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God Is Not Dependent

by Ed Daly

When the Spirit of God opens our eyes to our sin problem we grasp the enormity of the offenses we have committed against God and we realize that we are utterly incapable of saving ourselves. With a burdened soul, realizing that no amount of good deeds could pay off the sin debt that we have accumulated, we cry out to God in humble dependence for salvation by repenting of our sin and placing our faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. We come to realize that God elected us from eternity past, sent His Son as the propitiation for our sins, drew us to Himself when we were not seeking Him, and opened our eyes to our utter depravity and need for a Savior to avoid the just judgment that we deserve. Simply put, we realize that we are completely dependent on God for eternal life. As we grow in the Christian life, our experiences confirm that we are entirely dependent on God for everything in our lives, even the breath passing through our lips.

Not so with God. God is not dependent on anyone. He created everything (Genesis 1:1) and He alone declares the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10) because He sovereignly rules over everything. God’s total and absolute sovereignty over everything is at the core of our faith. We trust His revelation to us, we trust that His will is good and perfect, and we trust that He is working out His purposes in our lives. But, do we always affirm this belief in our lives? How about when we directly experience sorrow, pain, grief, and/or loss? When we dwell in disappointment, despair, frustration, or anger over something that happened in our lives, we think that we are entitled to different (and better, in our minds) treatment from God. We may not express it directly to God, but the message expressed in emotions, actions, or even rebellious thoughts is clear: God should do otherwise, and He needs to heed our counsel to do what is best. When we feel that our circumstances should be otherwise, do we fall into the trap of questioning God’s sovereignty and purposes by taking matters into our own hands? We may disguise this attitude in super-spiritual language, but the ugly truth is that we sometimes presume that God needs our advice.

At a time when Israel was on the eve of being sent into captivity and exile as judgment for her spiritual unfaithfulness, God prepared them for the trial they were about to experience by having the prophet Isaiah remind them that He was all powerful and thus fully in control of the situation:

Isaiah 40:13–17: Who has directed the Spirit of the Lord, or as His counselor has informed Him? With whom did He consult and who gave Him understanding? And who taught Him in the path of justice and taught Him knowledge and informed Him of the way of understanding? Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket, and are regarded as a speck of dust on the scales; Behold, He lifts up the islands like fine dust. Even Lebanon is not enough to burn, nor its beasts enough for a burnt offering. All the nations are as nothing before Him, they are regarded by Him as less than nothing and meaningless.

The Israelites needed to be brought back to the fear of the Lord and trust in His good purposes even when the circumstances suggested otherwise. The inspired words of Isaiah should be a strong warning to us that God is not dependent on us and will not be conformed to our plans for the way things should be, especially when we face what may appear to be overwhelming and gloomy circumstances. This is a hard truth, but the blessings for those who learn this lesson are immense.

God needs no human counsel, and we err grievously when we think and act otherwise and fail to submit to His sovereignty. When we understand that the Lord needs no counsel, we see how God’s perfectly crafted plan for redemption exceeds any plan ever conceived by the human mind. Could there be a more perfect plan? Could there be a better reason to harbor deep suspicions of our own plans when we feel that God is not dealing adequately with our circumstances, and repent when we presume to tell the Lord what He should do? Will we affirm His sovereignty in the midst of the trial, trusting Him to work out His perfect will even if we do not fully understand what He is doing right now?