Summary: Are you independent or in dependent of God? Find out what an in dependent person does?
We celebrated Independence Day this week. Today I want to encourage you to celebrate you dependence on God. ARE YOU LIVING IN DEPENDENCE? Last week we talked about how God’s love transcended everything to reach this man. Before the day is over, I would like for us to truly understand just how equipped, just how transformed, just how in dependent on God this man had become. And then I would like for all of us to apply those same principles to our life style! READ/PRAY/MISSION.
To be fully equipped, to be fully transformed, one must receive and be in dependence upon God and His spoken word.
I. An in dependent person prayerfully pursues God. (18)
“And when He got into the boat, he who had been demon-possessed begged Him that he might be with Him.”
This man remembered what it was like to be who he was. He realized that he wanted to change, and needed to change but he just couldn’t change. Out of no where Jesus appeared and healed him. He didn’t understand it, but one thing he did understand was that he wanted to spend more time with Jesus. Therefore we see him begging Jesus. Picture him crying out to Christ. Crying out, “Oh, Lord, I long for nothing else than to be with you. I have a great desire to follow you. Bless me that I might be able just to ride in the same boat that you ride. Bless me in that I might be able to follow along and be a part of this group.”
Those of us who have been healed by Christ remember what it was like before Christ. Tell story of Mary in Luke 7. Jesus has something to teach us (vs 40). 47“Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.” How much we have been forgiven is an indicator of the love we have for God. His love motivates us to pursue Him more. And in our pursuit, we long to be obedient because we have tasted of His love and forgiveness. Jesus even said if you love me you will obey me. Had this man been forgiven a little or a lot? Do you think he loved a little or a lot? Because of his desire, he prayed to Christ. In our longing to be obedient, we pray more.
Prayer is a unique thing. It is sort of like our checkbook. Our checkbook (show checkbook) tells us in detail where our treasure is, therefore where our heart is. Our prayer journal tells us where our trust is. We seldom pray about what we can control. Our prayer life is always on the things out of our control. Therefore the only things in our lives that we are relying on God for are the things for which we are praying. Did that sentence cause your heart to skip? In a way, I hope so. I hope that we see the significance of prayer. You can’t say that you are dependent on God in everything and then live independently. To be dependent you must pray. Praying to God is our way of showing dependence!
Notice how this man approached Christ. The word begged is the key to it all. He didn’t approach Him arrogantly. He didn’t approach Him as if Jesus owed him anything. The man approached Christ humbly, and begged Him. We can be humble and still come boldly, confidently, before the throne of grace. The verse, “ ask and you shall receive” comes to mind. To beg infers to ask. That verse is better translated to ask and keep on asking. So picture this man begging, and begging, and begging! Why is that what God wants? First, it takes a humble person to ask, but you are really humble to keep on asking! Second, it takes a diligent person to keep on asking. I believe that when we see who we are, and what we are lacking it causes one of two responses. Either pride, and a hard heart; or humility and a diligent prayerful pursuit of the One who has changed things and can continue to change them! When we recognize who we are, we are more likely to respond in the appropriate fashion!
II. An in dependent person longingly listens to God. (19)
There were two young boys that approached their hero. In awe of this gigantic person they asked him as they received his autograph, “what can we do to become a Major League Player?” His response was to play catch everyday. And so they did, all the way through high school. Here’s the point. They met their hero, but they didn’t just listen to him. They hung on every word. They memorized his body movements; they mimicked his behavior patterns. But most of all, they trusted that what he said was correct, and they obeyed!