We Are Dependent On God
Every Christian should be aware of how dependent we are on God.
We mention it in our prayers and we sing it in our hymns, and we preach about it.
Some people might be a little suspicious of the psalmist who wrote in the Ninety-first Psalm:
" I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: may God; in Him will I trust."
There are those who believe we must do something about our situations on our own,
and maybe we are too dependent upon God.
For instance, as a student, getting ready to take a final test the next morning, and yet, has not
opened the text book all year.
If that student is totally depending on God, then he is in for a surprise.
Or if you are driving your car 80 to 100 miles per hour, and suddenly, a man is crossing the road
in front of you, and you cannot avoid him, then, you cannot expect God to perform a miracle
and have your car spout wings and fly over the man.
But, if after you do everything you can in a situation, you depend on God.
You cannot depend upon Him too much, because everything you are and everything you have
or can ever hope to be come ultimately from God.
Everything we are -- our life, our thoughts, and our energies are completely given to us by God.
And whether we like to admit it or not, everyone is utterly dependent upon God.
If you are alive, your life is given to you by God, and, at any moment, God can take that life away.
We are born completely helpless -- that is so true.
A baby can do nothing for itself; it is dependent entirely upon its parents or upon some older person
to take care of its needs.
As we grow up, we learn to do things for ourselves.
When we are fifteen or sixteen, we can do so much to help ourselves, and we sometimes mislead
ourselves into believing that we are not dependent upon anything or anyone and that we can do
everything and that we know everything.
Then, of course, we have to learn all over again, that while we can help ourselves in many
of the daily tasks of life, we never become completely independent.
And the older we get, I believe the time comes when we realize how dependent we're really are.
The older I have become, the more I realize how dependent I really am upon God.
I know many Christians from many different occupations and professions, and most of them
will tell you that everything they have and know they have received from God.
"The night before I was to have open heart surgery to bypass four arteries the heart surgeon
whom I had never met and did not know, told me what he was going to do in the surgery.
As he was leaving my room, I called him back to my bedside.
I said to him: " ' I know that you know when you do my surgery in the morning
that God will be guiding your hands.'"
He looked at me, and without saying a word, he left the room.
He knew that his skills were given him by God."
-- Dr. Harold L. White
As someone has stated, and I certainly believe, that we never grow out of this sense
of dependence upon God.
I believe we grow up into it.
And the older we get, the more we are aware of it.
One of the great men in American history was Benjamin Franklin.
His friends all thought of him as a freethinker.
He belonged to no church and subscribe to no creed: and as far as they knew did not practice
any of the expected religious techniques of life.
When the Convention was meeting to draw up the Constitution of the United States,
they were amazed when he stood up in the Convention and made a resolution that each one
of its sessions begin with prayer, after which he said,
" The longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth; that God governs
in the affairs of men."
Christian, the longer you live, the more convincing proofs you will have that that God governs all of His creation.
Now we must ask, " What kind of help can we expect from God?"
The writer of the Ninety-first Psalm had a very definite expectation.
He expected immunity against all disaster.
He even goes so far as to say, " There shall no evil happened unto him, neither shall
any plague come nigh his dwelling."
Many may suppose that this was an exaggerated statement brought about by his enthusiasm about God.
But, as I grow older, I believe there is something important and true about the statement.
For instance when you submerge yourself in some great enterprise the greater your resistance is
to things that are likely to defeat you.
The more you trust in God, the more you realize that He is your refuge and your strength.
I believe that a person who trusts in God eliminates much stress and anxieties from their lives.
A person who really trusts in God is not a person who fears everything.
Fear is like a lightning rod which draws disaster to itself.
Another kind of help we need from God is the strength and power to meet the demands of life
as they come upon us.
When I depend on my own efforts, nothing happens.
When I depend upon God, many good things happen.
I believe that there are Christians in this congregation who can say the same thing about themselves.
Having situations in life where they were facing circumstances for which they were not prepared
and did not have adequate resources to meet the problems, they realized that by themselves
they could not do it.
But when they recognized that fact and acknowledged that they depended completely
and ultimately upon their God who will help them.
His power has no limit, and He can do all things.
So, when we depend upon God, we have energies and resources that we never dreamed possible.
We have come to believe, " that we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength."
" In God is my hope and my strength, my refuge, my fortress, in Him will I trust
and He will deliver me from all the disasters of life."
"It is not always the will of God to get us out of trouble; there are times
when it is His will to see us through trouble."
This sermon was adapted from a sermon by Theodore Parker Ferris which appeared
in the Ministers Manual for 1997.