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THE LIE OF INDEPENDENCE AND SELF-SUFFICIENCY

Independence from God is never equivalent to freedom.  It is in total dependence on God that we have freedom – freedom from sin, freedom from fear, freedom from worry and anxiety and most-importantly, freedom from judgment – the judgment of a holy God due sinful man.  All men are sinful.  The Bible teaches that none are righteous and that the wages of sin is death.  The only true freedom is that which comes from God.  Only He can promise a genuine and lasting freedom.

When I was sixteen, I obtained the first key to my “independence” from my parents.  I started working at the Jacksonville Pharmacy in Jacksonville, Maryland.  You might have a hard time understanding what a coup that really was.  Practically everyone in our loosely-defined town went into that Pharmacy at least once a week.  Some came in every day or evening on their way home from work.  It was a hub of activity and community news.

It was that $3.35 per hour that gave me my first real “independence” (so called).  From that point forward, I purchased my car, my gas, my insurance, my incidentals, etc.  I thought of myself as independent even though I was only 16 and still living at home.  I thought I was independent, but looking back now, I can see I really wasn’t totally free of dependence on my parents for the roof over my head, health insurance, food and other expenses of everyday life.

I can draw a parallel to my spiritual life.  During my college years, I turned from my relationship with God to assert my independence from His restrictions.  (I now see them as cords of love.)  I took on sin and tried to be its master.  I think you can guess how that ended.  It mastered me.  I sinned well and with frequency and depravity and thought little of God.  I had become “independent”, a place I would never recommend.  It was a place filled with emptiness and despair and darkness so heavy it can push all the air out of your lungs.  Independence from God was a place of slow death of my soul – a death that would have gone on for eternity, a death that would have separated me from God forever.  It is a law of nature that independence brings death.  What happens to the flower cut from the stem?  The branch cut from the tree?    Death.  Life is found and sustained only with connection to the vine.

John 15:5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” (Jesus speaking)

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