July 4th in the United States is Independence Day — a time when Americans celebrate words like independence, liberty, and freedom. We as humans often pride ourselves on our independence and self-sufficiency. We admire the idea of the “self-made man.” We often equate independence with freedom, but Jesus taught us something very different.
Jesus said in John 8:31-31 “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free”
Two things to note in this scripture.
True freedom comes not from independence, but utter dependence on God. Jesus says “If you abide in My word.” Abiding is not a one-time act. It is a continual choice made to stay with Him.
Truth will set you free. Truth is not a concept. It is a person. Jesus said I am the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6). Through abiding dependence on Him, we will know Him who is truth, and He/Truth will set us free.
Jesus is our model. No one who has walked the earth has experience more freedom than He did. And yet He was not independent. He spoke often of how utterly dependence He was on His Father. He said He could do nothing by Himself, but could only do what He sees His Father doing (John 5:19). Complete and utter dependence.
It is human nature to try to do things on our own. It is a story as old as the garden of Eden. We try to fix things we weren’t meant to fix. We carry burdens we weren’t meant to carry. We sometimes do it without even realizing we are. What freedom we could experience if we would let go of it all and say like Jesus “I can do nothing by myself”.
Jesus wants us to celebrate Dependence Day so that we may enter into His rest and freedom.
For whatever you may be facing declare this declaration of dependence.
Jesus, I want to lean into You and trust You with everything in my life. Forgive me for the ways I have tried to do it on my own. I acknowledge my total dependence on You. For whatever I am facing I am choosing to declare my dependence on You and You alone.
God is sovereign. All authority, all power is His. Matthew 28:18.
Nothing takes Him by surprise. All circumstances are His servants. He knows the end from the beginning. Psalm 119:91, Isaiah 46:9-10.
The one who spared not His own Son will freely give us all His best things. Romans 8:31-32.
God’s lovingkindness never ceases. His compassions never fail. They are new every morning. His faithfulness is great. Lamentations 3:22–23.
God is able to supply His abundant grace to us in this situation, so that in all things, at all times, we have all of His sufficient grace we need for encouragement and hope. 2 Corinthians 9:8.
We can know with certainty that He is able to guard what we have entrusted to Him. 2 Timothy 1:12.
God promises that He is our strength, our shield, our strong tower, our refuge, our hope, our joy, our peace, our everything, our all. Psalm 18:1–3, Colossians 3:11b.
God promises that He never leaves us nor forsakes us. He is with us, a very present help. Hebrews 13:5–6.
God never goes back on a promise. Joshua 21:45.
I choose to depend on You for everything today!
Introduction by Elizabeth Gunter © 2019, Declarations taken from For The Family, page 45 ©1994, Sylvia Gunter Click here to learn more and order.
An archive of past devotionals is available at our website.