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Learning to depend (Dependence Day)

December 24th, 2011 Categories: pondering..., serving..., singing... 1 comment

Right now I’m at one of my busiest points in the year, and I am learning that I need to learn to depend… on the Lord, and on the Body!

Why? How?

Last Saturday was the second young adults fellowship in London. I really appreciated the time. One of the questions that came up in the Q&A was:

As young adults, how can we help to prepare ourselves to take responsibility in the church, so that we will be the most useful to the Lord in the future?

The more I consider this question, the more I am treasuring it. And I am also treasuring the answer given by one of the brothers.

His answer came from our current Holy Word for Morning Revival, which is The Four Great Pillars in the Lord’s Recovery. First he mentioned Week 7, where we see that the way to build up the church as the kingdom of God is by denying the self, taking up the cross, and losing the soul-life (Matthew 16:24). This is because the enemy of the Body is the self.

But I am glad that he didn’t leave it there – he also pointed us to Week 5 where we saw that the flow of life with the ministry of life is out of and for the magnificent house of God. Life is the way, life and nothing else. And the principle of the tree of life is that of dependence on God. It is only by life that we can deny the self.

And that is why we need:

Dependence Day

To be in the self is to be independent from God. But God really wants us to depend on Him. He is the most dependable One, faithful and true (1 Thessalonians 5:24). The self is our soul declaring its independence from God, but how wonderful it is to declare dependence on God!

But there is more:

We should be dependent not only on God but also on the Body, on the brothers and sisters. Whenever we are independent of the brothers and sisters, we are in the self, in the independent soul. For us today, being independent of the Body is equal to being independent of God. This is a matter not of doctrine but of experience. If you check with your experience, you will realize that when you were independent of the brothers and sisters, you had the sense that you were also independent of God. Likewise, when you were isolated from the brothers and sisters, you had the sense that you were also isolated from God.

We could rephrase the bolded section to say, “For us today, being dependent on the Body is equal to being dependent on God.” This is something really practical.

Consider the human body. If my hand were to say it only depends on the head, and not on the neck, the shoulder, or the arm – well that would be ridiculous. Similarly, the Lord has placed us in the Body, each according to our measure (1 Corinthians 12:12). We do depend on Him as our Head, but we also must depend on the members that He has placed around us. I need you, and you need me.

1. I’m thankful that God has placed me
With you to build up His Body.
Christ in you is the hope for me!
You also need Christ lived in me.

5. I want to encourage you all,
Without your supply I would fall.
Never think that your Christ is small.
Christ needs you, and so do we all.

Application, not just interpretation

From an early age we are taught that we need to be independent, and we can become very successful at it. But at least a little bit I have been realising how much I need the Lord, and how much I need my fellow members of the Body. I just cannot do it without them!

So this week our preparation for the Winter School of Truth has been gathering speed. There is so much to do, so many details to take care of, and so many mistakes that could be made. But I am so glad that there are also so many saints to coordinate with and to depend on, both practically and spiritually. I am not alone! I’m still learning how to serve, and I am happy to be doing so in the Body.

And saints, we are also depending on you to remember us before the Lord. The Winter School of Truth begins this coming Monday. This is a significant time for the young people (aged 11 to 18) across Europe to gather together and be infused with truth and life. The first of the 218 registrants will arrive later today. This year, fifteen countries will be represented, including a few from outside Europe: Belgium, Ethiopia, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Latvia, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom (England + Scotland), and the USA.

We are anticipating transport delays due to holiday engineering works and a tube strike, so pray that everyone arrives safely and in a timely way, turning and turned to the Lord. May He have a rich way to flow out all that is on His heart to this young generation.

I’ll be back in the new year to tell you all about it, as well as with my half-written posts about the FTTL graduates and the new London bookshop. Thank you for your fellowship, dear saints!

  1. mavis
    December 24th, 2011 at 12:21 | #1

    i’m the chieftest of sinner here, olj, teach me to take the lead to be dependent on the body as it means i’ll not be independent of You. olj, i need You all the time.
    yes we need to remember all the young people & serving ones wst week. ptl for all of them. much satisfaction and pleasure for the Father to see all pursuing Him. His joy/pleasure is our strength. ptl.
    may we all exercise the keys to shut the subjective gates of hades. don’t let him win! let’s deny the self, take up the cross (do the Father’s will) & lose the soul-life start with me, olj. i need save!

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