http://www.mayantran.com/blog/5-ways-youre-limiting-your-own-freedom, accessed 13 May 2019.
I never thought that independence was such a big deal in my walk with God. In fact, it’s presented as a positive trait when it comes to kids growing up and leaving home. The word dependence has undesirable associations: helpless, needy, pathetic. So we often steer away from it as much as possible.
Who started the independence trend?
Believe it or not, the first person to strike out on their own was the angel Lucifer - also known as Satan. He wasn’t happy with playing a secondary role to God and said, “I will make myself like the Most High” (Isaiah chapter 14, verse 14, NIV).
The root of independence is pride. I don’t want to submit - God doesn’t know best - so I’m going to do things my own way.
Is independence more related to legalism or hyper grace?
While it’s easy to assume that independence leads to licentious living - a mentality that says, ‘Because of grace, I can do whatever I want without consequence and God will keep forgiving me’ - an independent heart towards God more often leads to legalism.
Legalism says, ‘I will follow a list of rules and do all the right things to earn my right standing with God.’ In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve saw a chance to become like God - but excluding God from the process. If we could achieve this all on our own then there’s no such thing as saving grace.
Everything not from faith is sin
I never understood the bible verse that says, “Everything that is not from faith is sin” (Romans chapter 14, verse 23, NIV). It always seemed so incredibly harsh to me and when I was younger I used to wonder, so if I flush the toilet without praying about it first, is that sin?
A few weeks ago at church our pastor brought up some points I’d never heard before (a lot of this article is thanks to the ideas he inspired). He said that the aim of a Christian life is to walk with God for eternity.
The nature of a rebel
So why is that so hard for us? Is it possible that Adam and Eve’s choices in the garden are still affecting us today? Yes, I think they are. We inherited the nature of a rebel and as recently as last week, I can testify to doubting whether God was really going to come through for me in a particular circumstance - or whether maybe He was somehow holding out on me.
“Sin is not wrong doing, it is wrong BEING, deliberate and emphatic independence of God” (Oswald Chambers, pastor and theologian).
A place for independent people
In the same sermon referred to earlier, I heard something that absolutely blew my mind. “If you want to be independent from God - fully and eternally - there is a place you can go. It’s called outer darkness” (Russell Kay-Hards). Otherwise known as hell. I felt like someone had knocked me off my chair when I realised what that meant. Independence is in fact a huge deal.
What independence from God forfeits
While reading the Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis a while back, I realised all of the things that demons don’t experience because they are completely without God. They are filled with anger, jealousy and resentment, because love is of God. They have no sense of humour, because sincere joy and laughter comes from the Almighty. They are in darkness, because from God comes light. They are in turmoil and chaos, because Jesus is the Prince of Peace. They wanted nothing of God so they have nothing of God.
People wonder why a good God would send people to hell. On the other hand, God says, “If I’ve made every provision for you to be reconciled to me - not withholding even my own son - and long for you with a father’s perfect love, why would you choose to reject me and my goodness, sending yourself to a place I have no part in - hell?”
So, by all means, be liberated. Go it on your own. Take the road map of life by both hands and ignore the guide. Every move out of step with God is a step towards your independence.
Lil van Wyngaard is a staff writer for a Melbourne based stationery company. She also blogs on the side and has her first book in the drafting stages (planning to submit for publication later this year). Lil is an extrovert and loves entertaining at her home with her husband Jacques, yet can often be found reading or at the gym. She is an SEO copywriter, educated at Deakin University and also has a passion for all types of dance. Lil worships at New Gen City Church and is involved in youth and young adult ministry with her husband.You can find more of Lil’s articles at: https://www.pressserviceinternational.org/Lil-Van-Wyngaard.html
Lil van Wyngaard is a Melbourne-based publishing company in a marketing and sales role. She also blogs on the side and has her first book in the drafting stages (planning to submit for publication later this year). Lil is an extrovert and loves entertaining at her home with her husband, Jacques, and can often be found reading or at the gym. She is a content creator/marketer, educated at Deakin University and also has a passion for all types of dance. Lil worships at New Gen City Church and is involved in youth and young adult ministry with her husband. You can find more of Lil’s articles at: https://www.pressserviceinternational.org/Lil-Van-Wyngaard.html