In a world which values individual freedom above everything, how can we build a life which is increasingly dependent on Jesus? Jesus said, “without me you can do nothing. But if we’re honest most of us believe that there are quite a few things which we can do without the help of Jesus or God.
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes[a] so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” John 15:1-8 (NIV)
So how do we transition to a place of increasing confident and joyful dependence upon God?
To start with, we need to identify and dethrone our idols. These are things which we look to for safety and significance. They are often hard to identify as they can operate subtly and covertly. Examining our motivations can help us to uncover and respond to them. Once identified we need to discover ways of replacing them with attitudes reflective of the presence and character of Jesus.
Firstly, we’ll consider dethroning fear and developing love. Fear and anxiety are epidemic in contemporary society.
Secondly, we’ll look at dethroning pride and developing humility.
Thirdly, we’ll examine unbelief and the nature of trust.