Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: The Holy Spirit reveals insights to those who consistently lay aside all of our their false dependencies.

Letting Go Our Human Dependencies


God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him.

Andrew Murray.

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: Trust Him when dark doubts assail thee,

Trust Him when thy strength is small,

Trust Him when to simply trust Him

Seems the hardest thing of all.

Trust Him, He is ever faithful,

Trust Him, for his will is best,

Trust Him, for the heart of Jesus

Is the only place of rest.

Source Unknown.

2. The Holy Spirit exposes any reliance on culture as an excuse for yielding all our rights to God. When Jesus healed the blind man, the Pharisees asked him how he received his sight. Some of the Pharisees said, "This man (Jesus) is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath. But others asked, ‘How can a sinner do such miraculous signs? So they were divided." (John 9:16,17) Ask the Lord to help you be willing to put aside your cultural assumptions to allow the Lord to open your eyes for ALL He wants you to see, believe and accomplish in His name.

Illustration: Bruce Larson tells how he helped people struggling to surrender their lives to Christ:

For many years I worked in New York City and counseled at my office any number of people who were wrestling with this yes-or-no decision. Often I would suggest they walk with me from my office down to the RCA Building on Fifth Avenue. In the entrance of that building is a gigantic statue of Atlas, a beautifully proportioned man who, with all his muscles straining, is holding the world upon his shoulders. There he is, the most powerfully built man in the world, and he can barely stand up under this burden. ’Now that’s one way to live,’ I would point out to my companion, ’trying to carry the world on your shoulders. But now come across the street with me.’

"On the other side of Fifth Avenue is Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, and there behind the high altar is a little shrine of the boy Jesus, perhaps eight or nine years old, and with no effort he is holding the world in one hand. My point was illustrated graphically.

"We have a choice. We can carry the world on our shoulders, or we can say, ’I give up, Lord; here’s my life. I give you my world, the whole world.’"

Bruce Larson, Believe and Belong.

3. The Holy Spirit leads you to put aside the mask of power, position or pride in order to humble yourself under the mighty hand of God. Resist the temptation to use your power, position or pride to manipulate people for your own advantage. Peter wrote, "Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time." (I Pet. 5:6) Ask the Lord to help you put aside your dependence on your power, position or pride enabling you to humbly trust the Lord to promote you in the best ways.

Illustration: Golf immortal Arnold Palmer recalls a lesson about overconfidence:

It was the final hole of the 1961 Masters tournament, and I had a one-stroke lead and had just hit a very satisfying tee shot. I felt I was in pretty good shape. As I approached my ball, I saw an old friend standing at the edge of the gallery. He motioned me over, stuck out his hand and said, Congratulations." I took his hand and shook it, but as soon as I did, I knew I had lost my focus. On my next two shots, I hit the ball into a sand trap, then put it over the edge of the green. I missed a putt and lost the Masters. You don’t forget a mistake like that; you just learnfrom it and become determined that you will never do that again. I haven’t in the 30 years since.

Carol Mann, The 19th Hold, Longmeadow.

4. The Holy Spirit chastens us when we try to hide behind the mask of super spirituality. Jesus said to the Pharisees, "You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts. What is highly valued among men is detestable in God’s sight." (Luke 16:15) Ask the Lord to teach you how to be more responsive to the chastening of the Lord when you drift into a defensive Pharisaical spirituality.

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