July 4, 2019
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They keep it under glass that seals out any air getting to it. And when it's not on display, it's kept underground in a vault - actually a bomb proof vault. It's the most important document in the history of the United States. Yep, the Declaration of Independence.
The men who signed it on that hot July 4th in Philadelphia knew it was very important, but I wonder if they could have possibly conceived what a sacred piece of paper it would become to the nation that it birthed. Here were subjects of the English king, daring to declare their independence from their king. It changed their lives forever. It changed the world forever. And once a year, every Fourth of July, America stops to remember that Independence Day.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Dependence Day."
Now, for America's founding fathers, it was a Declaration of Independence from their king that changed everything. But for you, as a child of God, it's your "Declaration of Dependence" on your King that changes everything.
Now, when it comes to God running our lives, you know what? We've all declared our independence. Even if our theology compels us to officially say we trust God, we are, for the most part, "Sinatra-ites." Yeah, you know Frank Sinatra's signature song? I'll sing it for you. No, I won't. "I did it my way." Yeah, even for us Christians, that's often how we really live, I'll do it my way. We'll figure this out by ourselves, we'll find a way, we'll make it happen, we won't wait, we'll get it done now. We tend to depend on our plans, our schemes, our cleverness, our talent, our experience, our persuasiveness, our hard work, our connections. We'll count on our programs or our own strength.
That's why we need to declare our dependence daily! It's in our word for today from the Word of God, Jesus makes it very clear how anything that matters in our life really happens. In John 15:5, Jesus says, "I am the vine; you are the branches." In other words, the fruit of your life doesn't come from you, it comes from Jesus, through you, like the life of the vine comes through the branch.
Then He goes on to say, "If a man remains in Me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from Me, you can do nothing." Or nothing that matters, nothing eternal, nothing that really works over the long haul - nothing. He doesn't say, "Without Me, you can't do much." No, nothing! He says it all comes from Him.
So the size of your life depends on how big your dependency on God is, as opposed to cranking it out yourself. Joni Eareckson Tada once said that when she went to Africa, she was greeted by believers there who said, "Welcome to Africa, where our God is bigger. He is bigger because we need Him so much more!" Actually, we need Him every bit as much. We just have other things we can depend on. So our lives are smaller because our view of God is smaller, because we don't depend on Him desperately for each day's needs, each day's choices, each day's strength, and each day's answers.
You know what the language of dependency is? Prayer. You can pretty much tell how dependent you are on God by how often you feel the need to cry out to Him in prayer. There is so much more waiting for you if you'll only learn how powerful it is to recognize your powerlessness before God.
Look at the frequency and the fervency of your prayers in any given day, and you'll be able to tell how dependant you really are on Him. Each new morning, in the presence of Almighty God, you need to sign it again - your Declaration of Dependence on your King, because that signature will make all the difference.