Summary: Eleven ways the Holy Spirit helps us put away our false dependencies.
Laying Aside False Dependencies (I Cor 2:2-14)
Illustration: Speechwriter Peggy Noonan, in her book Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, noted that appearances can be deceiving. "People never look like what they are," Noonan wrote. Of one unscrupulous businessman she commented that if we could see him as he really is, "He’d be sitting there at the dinner party with a dagger in his teeth." To all outward appearances he was an upstanding citizen, yet he was a hypocrite to the core.
Jesus called the religious leaders of His day "hypocrites" (Mt. 23:13-15). He meant that they were actors. In ancient theaters, each actor played several parts. To change identities, he would simply wear a different mask. Those religious leaders were changing masks. They were putting on a performance to win the applause of the community, but they didn’t care what they were like deep inside.
Jesus instructed us not to be like the hypocrites, who perform their religious "duties" to be seen by others (Mt. 6:1-6). He said, "When you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing" (v.3).
God isn’t impressed by the masks we wear to get approval. Instead, He reserves His applause for those who worship Him and give themselves in love to others. (Our Daily Bread)
Oh, how we fear to drop our masks!
We know so well what lies within;
Yet Christ could use our lives to bless
If we would first be cleansed from sin. --Fasick
A false life never goes with a true faith.
1. The Holy Spirit convicts us of any form of dependency other than Jesus Christ. Jesus said to the Pharisees, "You hypocrites; as it is written: ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men. You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men." (Mark 7:6-8) Ask the Lord to help you remove any dependence on rules, regulations or traditions that hinder your allegiance to Jesus Christ.
Illustration: John Hiebert, a former bank-robber, became a Christian when he heard a bouncy tune coming from a tent-meeting in Oklahoma. The friend, He called Jesus transformed his life. He became a missionary with SIM and started a Bible school, Zabolo, in Nigeria that has trained thousands of Pastors, teachers and evangelists for fifty years. His life challenges me more than any missionary I have ever known in Africa. His life motivated me to do the same for nearly twenty years in Nigeria where the words of His favorite song became my theme song as well. Here are the words to that song:
I have found a friend in Jesus, He’s everything to me,
He’s the fairest of ten thousand to my soul;
The Lily of the Valley, in Him alone I see
All I need to cleanse and make me fully whole.
In sorrow He’s my comfort, in trouble He’s my stay;
He tells me every care on Him to roll.
He’s the Lily of the Valley, the Bright and Morning Star,
He’s the fairest of ten thousand to my soul.
He all my grief has taken, and all my sorrows borne;