Bumper sticker theology...I've mentioned it a lot. The above are just a few examples of what I mean. We have these little motivational sayings we love to quote to each other when times get tough. "When the going gets tough the tough get going!" I know you know what I mean. I had breakfast yesterday with a very special friend who has been through the wringer, and we talked about this very thing. People try to encourage by saying things like, "God obviously knows how strong you are or He wouldn't give you so much to handle!" I'm calling Bologna with a capital B on that one!! No where is that philosophy found in Scripture!! Here's another favorite..."God doesn't give you more than you can handle." People!!! Show me where it says that!! It is bumper sticker theology and NOT truth!!!
What God taught me through Marty's sickness and death and again through nursing school is...
"Tap out...and I will be your strength
Tap out...and I will be enough for you
Tap out...and see what I will do!"
That my friends is good theology and based on Biblical truth! God is not interested in seeing MY strength on display, He wants to show off HIS strength used in and through me. Big difference!
So what do I mean by "independently dependent"? God does not want me dependent on myself, anyone or anything else. Yes, we are not to live this life alone. We are taught the importance of other people, the importance of fellowship, God said it was not good for Adam to be alone. However the Bible does not speak of having dependence on others. In that way we are told to be independent. If you have lost someone significant, someone you depended on...you know what I mean. When they are gone you realize just how much you relied on them...their strength, their encouragement, their presence. God on the other hand wants us to realize just how dependent on Him we are. Have everything taken from you and you understand, one can forge ahead knowing God is there. Carry an unbelievable heavy load..find yourself tapping out only to be refreshed and able to go on. That is God! That is being dependent on God's strength. People look at me and say "wow you are so strong...you are amazing" And I say...NOPE! I tapped out!!
Remember God's truth is often very opposite of what the world is trying to tell us!! It is NOT my strength that has gotten me through the illness and death of my husband. NOT my strength that has raised four kids on my own. NOT my strength that has worked full time and gone through full time nursing school. I tapped out!!! I am smart enough at this point to know when my load is too heavy...
Check this out...from Psalm 18:6-19
"In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help."
"He parted the heavens and came down...
He reached down from on high and took hold of me; He drew me out of deep waters.
He rescued me...He brought me out into a spacious place."David, a powerful, strong warrior wrote this. How many of those sentences started with "I"?? David was a smart man! He understood, REAL strength does not come from within...it does NOT come from a bumper sticker...it does not come from a pep talk on MY ability. It comes from tapping out and being dependent on God.
"With YOUR help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall." vs. 29Read the Psalm for yourself and see. David was admired for his strength and ability in battle. But David knew where his strength came from.
"His (God's) pleasure is NOT in the strength of the horse, nor His delight in the legs of a warrior; the Lord delights in those who fear Him, who put their hope in His unfailing love." Psalm 147:10-11Get it? God doesn't care how strong you are physically or mentally!! His desire is that you can recognize your dependence on Him and Him alone.