“With what shall I come before the Lord and bow down before the exalted God? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousand rivers of oil? Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” -Micah 6:6-8
Right now in my life, God is answering my prayers for Him to teach me to depend on Him. He also recently answered my prayers for Him to teach me to be content in any situation. He’s helped me learn how to become content, and now He’s helping me learn to stay content by depending on Him.
A big part of the learning process for me involves asking questions. The following is something I wrote to myself one night to sort out the questions. I want to share it now just in case anyone else can relate to the questions or the ideas that follow them.
What is dependence on God?
It is questions that can’t be answered. Because if they were, it would mean we could accomplish them on our own.
It means not knowing what the plan is for tomorrow or the next day or your whole life. It means change and discomfort. It means letting go of yourself whenever you’re not exactly sure of yourself and instead exchanging your insecurity for complete confidence in God.
For me right now, dependence is not knowing exactly what instructions I should let govern my behavior or decision making. I don’t have a rulebook or instruction manual. I have the Holy Spirit inside me and I never know what exactly is going on. I live in confusion, but confidence. Confidence that someone else, someone perfect, is in control. This confidence means I don’t worry. I don’t dip into despair at the weight of individual, local or global problems. I still feel compassion and rage, but I don’t feel the weight on my own shoulders. I hope rather than despair. And I don’t even have this confidence 100% of the time, I lose my way frequently, but I know that if I draw near, He will bring me back. I don’t seek to get lost, but when I do, I know I can always go back to Him.
So who am I supposed to be in this world? If I’m depending on God, what actions do I take? What qualities do I cultivate and which ones do I trash? I cultivate the qualities of Himself that he has shown me and try to reflect them to others. He has shown me that he is faithful. Therefore, I want to be faithful. I want the people I have relationships to know that I will always be running towards them, no matter how they change or what choices they make. This means I seek to cultivate qualities that lead me to being consistent, strong, willing to risk rejection, full of compassion, available and kind. In terms of Micah 6:8, it means I seek to love mercy.
He has shown me through His Son to love Him and love others, so that I would do to them what I wish they would do to me. This is justice. To treat people like you want to be treated. This applies to the people I disagree with, that I don’t fit in with, who share a different worldview than me. This applies to people who are defenseless and powerless. This applies to the people that I love and that love me and who I take for granted. This applies to the difficult people in my life currently and those that will be there in the future. This applies to all my neighbors. I have trouble with this. I have trouble understanding that God loves me so much that I don’t need acceptance from anyone else. I have trouble practicing the idea that I don’t have to put down someone else’s view in order to establish my own. Please God, help me live justly.
And for the final piece of Micah 6:8—to walk humbly with my God. Total dependence on God. Scary. Frightening. Peaceful. Somber joy. Mourning at the sight of myself, rejoicing in the presence of His salvation and love. Incredible. Always seeking Him for where to go, what to do, what to say. Always praying. Never being arrogant because I’m not confident in myself. Humble because I am submitting to Him always. Humility that blocks out my self, my impulses, my distractions, my vices. Humility that makes myself vulnerable and not in control of anything ever. Humility that says, I’m sorry for all those times I thought I had all the answers. I’m sorry for ignoring you. I’m sorry for not seeking you. I’m sorry for letting others make up my mind for me. I’m sorry for hurting you and hurting others. This humility must be lived. Lived through meekness. Lived through devotion. Lived through seeking, quiet seeking, stilling my soul so I can listen. It must be lived through feeling. Feeling vulnerable. It must be lived through decisions. Deciding on trust. It must be lived through worship and awe. It must be lived through equanimity, unshakeable peace and trust. Unshakeable because there is no self-constructed image or lie that could be shook, just honest acceptance of who I am and that God can use me even though I am not perfect. It must be lived through the courage of letting Him lead and work through me in ways I think are outside of my ability or comfort zone. It must be lived through deep friendship with God, full of layers of depth and understanding of each other.
The more I learn about God, the more I know who He wants me to be in the world. And maybe He has a different relationship with each of us. Maybe He shows different parts of Himself to each of us at different times, hoping that we will reflect them in the world. And with everyone having a different reflection of God, they work together in unity to carry on Christ’s work of restoring creation. Restoring what is beautiful, what God saw on the 1st, 2nd…6th days of creation and said “It is Good.”. Then we will rest with God.