Men want to control their lives – it’s our training and our nature. We are raised to be independent. Most men are taught to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps. “Be a Man! Life is what you make of it!” we’re told. We are taught early-on that we can author our own destiny; we can be the captain of our soul, the master of our own fate – flawed teaching.
Men want to control their own lives. To “be a man”. Even if we were not taught to seek independence, which most of us were, our own human nature gravitates in that direction. We want the freedom to chart our own course. We want the power to shape the events of our lives. These are the hallmarks of our desire to be independent. But, too often in our effort to be self-reliant, we move away from God and go our own independent way.
There is a marked difference between taking responsibility for our lives and trying to live independently from God. We are to take responsibility for our lives – no one will go to work in our place, no one will pay our bills on our behalf. The difference is this: Responsibility fully recognizes our part and God’s part. Our part is to trust God and faithfully fulfill our duties. God’s part is to provide for all of our needs and well-being. Independence rebels against the influence of God, thinking it can meet its own needs.
The independent man thinks, “I want to do what I want to do, when I want to do it, wherever I want to do it, with whomever I want to do it. I want to be in control. I want to satisfy my ambitions. I don’t want to be dependent on anyone. People let me down. God will let me down. I can make it on my own. If I can be independent, then I can be in control of my own life, I will have the power, whether through money or influence, to get my own way; I will have the freedom to come and go as I please.”
The opposite of desiring to be independent from God is to trust Him. Hear what the Prophet Jeremiah tells us about trusting Him: “But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they go right on producing delicious fruit. (Jeremiah 17:7-8 ‘New Living Translation’)
Be blessed Brethren, as we live responsible, yet dependent upon Him, lives.
Pastor J. Amos Jones