Now that we understand the breaking process and have relinquished our rights, what does the dependent Christian life look like? What can we expect as we learn to walk in union with His Spirit? No one except Jesus has ever done this, and even the example He set was appropriate for Him alone.
Ours is not a cookie-cutter religion; God is not interested in us “being like Christ,” and He is not creating clones of His Son. What He is producing is unique, whole persons that are living members of His Body, each having their own history, character, identity and soul, yet all, because each is dependent on the single Source, engulfed and sharing the very Nature of the Root Creator.
So on our level, what will living the Christian life look like, feel like, think like, be like as we learn to live out of our met needs? Each of us will learn to walk, live, move and have our being in an individual way, yet there will be some common characteristics that we can encourage ourselves with. Remember, our sanctification, or the working out of our salvation, is a working out… out, because it’s in and needs to be worked OUT. This will include being an active participant in this world, receiving and expressing God’s life, love, victory, and freedom.
Dependence Reveals God’s Life
Like the vine and the branch, as we receive God’s life, we are first partakers of that life. We are re-created, re-generated. We receive healing of our past wounds and memories, anticipation and security for our future, and contentment and rest for our present. Every need we have is met by His life, and we can in turn share with others what we have first received. This, truly, is what ministry is meant to be. It’s letting God’s life flow into the empty spaces as He channels it. Death is not driven out first, then life added…first the life comes, and the death is driven out. So as we depend on God, He will live His life through us, changing those around us as well.
Dependence Reveals God’s Love
God’s unconditional love is so unfathomable to us that each of us will find a separate way to describe it. Love is much more than an emotion; it is a knowing and choosing as well. As we come to know, feel, and receive God’s love for us, we are then set free to be available conduits for His love to others unconditionally. Our family, friends, even co-workers are loved, accepted, honored and valued unconditionally, sometimes causing rejection, sometimes causing healing. God loves them directly and through us, independent of our feelings of love. Love is not an emotion!
Dependence Reveals God’s Victory
As we grow in our dependent relationship with God, we begin to believe what He says about us, that we are overcomers, seated in heavenly places, ruling and reigning with Him now. We gain experiential victory over the world, the flesh and the devil over time, and are then able to help others gain victory as well. We learn to have our confidence and trust in the Lord without fear, able to approach every circumstance relying on Him. We trust the Lord to lead us into all truth, more than we believe the enemy can lead us into deception, so we are also free to make mistakes, and don’t hold it against others when they make them.
Dependence Reveals God’s Freedom & Rest
As we learn to depend on God to get all of our needs met, we are not only healed of our wounds but freed from our bondages as well. We enter into His freedom, which will mean something different for each one of us, yet will consist of our soul (mind, will and emotions) becoming responsive and flexible to the slightest direction of the Father. For those in a dependent relationship with God, freedom is an obedience that springs from confidence. We learn to face each day with boldness, excitement and anticipation, resting in the assurance that what He has for us that day was specially designed to bring us into a more dependent relationship with Him. We learn we can trust Him, that He provides the training, motivation and encouragement we need to rest in this life. And because God has accepted us unconditionally, we can in turn accept those around us unconditionally, freeing them to follow God along the path He is leading them.
True Freedom Comes Through Rest and Dependence
Relinquishing our rights is not only acknowledging the sovereignty of the Lord, but submitting to it as well. As we do so, we will find the Lord more and more bringing us into wholeness, rest, freedom and confidence unlike anything that we can possibly imagine. His idea of freedom is so different from ours! Yet it is so satisfying and fulfilling. The first time you experience true dependence, the first time you see He has made the change in you, you’ll say, “Ahhh! — now I know.” What a wonderful life!
Adapted from Practical Christianity by Dianne Thomas