Vanishing Independence

Brennan Manning makes a great observation: “Do we have any inner resources at the moment when we are accosted by the Holy One…? Immediately our credentials of independence vanish, and we cease to carry ourselves with the swagger of the executive who knows what’s up and has all under control; we become aware of innate poverty, our next-breath dependence, and a numbness that invades the roots of our littleness and realness.”

I shared with a friend today that it hasn’t been a good day … I realized that as I am continually unmasked and aware of old strategies (strategies through which I find my identity, significance, strength, or hope outside of Christ) for doing life, I struggle because I can’t hide there anymore but I find myself not knowing how to do things in new ways.

When in denial, I can keep going back to strategies such as feeling competent, working hard, being nice, getting approval from others, performing well in given tasks, etc & while I may not actually be fulfilled or satisfied, I keep going back because of the false (although trusted) promise.

Out of denial, I can’t use those strategies because I see them for what they are. However, I now find myself trying to learn a new way – the way of restfully trusting Jesus. As I move forward, I realize that I don’t know how to do that very well — much of what I’ve called trusting Him in the past has actually been doing things “for Him” but really still trying to get desires filled through approval, working hard (see the list above). While actions may change, the heart hasn’t.

So, in this last month of seeing some of the idolatries in my life – I realize that identification is merely the first steps on the journey. Now, I learn to be still and allow desire to wait for Christ. In many ways, I feel like its a detox of sorts. I’ve been using the drugs in the list above and my old familiar, friends aren’t so friendly anymore. (It is amazing and humbling that years into the journey of following Christ – I am still learning in deeper and deeper ways things I have had tastes of in the years before — He graciously and patiently keeps putting me back on the path)

“A human being is a longing for God and nothing less than God will satisfy us; the seductive voices that would make us anything less than this are to be resisted.” Exploring Spiritual Direction by Alan Jones


~ by Ted Wueste on June 23, 2008.

One Response to “Vanishing Independence”

  1. Thanks for this. I feel stuck in the same place. Realizing that where I’m at isn’t where I need to be, but not having any idea how to move out of that place. And how to allow God to extend grace to me in the middle of not being “there yet.”

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