1 John 5:14-15 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.
Over the course of life, I’ve often heard the phrase “I’m and independent thinker.” I thought that was the goal of everyone as they grew up into adulthood and matured. I think when people say that, they somehow mean that they don’t go with the flow but they go with what they personally think. My goal in raising my children was to teach them to learn to think for themselves and yet base the foundation of their thinking so that it flows with what God thinks. I wanted them to learn to make decisions for themselves as they grew older but tried to be a part of those decisions until they had enough knowledge, maturity, and experience to make them for themselves. Then I released them and worked to stay out of their decision making process because it was now their life, not mine. My goal from that point was to be the good friend whose ear they wanted to bend and ask what I thought. If I did and do share thoughts with them, I try to tread lightly so I don’t dominate their thoughts or decisions and push them away. This has helped each of them become a responsible adult that can make quality decisions independently of me – but not independent of God.
My life’s role feels significant to me. As a Pastor, I have many lives I influence and help in a great diversity of ways. I’m fairly confident that I’m seen as a strong leader. I know how to and do think independently, but also flow in unity and cooperation with those I work with to reach mutually desired goals and objectives. Working together with others doesn’t affect my independence. It creates a healthy interdependence. I work with many strong and capable leaders – each one independent thinkers focusing on their areas and people for what is best, but bringing all that into a larger big-picture plan so that we bring into harmony and effort, all of our thoughts and goals for the good of all we do as a team.
As much as anyone wants to be independent and as cool as it sounds to be so, it leads to a narcissistic attitude and way of life if you don’t’ realize how needy each of us are for help and mutual cooperation and compromise in order to do life. Learning to think independently and recognize that you are also needy is not a conflict.
I’m extremely needy! I am needy for God. I am needy for His love. I am needy for His assurance that He is with me and will help me. I am needy for His wisdom because my decisions affect many people and I want to make decisions that help and bless, not hinder and hurt. I was needy for God to help me know the best way to raise my children. I was needy for Him to help me figure out how to make an income that would pay for my children’s schooling, and braces, and a thousand pairs of shoes, and college, and weddings, and so much more. I was needy. I still am. I need His wisdom for every decision and of course the major decisions I am facing. I am also needy for good people in my life. I am needy for particularly gifted people to help me execute some things that lie ahead. I am needy for anointed words from the throne of God for those that need them today. My life doesn’t work without the love and help of others. I am needy!
All this causes me to realize my limitations and the Lordship of Jesus Christ in my life. He is God and I am His son and a son that needs His help. Because of the repeated assurance of His love and desire to help me, though I know I am needy, I also know He’ll help me and it helps me be more independent in the right ways.
Finally, I am awed that the God of this universe has made Himself so intimate and available always desiring me to bring every need to Him with assurance of His caring and help. I am awed at these words. Philip. 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. He gives me the permission slip to be needy and have faith in Him and then strengthens my faith and confidence by these amazing words of assurance. 1 John 5:14-15 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us–whatever we ask–we know that we have what we asked of Him. He said, “This is the confidence…” That is where the foundation of healthy independence comes from in my life. This is what sets up the revelation of being independent and needy is not a conflict. It’s life!
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2009 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.