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I was 4 years old when I ran and hid myself in a closet, promptly sitting down on a small rocking chair stored in there that my dad had made for me, rocking back and forth while repeating the words that my two older brothers of 6 and 7 had just told me as a joke. “Nobody loves you.” I rocked feverishly and said it over and over again, “Nobody loves me. Nobody loves me.”

That was the day an orphan spirit and a self-reliant spirit began their “ministry” to me. Obviously, it wasn’t a good ministry. Over the next 14 years, I would grow up to be a self-sufficient, self-made, selfish, and I-don’t-need-anybody-but-myself young man. It was that mentality that drove many people away from me and hurt any chance of true, deep relationships with pretty much anybody. Why? Because in the back of my mind the only way I could figure out how not to be hurt or not to be loved (Yes, as a kid I thought about that.) was to keep any and everybody at arms’s distance emotionally, spiritually, and even physically. 


However, that was not the plan God had for my life.


At the young age of thirteen, I gave my heart and life to Jesus, and He turned my life right side up instead of upside down. My life was already upside down. How could a 13-year-old boy have any emotional baggage or life altering sin, you might ask. Well, our enemy has an arsenal of tricks and deceptive ways up his sleeve to accomplish devastation and destruction in our life whether we leave the door wide open or just slightly cracked. He doesn’t care how he gets in, as long as he gets in. At 4-years-old, I had allowed him and his entourage of evil spirits to torment and guide me, unbeknownst to me. That’s how he works: in the shadows.


I remember it like it was yesterday when I asked God why I was so “self-reliant and self-centered”. God in His mercy and grace revealed to me how the enemy had wormed his way into my very young and innocent life in order to steal, kill, or destroy my life. But God had other plans.

Over the next 41 years of my life, I would have honest, gut-wrenching conversations with God that would always lead to the Holy Spirit revealing things to me either about my life, the condition of my heart, or other people and what they were going through. Why would God do this? Simply because I asked Him. Then, I would wait and listen. Asking God questions is the easy part, but the waiting and listening is the hard part. As a matter of fact, it is probably one of the hardest things to do in our walk with God. I think most of you reading this article would agree. We find it difficult and almost impossible to wait because we live in an instant society. We are told we can have what we want when we want it, all for the low monthly payment of [insert price]. You know what I’m talking about. And we buy into those lies without even knowing that we are. We think it is our life and we are living it the way we want to; but all along the enemy has deceived us into believing we are independent and we need no one when in reality he is making us more dependent on him because we’ve believed his lies.


The thing about deception is that when you are deceived you don’t know it. The sad part is when we realize we have been deceived and we continue living the lie. You might ask, “Why would anyone do that?” Mainly because they have gotten comfortable living the lie, and it’s easier to continue in that “liestyle” and mindset than to change. The truth of it is that we don’t have the power to change ourselves, most of all our own heart. Yes, yes, and yes! I know that goes against all the modern, popular, contemporary, university, college, humanistic, and/or woke way of thinking.

Yes, we can make adjustments to our attitudes and our way of thinking. We can physically work out, study more, read more, etc. But, at the end of the day we don’t have the ability to change ourselves or our hearts unless the one who created us does it. 


The prophet Jeremiah, speaking for God, said this: “The heart is hopelessly dark and deceitful, a puzzle that no one can figure out. But I, God, search the heart and examine the mind. I get to the heart of the human. I get to the root of things. I treat them as they really are, not as they pretend to be.” (Message Bible) That was well over 3000 years ago. Many times, while Jesus was ministering to people in the houses of worship or on the street, the religious people would give Him a hard time and try to catch Him in His words so that they could have some kind of ammunition to shut Him up. Matthew, one of Jesus’ original disciples, said in his writings, “… Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, ‘Why do you think evil in your hearts?’” Well, not much has changed with humanity, has it? I know that is a little dark, nevertheless, there is hope, more than a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. Actually, Jesus is the Light at the end of the tunnel. He is the one who can change us from the inside out. He is the one who knows you better than you know yourself. He created us and knows us. Since He does, could He not change us?


The thing is that God gave us the power of choice. He didn’t want robots or mindless drones serving Him. No, He desires a relationship with us. He wants to be with us, and He wants us to want to be with Him. Part of that is learning to depend on Him in every situation in life: in the good times, in the “okay” times, and in the bad times. We are quick to run to God in the difficult times of our lives, but when things are going well we have a tendency not to “bother” Him. We have a tendency to think He is too busy taking care of other issues much more important than our little, insignificant, and petty life. But, let us get a little bad news or go through hard times, and we are calling out to God in a heartbeat and wondering why He hasn’t answered in the first 30 seconds after we called out to Him.


That’s not trust or dependence, that’s a spoiled child mentality. 


Have you ever thought that maybe the same God that is the God on the mountain top is the same God in the valley as well? Trust is not some selfish, you-have-to-live-up-to-my-expectations way of thinking. Trust is developed by trial and error, by going through the good and the bad. The only way you can do that is to have a relationship with God. Relationship is spelled T-I-M-E! You gotta spend time with Him. You also have to be honest with yourself. You can’t be dishonest with God. He already knows. You can try, but you will not succeed. The person you have to be honest with is yourself. Ask the hard questions and then position yourself to hear the somewhat difficult and sometimes harsh answers. Difficult and harsh answers are not to be shied away from. They will make us stronger. All this is predicated on you having settled in your heart that you are absolutely certain that God loves you, and He has your best interest at heart. God has your best interest at heart, so you don’t have to.


Being “In-Dependent” on God is not a sign of weakness but a sign of strength and humility. You usually don’t see humility and strength in the same sentence. Most societies, especially the American society, see humility as a show of feebleness and something to avoid. However, in the Kingdom Culture, what is weak is strong. To have life, you give life. To be forgiven, you forgive. And so forth and so on. You get the picture. The Kingdom Culture is a paradoxical culture. In order for you to be a completely independent person who has the ability to be a man or woman of strength and humility, you have to become completely and totally dependent on God. Does God need us? Nope. He wants us. Big difference. Do you need God? Yes. Do you want God? Depends? Hmmm!


Ask the hard questions, and then wait for God to speak. In His time, not yours. It might not be what you plan, but I am sure that God has other plans that will always be for your best. Be “In-Dependent.” 

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