Did you make any resolutions? I love making resolutions. They feel so fresh and clean and hopeful and anticipatory. Usually mine are something about bettering myself (don’t eat so many Oreos!) or bettering my family life (stop over-committing!).
This year as I set about making resolutions, I remembered a mentor of mine who once gave me a fresh definition of what it means to walk with Jesus. He said that to walk with Jesus is to be, simply, two things: yielded to and dependent on Him.
If what he says is true, and I definitely think he’s on to something, then why do I brag about and put so much emphasis on all the things I do for God rather on all of the ways He is remolding me to be a person who reflects Him more whole-heartedly – in surrendered dependence? Why am I riveted on all of the ways I’m a competent and qualified Christian all by myself, rather than all of the ways I’m a needy, homeless orphan without him?
David Benner, in his book The Gift of Being Yourself says,
Genuine Christian transformation “always involves encountering and embracing previously unwelcomed parts of self. Christian spirituality involves acknowledging all our part-selves, exposing them to God’s love and letting him weave them into the new person he is making.”
This year, instead of resolving to do more of some things, or to stop doing some things, let us resolve to let God make us become more and more of who He made us to be.
So, this year, I’m resolving to root around for the parts of my life that I have not yielded to Him. And when I find them, I’m loosening my grip and handing them over by faith. I’m opening my tight fists on every unyielded thing I can find, and giving them over to our God who orchestrates our every breath and directs our every step.
And, this year, I’m resolving to be on the lookout for the parts of my life for which I am not dependent on Him. And when I find them, I’m throwing myself down at His feet, letting all of my competencies and excuses crash with the fall, and I’m clinging desperately to Him, grateful just to be the object of His mercy. I’m resolving, prayerfully, to become less and less self-reliant, self-promoting, self-justifying, as I bring my self-dependence into the Light of God-dependence.
Cheers? Want to join me?
Here are a few self-reflection questions that have been helpful to me:
Yielding. On what in my life do I have a white-knuckled grip? What is God asking me to yield to Him? What things must I keep control over in my life? What would it look like in my heart, mind, and actions if I were to relinquish control to Him? How would my family, friends, communities change if I were to yield more of myself and my ‘rights’ and my ‘way’ to God?
Dependence. For what do I need to be more dependent on God?
Place an ‘x’ on the line to indicate where you’re at on each of these spectrums:
On who do you rely for finances: self————————–God
On who do you rely for your perception of security: self————————–God
On who do you rely for reputation maintenance: self————————–God
On who do you rely for patience and strength to get through difficult circumstances and long days at work / home: self————————–God
On who do you rely for your personal spiritual development: self————————–God
Cheers to us all as we set out on the inward journey toward yielded dependence!