Dependency: The Lost Spiritual Discipline


It’s a seemingly un-American word. We are proud of our independence. We often hear statements like “God helps those who help themselves” and “Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps,” and actually think they are in the Bible (they aren’t!).

It should be no surprise then that we are not very good at being dependent.  Being dependent feels weak, and being weak is not valued in our society.

If you feel God is leading you toward cross-cultural work of some kind you will learn about being dependent in ways you have not yet imagined. And they are rarely fun!

  • If you are a financially supported missionary, you will quickly understand that you are completely dependent on the people who send money each month so that you can survive.
  • You may find yourself lost and realize that, unless someone who speaks English happens by, you may not make it back home. Five-year-old locals will have a better grasp of language than you.
  • Your relationship with God may be the only one that is going anywhere because he is the only one who understands you or has time for you.
  • In a new place, in a culture you don’t understand, you will find yourself fully dependent on those expats who have been there longer than you to do something as simple as catching a cab to the airport.

Let’s step back, though, and think about what it is to be a Christ-follower.

A follower must trust in the leadership of the leader. Dependency.

Our position with God is based totally on God’s grace for us. Dependency.

The only way to produce fruit is to abide in the vine. Dependency.

“…apart from me, you can do nothing.” Dependency.

Don’t wait to be forced into dependency by living and working in another country. Embrace your dependency right here, right now. Learn to be weak and dependent on God’s sufficient power.

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in your weakness.” 2 Cor. 12:9

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