A Vision For Dependence On Jesus
by Elder Norman Fox
This is part 4 of a series on Calvary's vision.
Our church vision is "Making Disciples Together - in our homes, in the church, among our neighbors, throughout the world." Within our vision, we have core values that describe the identity of our church and the way our vision will be carried out. They define the culture and beliefs that make up our church.
The values that define the identity of Calvary include:
- Dependence on God’s grace alone
- Surrender in joyful obedience to God and His kingdom
- Christ-centered teaching – transformation through study and teaching of God’s word
- Gospel-shaped community – fostering redemptive relationships among believers
- Inter-generational culture – unity across age groups for worship and service to the Lord
We will be a humble and prayerful congregation with a deepening dependence on God’s grace in Christ and directed by the Holy Spirit.
Dependence is agreeing with God that He is God and I am not.
God is the creator of the universe and of me. God is sovereign in all things including my life. He is in control and I am not. My eternal life depends on God’s grace alone. My daily life depends on God’s grace alone. As the Five Solas of the Reformation state: truth in Scripture alone, by God’s grace alone, in Christ alone, through faith alone, for God’s glory alone.
A movement to greater dependence on God starts with the heart and moves into our behaviors.
Here are some of my favorite verses that draw my heart to dependence on God.
- "I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing." John 15:5
- "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast." Ephesians 2:8-9
- "In Him we live and breathe and have our being." Acts 17:28
What Dependence Looks Like In My Life
Back in September, we moved into a new house. I also started a Masters program at UWO and I became the Interim Associate Pastor of Missions/Evangelism. Just dealing with one of these things is overwhelming. Combine them all together and my struggle to depend on God shows up in a tendency to panic, be anxious and remain paralyzed in what comes next.
But God is gracious. He is bigger than me and always in control. I can tell myself the things I know are true, but my feelings can still run amuck. When I look at Scripture, I see God’s character. He is good, loving and gracious. Dependence is about choosing to TRUST God over choosing to FEAR, even when my feelings believe differently.
Another way I often struggle to depend on God is when I think, “Ok, God, I can do 80% of what needs to be done, but I really need Your help for that last 20%.” This is me depending on me, not on God. When I study the Scriptures, I see my weakness and God's strength. It becomes easier for me to stop relying on myself and instead fully depend on God. I can rest assured that God is in control.
In a state of dependence, I say, “God, I will do all that is humanly possible to take care for my house, study for class and pastor my church well. BUT I depend fully on You to lead and direct me through the Holy Spirit. I rely 100% on You for the ability to do and act. I lean completely on You, Lord, for the results.”
How Will You Exercise Dependence On God?
How do you depend on God in your life now? Do you see ways you can grow in your dependence on God?
Calvary Bible Church: Making Disciples Together - in our homes, in the church, among our neighbors, throughout the world.