When I talk about discipleship and living the Christian life, I will frequently reference the necessity of “Dependent Responsibility.” To daily bear fruit as a Christian disciple requires personal responsibility – we are called to strive for holiness (Hebrews 12:14) – but also dependence on the power of Christ – we can never do this alone (John 15:5). Most Christians I encounter are attempting to do things by their own willpower, forgoing the grace available to them for the task at hand. There are others, however, who espouse the common cliche of “let go and let God” so fully that they forgo any personal responsibility to get up and do something.
Neither approach works. Discipleship takes both responsibility to pursue Christ and dependence on God for that pursuit.
A common and very good question is – how do I know if I am depending on Christ? How can I tell if I am attempting to do this on my own and thereby neglecting the “Dependent” aspect of my walk with Christ? It’s a great question because most of us would never seek out a path to discipleship that is void of God’s power. That is obviously not our intent. But it happens so frequently. Usually daily. So how can we know?
There are several ways, I think, to access how you are doing in the dependent department. But none are more powerful than this….
As you are reading this right now, how much time have you spent in prayer today? Or perhaps a better question is, have you prayed at all? The nature of your prayer life is your number one indicator of how well you are depending on God. Whether we would admit it or not, a lack or lessening of prayer is a clear picture of our intent to live this day by our own willpower. And it is a recipe for disaster.
So, want to depend on Christ’s power more for your discipleship and growth? Want to live the Christian life like you’ve never done so before? Start with prayer. Start with prayer. Start with prayer.