Happy Dependence Day!
Nope, this is not a typo. I really do want to declare a celebration of dependence. Let me explain.
There was a time when all of creation was in God’s perfect harmony. Man, woman, animals, plants all in ideal synchronization. It was like a massive Swiss clock, full of gears, all perfectly meshed together, significant in its existence, reflecting the glory of its Creator.
That is, until two of the gears (named Adam and Eve) decided to jump off their axles and try to move up in the divine mechanism; but alas, they only fell into the rest of the “clock,” resulting in the grinding of the gears and the snapping of delicate axles. The distortion and chaos that followed still has all of creation groaning for restoration (Romans 8: 19-22).
How did this happen? Psalm 1 probably gives us a hint. “Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the ungodly”. Although Adam and Eve walked and talked with God in the Garden, they made occasion to walk in the counsel of Satan, to garner advice about how to live life from one who was alienated from and antagonistic to their Creator. And they took that advice to heart, acted upon it and the “gears fell into the clock.”
The Lord God had provided clear and simple instruction. “You must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.” (Genesis 2:17) While God delineated a consequence of eating from this tree, I am not sure Adam and Eve had any idea what it was to die. More fundamental to this command than the consequence was the simple reality that God was God and He was telling them to obey.
Sin made its entrance the instant Adam and Eve asked themselves, “Why should I obey?” followed quickly by, “What’s in it for me?” (pride) and “What happens if I do?” (fear). In that moment they declared their independence from God and everything fell apart.
The regrettable reality is that you and I perpetuate, even exalt, the same rebellious independence from God. In fact, even our best efforts to “live good lives” are often rooted in the same duo of pride and fear found in the Garden. For example, I might be generous with money; but if I am honest, I might be doing it because Jesus said, “Give, and it shall be given to you.” Or maybe I am staying in my marriage, not really making any godly effort to make it viable but merely out of fear of disappointing or incurring the discipline of God.
It is time we declare our Dependence on God! From this day on my path of Christian growth will be a wholehearted distilling of my motives, progressively less done in life because of pride and fear and more and more done because I want to be like Jesus and to glorify God.
Happy Dependence Day!