The Dependency of Faith

“…Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.” 

Matthew 18:3


In Matthew 18:3, the Greek word for little children is literally a nursing infant. A nursing baby is dependent upon its mother for milk as well has for its care. This is an accurate description of our faith relationship with God – one of dependency and trust. 


If we believe in God, but are not relying upon Him, we are not in faith. To illustrate the difference between believing and relying, imagine a chair in your home. You can believe that your chair is well built and capable of holding you; however, you go beyond believing and into dependency when you actually do the act of standing on that chair.


In the second chapter of the book of James, the writer addresses faith and the difference between believing and depending on God. James says that real faith will do more than believe; real faith will act in reliance upon God. Believing in God does not make you a Christian, dependency does. James says in verse 19 that demons believe that God is real, so believing in God is not enough to be in faith, dependency is. 


To place us in a position of dependency upon God, it requires a complete surrender of our lives to His care. To surrender our lives to Him, we have to trust Him. To trust Him, we have to know Him and believe in Him – His character, His ability, and His promises. When we are relying upon God in faith, we will go to Him directly for what He has for us and act on what He wants us to do. 


What are some things that might keep a person from surrendering to God? Well, if a person has been hurt in the past, he or she might be guarded for fear of being hurt again. If someone has done something that they are ashamed of, they might be hiding that from God. Others struggle with trying to make themselves good enough for God, holding back from Him because they feel unacceptable. However, when we realize that we can trust the Lord, surrender is sweet, filled with joy and peace. 


Application: Everyday is a brand new day to trust God with our lives. Right now is another opportunity to surrender our lives to Him for what this day holds, letting go of any fear, pride, guilt or shame in exchange for experiencing freedom and wholeness.

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