May 22, 2017
If you have been a Stepping Stones regular, you know my earlier life was filled with many earthly victories, as well as many spiritual defeats. When God caught my attention and I started really following Him, He 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 those guys came over to do my yard work. Embarrassed that others were 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 leads 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 early years, we were learning to lean but we made an almost fatal mistake by leaning 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 degree, 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 anyone or anything but myself to meet my needs.”
Maturing Christians will break that pattern and become vulnerable again. We begin by leaning away from the conventional wisdom of self-reliance. We learn to lean on God and trust 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” means. 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 it? Is it really supporting you now? Can it support you for the long run? Analyze what keeps you from leaning on God. Start to lean on God. Accept help from other people whom God has placed in your life. Stop carrying the “I can do it myself” mentality to an extreme.
Whether you lean on God, and God alone, or you lean on something much weaker is your decision, so choose well.
Dear Father God, Thank You for the blessing of safe people on whom I can lean. 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 would not get in my way but 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 in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your body and refreshment to your bones. Proverbs 3:5-8