From the very beginning, back before the Fall, ours was meant to be a desperately dependent existence. It’s like a tree and its branches, explains Jesus. You are the branches, I am the trunk. From me you draw your life; that’s how it was meant to be. In fact, He goes on to say, “Apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). He’s not berating us or mocking us or even saying it with a sigh, all the while thinking, I wish they’d pull it together and stop needing me so much, Not at all. We were made to depend on God; we are made for union with Him, and nothing about us works right without it. As C. S. Lewis wrote, “A car is made to run on gasoline, and it would not run properly on anything else. Now God designed the human machine to run on Himself. He himself is the fuel our spirits were designed to burn, or the food our spirits were designed to feed on. There is no other.”
This is where our sin and our culture have come together to keep us in bondage and brokenness, to prevent the healing of our wounds. Our sin is that stubborn part inside that wants, above all else, to be independent. There’s a part of us fiercely committed to living in a way where we do not have to depend on anyone—especially God, Then culture comes along with figures with one thing in common, that they are loners, they don’t need anyone. We come to believe deep in our hearts that needing anyone for anything is a sort of weakness, a handicap. That is why a man never, ever stops to ask for directions. They know how to get there, they’ll find their own way, thank you very much. Only when they are fully and final-ly and completely lost will they pull over and get some help, and they’ll feel like a wimp for doing it.
Jesus knew nothing of that. The man who never flinched to take on hypocrites and get in their face, the One who drove “a hundred men wi’ a bundle o’ cords swung free,” the Master of wind and sea, lived in a desperate dependence on His Father. “I’ll assure you, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what He sees the Father doing”; I live by the power of the living Father who sent me”; “The words I say are not my own, but my Father who lives in me does his work through me.” This isn’t a source of embarrassment to Christ; quite the opposite. He brags about His relationship with His Father. He’s happy to tell anyone who will listen, “The Father and I are one” (John 5:19; 6:57; 14:10; 10:30).
Why is this so important? Because so many people I know live with a deep misunderstanding of Christianity. They look at it as a ‘second chance’ to get their act together. They’ve been forgiven, now they see it as their job to get with the program. The true essence of strength is passed to us from God through our union with Him. Notice what a deep and vital part of King David’s life this is. Remembering that David is a man’s man, a warrior for sure, listen to how de describes his relationship to God in the Psalms.
I love you, O Lord, my strength. (18:1)
But you, O Lord, be not far off; O my strength, come quickly to help me. (22:19)
O my Strength, I watch for you; you, O God, are my fortress, my loving God. (59:9-10)
David is unashamed to admit his desperate dependence on God. How about you? What do you think?
Thoughts from reading “Healing the Wound” by John Eldredge (Wild at Heart: Discovering the Secret of a Man’s Soul) Ken Darnell