Friday, October 30, 2015

Independence is Not an Option

For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. (Colossians 1:16-17 ESV)

Independence is Not an Option
It sometimes seems like we wear our independence on our sleeve almost as though trying to say we can do whatever we wish because of our cherished freedoms. Unfortunately, too often we do end up doing whatever we wish, to our own detriment. Independence from tyranny, oppression, and domination is laudable when we are discussing how best to shape a society, but to assert our independence from the One who made us is foolhardy at best and dangerous on many levels.

Why is it impossible to be independent from God? One little word found at the end of Colossians 1:17- 'consist'. When looking for the dictionary definition of a word, the first definition you come across indicates the most common usage. In the case of consist, the most common usage is "to be composed or made of', indicating that all things are made of Christ. That sounds more like pantheism than orthodox Christianity. But one of the archaic definitions of the word reads "to be held together", indicating that God takes an active role in the universe He created. Far from being the Prime Mover who sets the universe in motion and then sits back to watch it spin, He is involved on a moment-by-moment basis maintaining the universe.

If God in Christ is holding the universe together, then there is no such thing as independence from God. We are all terribly dependent upon Him. Even an atheist can't get away from it. If God were to remove His hand from us, we would wither up and be blown away by the next strong breeze. So the best we can do is assert a false, fragile independence. But the paradox here is that the more independently we act, the weaker we become. Only by acknowledging our dependence upon God can our crippled bones be made strong.

"How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings." (Psalm 36:7) Bill Schwan

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