Personal Development: Dependence on God
READ John 11:1–44
No leader can model faith in God until he or she has developed a consistent dependence on God. Once that faith is established, opportunities will arise when others can’t help but see it. For instance, before Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead he prayed, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me” (John 11:42).
Jesus’ faith in his Father was exercised in a way that demonstrated the power of God in a seemingly hopeless situation. This was faith in the midst of illness, death and deep despair. As leaders we want to cultivate the kind of dependence on God that others can see in real-life situations. Such a faith is not cultivated during a crisis, but before a crisis. It’s developed during routine days. And the leader who cultivates such a faith will provide a role model of steadfast dependence on God that no follower will forget.
Is your faith in God such that others see him working through you on routine and nonroutine days? What one thing could you do each day to cultivate your dependence on God and demonstrate that dependence so others will see an example they could follow? Jesus knew that faith in God was the basis for strength and hope in the midst of despair. That same hope is available to you, through the Spirit, today in whatever situation you may face.
Dependence on God and Who God Is
Jeremiah’s dependence upon God got him in plenty of hot water with the leadership of Israel. He stuck to his prophecy, however, trusting God to bring about what he had promised. Israel’s top advisors, however, were rewarded for telling their benefactors what they wanted to hear. Jeremiah knew better than to please earthly leaders and ignore the One true Leader. Read a portion of his story in Jeremiah 23:16–22.
Dependence on God and Who I Am
How can anyone who clearly understands reality think he can make better decisions than God? Good question, but the Bible is full of accounts of people who thought just that. Read Genesis 2:4—3:24 and meet a man who clearly understood reality but still depended on personal choice over God’s will. As you do, consider times when you have done the same thing. Has the outcome been positive or negative?
Dependence on God and How It Works
How could anyone trust his or her own instincts when those instincts violate God’s instructions? Let’s take a closer look at the deceiver and his tactics before we start feeling morally superior to Eve. You and I will be lured away from depending on God just as surely as Adam and Eve were lured away. But we have an advantage over them—they couldn’t learn from their mistake until they made it. We can. Let’s turn to Genesis 3:1–6 and do just that.
Dependence on God and What I Do
There is nothing like a good, clear, crisp statement to clarify things. God gives us just that kind of statement about depending on him. Proverbs 3:5–6 deserves the leader’s closest examination. You owe it to yourself, and to those who depend on your leadership, to decide upon whom you depend.
Passage to memorize this week:
Nahum 1:7 The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him.
– Bible Gateway.Com