Depending on God

Derek Prince Ministries
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Derek Prince Ministries

Independence Day, or the Fourth of July, is probably the biggest holiday in the United States. It marks the birth of the nation in 1776, and celebrates its freedom from being subject to the monarch of Britain. However, the quest for independence and freedom is not limited to the people of America. It characterizes all humanity – including you and me today.

When Ruth Prince was admitted to hospital for surgery, in 1990, advice was given to her by a senior nurse. The advice was: “Pray to desire three things: not to be esteemed, not to be secure and not to be in control.”

Derek Prince later commented,

“When I hear those, I shudder and think, not to be esteemed? That doesn’t really matter much to me at this stage in my life. But, not to be secure and then not to be in control? How could I pray that prayer! But you see what it is? It’s just a way of dealing with our basic problem, which is independence.”

Below is an excerpt of Derek's study, The Delusion of Independence, in which he shares deep, Biblical insights on our deep, inner desire to be independent of God.

What was the undetected snare to which Adam and Eve fell prey? It was the motive—unstated, but implied—the promise of independence. Once you know good and evil, you will be free to make your own decisions. You will no longer be dependent on God.

This self-asserting desire for independence has been transmitted by inheritance to the whole human race that is descended from Adam and Eve. It is the distinctive mark of the “old Adam”—the fallen sinful nature that lurks in each of us.

Different Routes to Independence

Historically, there have been various routes that humanity has followed in seeking independence from God. The first is knowledge. It was a critical moment in history, when Adam and Even in the Garden of Eden turned away from the tree of life and chose the tree of knowledge. Ever since, the attainment of knowledge has been one main goal of humanity. This explosion of science has not, however, solved humanity’s most basic problems: injustice, cruelty, war, poverty, disease. In fact, in some ways it has increased them.

“Pray to desire three things: not to be esteemed, not to be secure and not to be in control.”

A second route which humanity has followed in seeking to achieve independence of God is at first surprising. It is religion. In various forms, men have established religious rules and systems of worship so complete and all-sufficient that there is no further need of God. All they have to do is to keep their rules.

Yet another way that man seeks to achieve independence from God is by amassing large amounts of money and material possessions.

Trials on your journey

Sometimes it may take a crisis—or even a seeming disaster—to bring us to the place where we fully acknowledge our dependence on God. I think of Paul’s journey to Rome, described in Acts 27. God had a special plan for Paul to go to Rome, the capital of the Roman Empire.

Yet Paul traveled as a prisoner in chains. The ship he traveled on encountered a storm so terrific that for two weeks they never saw the sun by day or the stars by night. Finally, they were all shipwrecked on the rugged coast of Malta. There—to cap it all—Paul was bitten by a poisonous snake! If it was God’s will for Paul to go to Rome, why did he experience such extraordinary trials on his journey there?

As I pondered this, I recalled a phrase in Acts 27:20: “all hope was finally given up.” That was the purpose of Paul’s trials: to bring him to the place where all hope was given up. Now Paul had nothing left to hope in but God Himself. That was when he proved in experience that God is all-sufficient. He brings us to the place of total dependence upon Himself, to demonstrate that He is totally dependable.

Having come to this place of total dependence, Paul was ready for his ministry to the Christians in Rome. His journey there had prepared him. Emptied of all self-sufficiency, he was a yielded channel through which God’s blessings could flow to the Christians of Rome.

Learning the lesson of total dependence

Gradually—through the years—I have been learning this lesson of total dependence. I have to confess that I have been a slow learner. God has used different circumstances at different times to enforce the lesson. But I have discovered that the more completely I depend on God, the more He surprises me by the results that follow—results that I could never have achieved as long as I depended on my own effort.

“I have discovered that the more completely I depend on God, the more He surprises me by the results that follow”

Perhaps you, too, have been struggling in your own strength to gain a spiritual inheritance which you feel God has for you but somehow still eludes you. You would have to admit, “I never really laid down my independence. I have been religious, I have tried to do good, but I have always been in control of my own life. I’ve never let Jesus come in and make the decisions.” Here, then, is a prayer you may pray to surrender yourself without reservation to the Lord Jesus Christ.

'Lord Jesus, I believe that you truly are my Savior and that you have an inheritance for me. But I recognize that I have been relying on my own strength to enter into it. I repent! I lay down my independence and I submit myself without reservation to your Lordship. From now on I will depend on your all-sufficient grace. Amen.'"

Continue your journey by listening to ‘Waiting for God’ – A podcast by Derek Prince that will help you further develop your dependence on God.

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