Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Happy Dependence Day

In so many ways, I'm really very American. The whole spirit of independence and personal autonomy strikes right at the heart of what drives me so very often. And therein lies the rub.

Today while I was skimming Rose Marie Miller's book titled "From Fear to Freedom," I was so struck by the theme of this book and her personal testimony concerning the present value of the blood of Christ.

Of particular interest is her juxtaposition of living like a orphan vs. living like a daughter of God. This was a pervasive theme throughout the book, and in light of my recent issues, I thought it worthwhile sharing the especially instructive contrast that she gives at the end of the book.

From Appendix B on page 161:

Characteristics of an orphan -
  • Life consciously or unconsciously is centered on personal autonomy and moral will power, with grace understood as God's maintaining your own strength -- not as his transforming power.
  • Faith is defined as trying harder to do and be better, with a view to establishing a good record leading to self-justification.
  • Obedience is related to external, visible duties, with attitudes and deeper motivation virtually ignored.
  • "What people think" is represented as the real moral standard, based upon visible success and failure.
  • An I-am-a-victim attitude is supported by coping strategies: wall building, blame shifting, gossiping, and defending. All thisis accompanied by intense feelings of aloneness, believing that no one understands and that one is trapped by circumstances.

Characteristics of a daughter of God

  • Increasing assurance of God as Father through knowledge of the doctrine of the Cross.
  • Building a partnership with God, relying on the Spirit for a willing and obedient life.
  • Forgiving instead of judging and condemning, putting off defensiveness, and learning to listen.
  • Relying on the Holy Spirit to use the tongue for praise and not complaint or gossiping.
  • Seeing by faith God's sovereign plan over one's life as wise and good -- a plan not to be feared.
  • Learning to pray; recognizing that we have no resources, and claiming the promises of God.
  • Relying on the Holy Spirit in going quickly to Christ with sins, burdens, and needs, seeking daily forgiveness and cleansing.

So, guess what? I'm going to sink my chomps into this book tonight, and relearn to turn from my Independent streak to life in the Spirit -- wholly Dependent on God and His Grace. This is my daily bread. May every day be a Happy Dependence Day.


Renae said...

Orphan vs. God's child

What a daily struggle! Happy Dependence Day to you, too.

deb said...

Is it a daily struggle for you too?? I guess it is for me, but sometimes it takes me more than one day to realize it. God's Grace is soooo much bigger than I can grasp. He is so faithful!