“We are prone to forget and neglect Christ because we simply do not grasp how desperately we need him.” – Jon Bloom
I read that quote on Instagram the other day and was floored. Could a better description of my life right now be found?
For the past few weeks, I have been struggling to trust that God will figure out our housing situation and the ministries we want to start. In the evenings, when I usually take time to read my Bible and pray, I have often found myself too sleepy or too busy. “In the morning…” I say to myself as I close my eyes. The worst is, when I was feeling frustrated or sad and Benjamin told me to pray about it, I was annoyed. I didn’t think I could talk to God about it. I needed to actually fix it!
The long and short of it was, I was neglecting my Savior, and it was because I was forgetting how desperately I need Him. I thought I had this all on my own.
And that’s scary. Because not only is God the One supplying my needs, protecting me, and guiding me, my soul was built for oneness with my Heavenly Father. It craves growing closer to God, hearing His voice, and walking in His way.
In John 15:4-5, Jesus said:
“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.”
And when we neglect Him and stop growing in Him, little by little, we start making decisions that say, “I don’t really need You, God.” We start to put ourselves in the place that is rightfully His, when we aren’t wise enough or powerful enough or holy enough to be there.
So what sorts of things do we do that point to a heart neglecting God?
When we worry and fret about whether things are going to work out right, even when it seems like the situation is desperate enough to call for a little worry, we are telling God we don’t trust Him to take care of the situation.
1 Peter 5:7 says, “… casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.”
Do we really have the right to doubt the love of our God?
Or what about His strength and Sovereignty?
Isaiah 46:10 says, “Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure…’”
Yet, when we worry, we are saying that God’s will might not be good enough for us. We are saying that God might not care about us enough to take care of us this time.
We are putting ourselves in the place to judge what would be best for the situation instead of leaving it trustingly in the Father’s hand.
Making Decisions Without Prayer
This is one Benjamin and I are learning the hard way. We keep making these grand plans and these grand decisions for our life — no grad school, I am going to substitute teach, we are going to live in Tucson forever. But we often forget to stop and ask God before we make all of these life changing decisions.
Isaiah 55:8-9 says:
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”
When we make decisions without asking God, we aren’t exactly laying our lives down at God’s feet. We aren’t realizing that God knows better than we ever could. We are trusting that we’ve got this figured out all on our own (when really, we don’t).
Not having joy
The Bible is full of verses exhorting us to have joy!
Like 1 Thessalonians 5:18 —“in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
Or Colossians 3:17 —“And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”
Or Philippians 4:4 — “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!”
God says that if we are really trusting Him, if we are serving Him in all we do, we will have joy because of who He is and what He is doing!
Joy doesn’t mean we will be happy every minute, but it does mean that we will have a deep contentment because we are resting in our Savior.
In those times when joy seems unattainable, check your attitude. Are you relying on God, or are you neglecting Him, trying to fill up your joy with something else?
I don’t think we ever fully grasp how much we rely on God. He is the sustainer of the world and the Savior of our souls. Through Him we take our every breath, through Him we find joy, and the Bible says that, “every good and perfect gift is from above” (James 1:17).
Growing in our attitude of dependence should be a priority above literally everything else in our lives because, whether we realize it or not, we need God more desperately than we can ever know.
Share your story! How do you bring yourself back to an attitude of dependence? How has God taught you just how much you need Him?