“Autonomy vainly searches for independence, but humility faithfully depends on God’s sustaining power.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – August 4, 2021
But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit. Jeremiah 17:8
Years ago I attended a July leadership retreat at Lake Tahoe. The cool mornings and mild days were a nice relief from humid Atlanta, Georgia. I picked up a brochure describing the statistics of Tahoe’s massive expanse: 39 trillion gallons of water, average depth 1,000 feet, 72 miles of shoreline and 99.9% pure glacier run off into this ancient crater. Stunningly, if you could pour all the water in Tahoe over the state of California it would be covered in 14 inches of water. God graciously spoke to my heart, “Boyd, focus on the depth of our relationship and I will take care of the breadth of the ministry.” Deep spiritual roots create a sustainable dependence on God.
The prophet Jeremiah gives us a picture of a tree planted next to an ever flowing stream of water. Its root system gradually digs deep into the moist soil. It never lacks liquid nourishment for the green leaves high above the ground. God’s spokesperson says those whose confidence is in the Lord is like one who stays planted beside His living water. Daily doses of Jesus grow us in grace. A life that always lingers near the source of life is sustained by the Spirit. The winds of adversity only cause us to bow down to Christ in praise. Faithfulness bears fruit even in heated situations.
“Remain in me [Christ], as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me” (John 15:4).
Our need for autonomy can be an enemy to our dependence on God. Jesus is not an add on to a full and balanced life—He is our life. It dishonors our Savior to use Him as a last resort only after we have exhausted ourselves and our resources. In contrast, when our confidence is in Christ our default is to depend on Him. Like a healthy tree’s roots automatically reach beyond itself for sustenance, so we who trust in the Lord—as a matter of course—cling to Christ for our spiritual sustenance. Autonomy thinks it sustains itself, dependency knows it is sustained by God.
Therefore, make sure the roots of your trust flow deeply in dependence on your Savior Jesus. Burst out of your cocoon of false security and fly by faith like a beautiful butterfly on a mission. Seek first God’s kingdom—not striving to build your own kingdom. Pray for bigger ways to give and avoid building bigger barns to stockpile stuff. Perhaps you downsize so you can upsize for the Lord. Faith rooted in Jesus remains fruitful—growing the green leaves of God’s grace, even during a spiritual drought. Autonomy fears loss—dependency rests in God’s peace and love.
“Whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers” (Psalm 1:2-3).
Heavenly Father, deepen my roots of faith in dependence on You and Your loving grace.
We Are Messengers – Come What May
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