Self-Dependence vs Jesus-Dependence

This is a slice of an email I received from a friend who is wresting through the difference between living as a follower of Jesus by principles vs. living as a Jesus-dependent by prayer. I was both challenged and encouraged. What if? Can you imagine?

Could it be, that we have come to see the essence of the Christian life as “following Christian principles,” rather than prayer (relationship, communion, dependency)?   So, except where Christian principles conflict with worldly principles, there is little difference in the way a believer and nonbeliever lives: both function as independents/adultlikes/self-confidents/self-reliants/judges, not asking about everything, and not thanking for everything, but assuming or willfully doing.  If a believer is not living and working out of communion with Jesus, as a Jesus-dependent, s/he operates by the same human power as a nonbeliever: wise in our own eyes, leaning on our own understanding. Because there is so little of Jesus in us, so little of His power, there is little to wow, compel, the nonbelievers around us. We are boring believers, offering nothing to nonbelievers except the promise of Heaven.

I don’t think the early believers lived like we live today. How can we change, and have a contagious Jesus-dependency like they had? Impossible. We are powerless to change ourselves.  But… we can ask to be changed.  Whatever it takes, Lord, to get us from where we are to where we need to be to see nonbelievers coming to You like they did in the early Church. Take our health and our wealth and our careers and do with them, whatever it takes, to get us to the kind of Jesus-dependency that will wow, compel, and bring glory to You.


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