The Power of Dependency

April 7, 2024

We love being independent. Just ask a person if you can help them and their quick response will be “no thank you.” That is nothing new. It’s exactly what Adam and Eve proclaimed in the Garden of Eden when they gave into temptation. Their rebellion was saying to God, “We want to live independent of you.” In the natural realm, independence is what every parent is training their children to mature to be as they teach their children about the responsibilities in life. Interesting, however, that as one matures in the natural realm, one becomes more and more independent, whereas in the spiritual realm, we mature as we give up our independence for dependency upon God. There are great benefits in learning this as Jesus taught:

John 15:1–8 (ESV) — 1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.

Have you learned this lesson of dependency? Actually, there are great benefits as Jesus outlined above so it’s not a bad place to be. God, in fact, can aid in the bringing us into a dependent or humble state because in doing so He is really bringing us to an exalted state.

Psalm 75:7 (ESV) — 7 but it is God who executes judgment, putting down one and lifting up another.

Matthew 23:12 (ESV) — 12 Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

Isaiah 2:11 (ESV) — 11 The haughty looks of man shall be brought low, and the lofty pride of men shall be humbled, and the Lord alone will be exalted in that day.

Remember when Jesus told the parable about the Pharisee and the tax collector. Notice which one had the attention of God. Notice too, the conclusion of the matter.

Luke 18:9–14 (ESV) — 9 He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: 10 “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ 13 But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Humbling ourselves before God is admitting that we can do nothing without Him. That’s what Peter is admonishing in 1 Peter 5:6-7.

1 Peter 5:6–7 (ESV) — 6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

The way to humble yourself is to admit your desperate need of Him, therefore you cast your care upon Him as seek Him. Otherwise, as we go through life trying to make it on our own as independently as possible, we are really glorying in ourselves and our abilities to accomplish whatever needs to be done. Not a good place to be as you remember what Jesus said in John 15:5.

John 15:5 (ESV) — 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.

Just picture the branch attached to the vine. The vine has all the nutrients for the branch to bear fruit so in essence the branch sucks life from the vine. Without the vine, the branch cannot bear fruit.  So is the illustration that our lives are in the Lord Jesus Christ and without Him we can do nothing. ‘

We do our best to try on our own all the time and to no avail. When we fail and assess the situation, we realize we need to learn to depend upon God from the start, otherwise we are robbing Him of His glory, and He does not care for that at all.

Isaiah 42:8 (ESV) — 8 I am the Lord; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols.

On the other hand, the place of dependency in realizing the destitution of our helplessness is a place of assurance of God’s ear and His help.

Psalm 102:17 (ESV) — 17 he regards the prayer of the destitute and does not despise their prayer.

Helplessness is the key to dependency and dependency is the key to prayer. There is power in dependency because the power belongs to God as He gives power to those who are ready to faint in their desperate condition.

Isaiah 40:29–31 (ESV) — 29 He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. 30 Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; 31 but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

You have to admit that the blessings from the verses above are quite appealing but don’t lose sight of the fact that God gives power to the faint. When you add up the blessings of the special notice from God as recorded in the Scriptures, then you have to say that being in that state is a blessing.

Psalm 51:17 (ESV) — 17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

Could it be that every affliction, setback, and trying circumstance in life is actually God’s way of bringing us to a deeper state of communing with Him in a helpless and desperate state? As God draws near to our drawing near to Him in our helplessness, we find fullness of joy that found in abiding in Him as He abides in us.

Don’t knock it and certainly don’t resist the admonitions in the call for dependency, for therein lies the power to experience the abundant life.  


Bob Brubaker, Pastor