Codependent on God
"Long to grow up into the fullness of your salvation."1
A reader writes, "I've been receiving Daily Encounter devotions for a number of years and very much appreciate their practical application of the gospel and Christian message. I was discussing with a friend the reverse question from a recent Daily Encounter—not whether God is codependent but whether we are codependent on God. Can you please address this issue?"
Someone facetiously said that as long as there are tests/exams for school children, there will always be prayer in the schools. I can attest to that fact—at least when I was in college. Many a time when I felt I was inadequately prepared for a test, I prayed like crazy for God's help. In fact, a roommate was so worried about my flunking one important exam, he had several students pray for me. When I passed and got a better grade than he did, he was not happy with me. So, did my friends' prayers have any effect? Only if they helped calm my mind so I could better remember the answers I already knew because of the study I had done. Had I not studied at all, then God wouldn't have helped me.
I think some of us act towards God as if he were codependent. But God isn't codependent. Never was. Never will be. If he allowed us to be codependent on him, he would be keeping us immature and irresponsible. If I hadn't done any study for the exam just mentioned, I would have deserved to have failed and God would have let me!
Sometimes we approach God as if he were a "giant father Christmas in the sky" expecting him to grant our every whim and wish. Or as John Powell put it: "Some people treat God as if he were a Giant Bayer Aspirin (pain-killer pill)—take God three times a day and you won't feel any pain!" God doesn't work that way. He doesn't jump through our hoops. His goal for each of us is that we grow up, mature and act responsibly in every area of life. God will do for us what we cannot do for ourselves (that's why he sent Jesus to die for our sins), but he will not do for us what we can and are quite capable of doing for ourselves.
As today's scripture says, "Long to grow up into the fullness of your salvation." And a vital part of growing up is acting responsibly and not expecting God or anybody else to do for us what we can and need to do for ourselves.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to see and understand what I need to be and do to grow up into the fullness of your salvation, and act responsibly in every area of my life. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. 1 Peter 2:2 (TLB)(NLT).