If you have been a Stepping Stones regular, you know my earlier life was filled with many victories, as well as many defeats. When God caught my attention and I started following Him, God brought several mature Christian men into my life who gave me some spiritual coaching. They taught me how to lean on them. During my time of weakness I was able to prop up myself with the strength God gave me through them.
The ultimate lesson came while I was sick – so weak that I couldn’t eat or drink for 2 weeks due to Hepatitis A. Some of these guys came over to do my yard work. Embarrassed that someone was doing my job, I slowly dragged myself out in my robe and tried to shoo them away. My good friend Les, the leader of our small group, said, “Quit being a jerk. We are here for you, but more importantly here to serve God. Quit robbing us of the blessing we get from serving God and you, and stop acting so proud. Accept God’s love through us and go back in the house and rest.” Wow, that stopped me in my tracks.
Maturing Christians who are growing in their relationship with the Father gradually mature in their ability to lean. Leaning is not something that comes easily to many of us, especially grind-it-out guys. Our stubborn independence causes us to view leaning as a sign of weakness. However, the Bible makes it clear that leaning is one of the marks of a real Christian.
In our growing up years, we were learning to lean, but we made an almost fatal mistake. We leaned on the wrong support. We leaned on a fellow 9 year old, or another teenager, or a parent who didn’t give our leaning the serious attention it needed. Or we may have leaned on a job, a college, a sport, a drug, sex, food, or “you fill in the blank.” When we got hurt, let down or ignored we learned, “I can’t lean on any one but myself if I really want my needs to be met.”
Maturing Christians will break that pattern and become vulnerable again. We begin by leaning away from the conventional wisdom of self-reliance and learn to lean on God and trust in His wisdom and goodness. As we begin to lean on God instead of ourselves, we soon realize that His way is always the best way. Christians lean into God’s divine purpose. The greatest desire of Christians should be to accomplish God’s purpose in our lives, as this is what truly glorifies Him and fulfills us the most.
Christians also lean on each other. Independence is not always admirable. However, interdependence is a biblical principle that carries the idea of mutually healthy dependence. The Trinity is the ultimate picture of interdependence. Christians should understand the value of community … engage in it … and contribute to it. This is what the term “Christian Fellowship” is all about. Showing God to each other and helping each other grow to become more Christ-like.
Today, identify an area of your life where you are leaning on the wrong support. Why are you leaning on that? Is it really supporting you now, and for the long run? Analyze what is keeping you from leaning on God. Begin leaning on God. Be willing to accept help from other people whom God has placed into your life. Stop carrying the “I can do it myself” mentality to an extreme. Life is your decision, so choose well.
Dear Father God, Thank You for the blessing of safe people that I can lean on. I pray, Father, that You will help me to listen to Your voice in everything I do. Teach me to accept help from You and from the people You send to me. I pray that pride not get in my way and that I would be willing to ask for help, and more importantly, to follow Godly wisdom as I get it. I pray this and all prayers in the name of the One who depended on You, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; He’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all. Run to God! Proverbs 3:5-7