The Lord stood at my side and gave me strength” 2 Timothy 4:17
We now come to a great paradox in understanding the will of God. We are to train ourselves but not focus on ourselves. We are to train to be strong but rely on God to strengthen us. We are to train ourselves to be courageous and take a stand but do so in total surrender and humility to God’s will. This training of self is so we can stand alone in true faith but in actuality we never are alone because God is our ever-present Father, Jesus is our Friend who never leaves our side and the Holy Spirit indwells us. Even the church stands with us. Even the dead in the Lord, “being dead, still speaks” Hebrews 11:4.
“We are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses” who cheer us from the heavenly grandstands according to Hebrews 12:1. So, in training, we acknowledge that individual, personal training builds character, but too much independence will produce pride. So, we seek for a “Godly Dependence.”
SOME GODLY EXAMPLES
- Abraham – the father of the faithful, Romans 4
- David – a man after God’s own heart, Psalm 51
- Daniel – the man of prayer and commitment, Daniel 6
- The Ethiopian – a seeker willing to learn, Acts 8
- The Bereans – noble searchers for truth, Acts 17
- Apostle Paul – found strength in weakness, 2 Corinthians 12
BENEFITS OF DEPENDENCE
- God has the greatest A____________________________________. Philippians 4:13; Colossians 1:11; Ephesians 1:19-20
- It is a guard against B_____________________________________. Jeremiah 10:23; Proverbs 3:5-6
- It is the key to C___________________________________________. 2 Peter 1:3-8
FIVE STEPS TO TRAIN YOURSELF TO DEPEND UPON GOD
- It starts with your acknowledgment of D________________________________________________. 1 Timothy 1:12-17; 1 Corinthians 15:9-10
- Lean heavily on the “connector” of E___________________________________. Ephesians 3:14-20
- A mark of maturity is when you learn to F________________ and G______________________ on your own. Hebrews 5:11-14
- Understand these five differences:
- The difference of knowing H________________ Christ and knowing Christ I___________________________.
- The difference of seeing Christianity as a J_________________ versus a K_____________________________.
- The difference between the L____________________ of the Law and the M________________ of the Law.
- The difference between breaking God’s N ________________ and breaking God’s O__________________.
- The difference of obeying God’s commands out of P_________________ versus Q_____________________.
- And finally, remember to always draw R_____________ to God & God will draw S______________ to you. James 4:6-8
QUESTIONS & EXERCISES
For Daily Devotionals or Bible Study Group
For this week, focus on the following Bible characters. How did they exhibit a “godly dependency” in their lives? What indications are there of them training themselves? What can you learn from their pursuit and practice of godliness?
- Abraham – the father of the faithful – Romans 4
- David – a man after God’s own heart – Psalm 51
- Daniel – the man of prayer and commitment – Daniel 6
- The Ethiopian – a seeker willing to learn – Acts 8
- The Apostle Paul – found strength in his weaknesses – 2 Corinthians 12