you always in my prayers, asking that somehow by God’s will I may now at last succeed in coming to you. For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you— that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine.”

The ministry to which God has called me is not with people face to face, usually, but with people on the internet. And, they are not all in one place, either. I meet with the body of Christ in multiple locations on the internet.

So, when I think of Christians whose faith is truly being proclaimed in all the world, I think of believers in Jesus who are sharing their faith on the internet – their faith in Jesus Christ that is of God, and that is evidenced in our lives by what we do in submission and in obedience to our Lord.

Now, because of modern technology, we can gather with like-minded followers of Jesus virtually, when not in person. And, we can share our faith with one another. And, we can use the spiritual gifts God has given us for the building up of the body of Christ, to maturity in Christ, on the internet. And, we are able, too, to encourage one another in our walks of faith.

And, I am thankful to the Lord for all the brothers and sisters in Christ I have met on the internet in various locations, and for the mutual encouragement we have been able to receive from one another in Christ. For, we live in troubled times, and the gospel is being opposed strongly, and thus we need to be encouraged. And, we need to pray for one another, too.

Romans 1:13-15 ESV

“I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that I have often intended to come to you (but thus far have been prevented), in order that I may reap some harvest among you as well as among the rest of the Gentiles. I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish. So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome.”

I had good Christian fellowship in my home church congregation, when I was growing up as a child, and as a youth, and as a young adult. And, this continued to be consistent in my life until I was about 36 years old. For, then we moved somewhere that was not friendly to outsiders, and I really began to hit a dry spell regarding that kind of close intimate fellowship with the body of Christ which I had previously become accustomed to.

We moved again 3 years later, but the dry spell continued. I was not experiencing the kind of Christian fellowship I had known before, but now I was being faced with many trials and tribulations, and my faith began to waver, and my obedience to my Lord waned, and I failed miserably.

I got back on track with the Lord right before we moved again, and the next place did offer some good fellowship, or so I thought, but it turned out to be fairly surface level and empty. And, no matter what church congregation we tried in the city, and we tried many, the fellowship just wasn’t there. It wasn’t like before.

And, that is because the church, overall, had shifted focus away from intimate fellowship with the Lord to marketing the church to the world just like it was any other business. Pastors became entertainers, and worship services became big stage productions, and Bible studies were being replaced by studies of books written by mere mortals.

The church, at large, was seeking the counsel of men and of marketing books in place of the counsel and guidance of the Holy Spirit. So, their structure now revolved around following a business model, which was universal across the nation, and across multiple church denominations.

And, since their target audience was the world, they began to pattern their gatherings around attracting the world to their meetings, instead of ministering to the spiritual needs of the body of Christ, and instead of building one another up to maturity in Christ and encouraging one another in our walks of faith. And, I hungered after the kind of fellowship I had known in years gone by.

Then the Lord called me to this ministry, but for a long while it was not providing me with much in the way of Christian fellowship at all. Then, one day I appealed to the Lord, and I reminded him that Paul even had encouragers visit him in prison, and that he, the Lord, had at least 11 close companions with whom he had close fellowship.

And, then the Lord began to open doors for me to get Christian fellowship online, and that has been so encouraging. And, that has probably just been in the last 3 to 5 years. So, for a long while I was hindered from meeting with the body of Christ in true Christian fellowship, but in answer to my prayers, the Lord did provide.

But I learned an important lesson during that dry period. I can’t depend on people for my spiritual walk of faith in the Lord. For, people won’t always be there for me, or they may fail me, reject me, abandon me, and betray me. So, my dependency must be in the Lord and in him alone. Still, fellowship with the body of Christ, in Christ, is still so precious.

Romans 1:16-17 ESV

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, ‘The righteous shall live by faith.’”

Another great lesson I learned during my dry spell was to stand on the word of the Lord and to not be ashamed of the truth of the gospel no matter who hates me, rejects me, accuses me falsely, betrays me, or abandons me.

My faith can’t rest in people, and in them being there for me, or in them supporting me emotionally or spiritually. I must stand on my faith no matter what comes my way. And, this was all preparation both to the calling God placed on my life and for the days we are in now and that are yet to come when Christians in America are beginning to experience what it is like to be persecuted for our faith in Jesus Christ.

So, although Christian fellowship is awesome and so encouraging, if we put our dependency in people to uphold us in our walks of faith, then when the sheep are scattered, as they are being now, our hearts will fail us, because we put our dependency in men to sustain us and not in God.

So, if I were to share something with you today of vital importance that can save your life, not only will I share the gospel of Jesus Christ, but that you should not put your dependency in other humans to sustain you in your walks of faith. For, when “the rubber meets the road,” your faith may fail, because it wasn’t grounded on the Rock, Jesus Christ, but on people.

So, if you have not already done this, surrender your life to Jesus Christ today. Forsake your sinful lifestyle, turn, and follow Jesus in obedience to his commands. Make him truly Lord (owner-master) of your life, and let him guide and direct your path, not humans. Pray for wisdom in all things, for there is much deception out there in the government, media, and church.

Have Thine Own Way, Lord

Words by Adelaide A. Pollard, 1907
Music by George C. Stebbins, 1907

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Thou art the potter, I am the clay.
Mold me and make me after Thy will,
While I am waiting, yielded and still.

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Search me and try me, Master, today!
Whiter than snow, Lord, wash me just now,
As in Thy presence humbly I bow.

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Wounded and weary, help me I pray!
Power, all power, surely is Thine!
Touch me and heal me, Savior divine!

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Hold o’er my being absolute sway.
Fill with Thy Spirit till all shall see
Christ only, always, living in me!

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3 thoughts on “Dependency in God Alone

  1. Excellent advice to base our trust on Jesus Christ and not on people. I am having some conflict right now with changing churches. I like the people, but I am in a rut there and I want to be fed and to grow and to be encouraged to go out. Please keep me and my husband in your prayers as we make this decision together. The decision is made more difficult because we haven’t been able to personally attend due to the pandemic.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Praying for you now, Vickie, that the Lord would give you guidance in this decision. It is a difficult task these days to find a body of believers in Jesus Christ who have not sold out to the world but who are still committed to following Jesus with their lives. So, I pray you find such a group of people who truly love Jesus and who will be a positive influence on your life, who will help you to grow in your faith, and where you can be used of the Lord to encourage them in their walks of faith, too. Love you much! Sue

      Liked by 1 person

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