Dependence is not an optional “add-on” in the Christian life. The Christian life is a life of dependence. Because the Christian life is utterly impossible to live in one’s own strength, resource, talent, intellect, and power, we must be continually dependent upon the very One who can live the Christian life through us, namely Christ Jesus. In this short exhortation from Major Ian Thomas, one of my favorite people in recent Christian history, he explains why dependence upon Jesus is absolutely critical for the Christian.
To live “to and for yourself” is to “walk after the flesh”!
To live “to and for Christ” is to “walk after the Spirit”!
These are the two principles of human behavior. It is not just a matter of degree, it is a matter of kind; to be dominated by the “flesh” is to be dominated by the devil; and to be dominated by the Spirit is to be dominated by God.
Two men doing identically the same thing may at the same time, by their identical act, be demonstrating two different principles of behavior, which are diametrically opposed to each other.
What is the principle that governs your behavior?
I am not asking you the nature of your behavior; I am asking you the principle from which it springs!
You will remember that we have seen sin defined in the Bible as independence: “whatsoever is not of faith is sin” (Romans 14:23), an attitude of “lawlessness” (I John 3:4); what then does repentance involve? It involves stepping out of independence back into dependence – and the measure of your repentance will be the measure of your dependence!
Every area of your life, in which you have not learned to be dependent, is an area of your life in which you have not as of yet repented.