It's almost become anti-American. We work, we buy, repeat. We build a house, we work, we save, in hopes that when we retire (and until then), we'll be self-sufficient. We won't need anyone, because WE were responsible. We were smart with our finances. We were... safe.
I'm starting to really dislike how that word is being used.
Stay safe. Stay 6 ft apart.
Stay safe. Stay at home.
Stay safe. Don't come to church if you're sick. (assuming your church has even opened)
I've heard people misuse the quote by Corrie Ten Boom, "The safest place is in the center of God's will," to mean that God keeps us safe in the temporal no matter what. What a horrible joke. Let me put this as clear as I can:
God absolutely does not want us to be 'safe' (as the world defines it) in this life.
Wait, I thought this blog was about independence. It is. Safety, being taken care of, having all our needs met through our own 'responsible' labor, so that we can go through life with ease is why independence is a goal of so many in America. To have what I want, when I want it. To live 'comfortably'. To have access to all the amenities. To push buttons and things happen that didn't happen for thousands of years.
Independence is not needing anyone. We can do it alone with hard work and good morals.
Some would say, "But I do need people! I need people working at Amazon so I can order whatever I want and have it shipped to my house. I need people to fix my car. I need people to start restaurants so I can go out to eat. I need gas stations. I need this... that... I'm not independent!"
But yet we work so that we can be as independent as possible. We work so we have safety and comfort. We work so we can live better than kings did for thousands of years.
Many of us will do everything our boss tells us to do for money. But we won't do what our Lord tells us to do for love. - Kris Vallotton (paraphrased)
If you love me, keep my commandments. - Jesus
The real question is why? Why do we place such an outrageous value on independence?
The answer: FEAR!
What if I can't provide for my family? What if I'm old and I have no one to take care of me? I need to make enough money so I can continue my comfortable existence and not be a burden to anyone.
"Safety in light of eternity is to be in God's will."
"But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.
19 If you ever forget the Lord your God and follow other gods and worship and bow down to them, I testify against you today that you will surely be destroyed. 20 Like the nations the Lord destroyed before you, so you will be destroyed for not obeying the Lord your God."
"But I'm not following idols!" we exclaim. Listen, the devil has gotten a lot sneakier when it comes to idols. They are in the very fabric of what most call American.
Jesus said in John 8:28, "I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught Me..." Did you catch that?? "I do nothing on My own..."
JESUS! God. The savior of the world!! He stated that He does nothing on His own. That is dependence. That is not independence. He didn't even come to do His own will or be served. We are always thinking of ways we can be served... comfort, convenience, a life of ease. We are selfish! Oh, Lord! Help us to be dependent on YOU!
WE CAN DO NOTHING without HIM! Nothing. The very breath we breathe is His.
Jesus said, "If you love me, keep my commandments." Let's look at some of those commands.
Love your enemies.
Bless those that persecute you.
Do not store up treasures on earth... Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven.
Do not worry about what we should eat, what we should wear.
1 Thessalonians 5:3 says, "While people are saying, 'Peace and SAFETY,' destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape."
SAFETY. Independence. FEAR.
Back to Corrie Ten Boom. Her quote is exactly right if you're not in the temporal, not in the world.
Safety in light of eternity is to be in God's will.
It is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the living God. Hebrews 10:31
I'm all for hard work. I'm all for true wisdom. I'm not for lies in our motivation; lies that deceive our own hearts.
Pray with me today Psalm 139:23-24
"Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting."
Lord, I repent for all the ways my heart has put my labor, my safety, my independence and my fears ahead of you. Forgive me of my sin in these areas and Holy Spirit, testify to the truth in my life. Help me to not fall into these lies again. Wake me up from my sleep and apathy.
In Jesus name,
Tear down the idols in your life. Ask the Lord what they are. Wait on Him. Repeat.
We're a family of six living full-time in a skoolie (aka a school bus converted into an RV). We are inviting you to join us as we live life to its fullest and empower others to do the same. Welcome to the family!