Independence and Dependence (Psalm 5)

by jpserrano on June 4, 2013 · 0 comments

“But I, through the abundance of your steadfast love, will enter your house, I will bow down toward your holy temple in awe of you. Lead me, O Lord, in your righteousness.” (Psalm 5:7-8a, NRSV)

Dependence is a difficult thing to internalize because we are constantly pushed toward independence. For Americans independence seems to be the highest ideal. It is sung about in our national anthem, it is spoken of in national debates, and it is hailed on July 4.

From childhood we are rightly reared from dependence toward independence, but in adulthood dependence is seen as an arrested development.

Yet the Psalmist example shows us that dependence is the way of faithfulness. He cries out, “through the abundance of your steadfast love.” The Psalmist can act only because he is dependent on God as the originator of his action. He cries out, “Lead me, O Lord…” God acts first, and then continues to show the way. The way of faith is not independence but dependence that God will act first.

We are dependent from birth moving toward independence but we are called to move back to dependence in faith.

The way of faith is to rely on God as the first actor in our lives. God is the one who gives us trust. It is only through God’s abundant love that we are able to enter God’s presence. We need God to lead which means we rely on God and not ourselves.

The maturing of faith is the move from independence to dependence. We must abandon ourselves in order for faith to take hold.  God is there to catch us when we give up our independence and depend solely on Jesus.

Ultimately, God empowers us through steadfast love and we receive that love through dependence.

Holy God, remind me of my dependence on you, my neighbor, and your creation.  Create the faith within me to put myself aside and trust in you. Amen.



Set Apart (Psalm 4)

by jpserrano on August 27, 2012 · 0 comments

But know that the Lord has set apart the faithful for himself; the Lord hears when I call to him.” (Psalm 4:3, NRSV)

God takes notice of those who are faithful and sets them apart for God’s purpose. This is humbling and truly Good News for those who trust in God.

Some may have a troubled conscious and say, “I am not part of the ‘set apart’ for I have committed this or that sin.” Or some think that their sporadic doubts may keep them from being one counted among the faithful.

If these worries plague you, then know that it’s not your lack of sinning that makes you right with God. Trusting in Jesus through the gift of faith, which was implanted in you when you heard the Good News, is the only way to be in a right relationship with God.

Others believe that it’s by their works of faith or works of righteousness that set them apart. But this is not faithfullness to God, it a faithfullness in one’s self and one’sability to appease God through earned reward.

Faithfulness is often seen as walking without sin, as though those words are opposites of each other. But true faithfulness begins with realizing that every part of our being is so infused with Sin that it can’t be completely left behind in this life. This is coupled with realizing that we can do nothing more than hold on for dear life to the edge of Christ’s robe and trust that we will be healed. The more we come to understand our relationship to Christ, the more we will understand that He is the one who is holding tightly to us. So even when we think we have let go, He has not. And He never will.

We often fight against God preferring the feeling of drowning to the fresh air that is offered in faith. But we have Christ who keeps our heads out of the water.

Holy God, I am weak in trust, but you are strong. Hear me in my weakness and increase my faith that I might serve you. Amen