The Second Half of the Gospel: Dependence—the Turning Point of Transformation

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August 1, 2020

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.

CONSIDER THIS

Did you catch the first word from today’s text? Trust. Dependence is the fruit of trust. Our dissatisfaction often comes from depending on someone or something that is not dependable. In many cases that someone is ourselves (aka independence). In other cases our broken ways lead us to an unhealthy dependence on others (aka co-dependence).

Holy dissatisfaction leads to deeper depths of knowing Jesus and the more we know Jesus the more we will trust him, which demonstrates itself in a thousand practical ways of dependence. The old hymn puts it well, “Jesus, Jesus how I trust him, how I’ve proved him over and over; Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus, O for grace to trust him more.”

The text uses another interesting word: all, as in, “with all your heart,” and, “in all your ways.” Dependence takes time. It takes growth. It takes healing. We cannot depend on someone we cannot trust. The way we build trust is to grow bit by bit in our dependence on Jesus. This is where we learn to pray without ceasing. This is the way we learn to “lean” on Jesus. Growing in dependence on the Holy Spirit will lead us to a place of surrendering all. This is the place it really gets good.

In order to grow in our dependence we need a band of brothers or sisters to help us. Here’s the interesting truth of the matter. Our trust and dependence on God, whom we can’t see, corresponds and tracks with our growth in trusting a few other people we can see. It works the other way too. In our work with banded discipleship—which we consider essential to making progress in the second half of the gospel—we coined this phrase: Time plus trust equals transformation. This is where most of our brokenness kicks in, through broken trust in our past relationships. This is the place where brokenness bleeds into addiction. We so easily turn our deep need to trust and depend on God and others to depending on substitutes, ranging from self-reliance to substances. 

As our trust in Jesus grows so will our trust in others grow. In like fashion, as our trust in others grows, our trust in Jesus will grow. The beautiful thing is the way, over time, we will begin to sense Jesus’ and others’ trust in us.

Picture this journey from Holy Discontent into the deeps of Descent to the very ground of Dependence as the way down the left side of a V. Tomorrow we will close the Second Half of the Gospel mini-series with the journey back up the other side of the V—Delight and Devotion. Summarizing, dependence is the turning point on this journey of awakening. It will become a well-worn pivot where the movement from dissatisfaction to satisfaction takes root.

THE PRAYER

Lord Jesus, we can be so quick to believe yet so slow to trust. And this only reveals to us that we don’t believe as much as we think we do. Honestly, Lord, our trust has been broken by others and that has broken us. Restore our ability to trust—both in you and in others, and show us to the kind of relationships where this can flourish. I want to depend on your for everything. I’m asking you to show me a simple way I can depend on you for something starting now. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

THE QUESTION

Where in your life right now are you most dependent on God?

P.S. Upcoming on the Daily Text

Next Monday, August 3, we begins our next Daily Text series: The Gospel of John. It will take us all the way to Advent. Please invite others to join us. Earlier this year I wrote a brand new Advent Study we are calling The Christian New Year. I am so excited about it and hope you will consider it for your church.

As always, What Happens in Corinth is available for pre-order now. Consider ordering a copy or two. It will bless you and help our sowing mission.

For the Awakening,
J.D. Walt
Sower-in-Chief
seedbed.com

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Farmer. Poet. Theologian. Jurist. Publisher. Seedbed's Sower-in-Chief.

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