July 21, 2020 Independence and Dependence (Psalm 5)

by JPSERRANO - Son-in-law of David Vernon

“But I, through the abundance of your steadfast love, will enter your house, I will bow down toward your holy temple in awe of you. Lead me, O Lord, in your righteousness.” (Psalm 5:7-8a, NRSV)

Dependence is a difficult thing to internalize because we are constantly pushed toward independence. For Americans independence seems to be the highest ideal. It is sung about in our national anthem, it is spoken of in national debates, and it is hailed on July 4.

From childhood we are rightly reared from dependence toward independence, but in adulthood dependence is seen as an arrested development.

Yet the Psalmist example shows us that dependence is the way of faithfulness. He cries out, “through the abundance of your steadfast love.” The Psalmist can act only because he is dependent on God as the originator of his action. He cries out, “Lead me, O Lord…” God acts first, and then continues to show the way. The way of faith is not independence but dependence that God will act first.

We are dependent from birth moving toward independence, but we are called to move back to dependence in faith.

The way of faith is to rely on God as the first actor in our lives. God is the one who gives us trust. It is only through God’s abundant love that we are able to enter God’s presence. We need God to lead which means we rely on God and not ourselves.

The maturing of faith is the move from independence to dependence. We must abandon ourselves in order for faith to take hold.  God is there to catch us when we give up our independence and depend solely on Jesus.

Ultimately, God empowers us through steadfast love and we receive that love through dependence.

Holy God, remind me of my dependence on you, my neighbor, and your creation.  Create the faith within me to put myself aside and trust in you. Amen.

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