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JFH Devotionals by J.M. Farro

The High Cost Of Independence

You can never please God without faith, without depending on him. - Hebrews 11:6 TLB

Some years ago, my husband, Joe, and I were planning to move to a larger home with our two growing sons. We were in the process of house hunting, when we discovered what appeared to be the perfect home at an irresistible price. Even though the house was already a bargain, my husband and I offered the seller much less than he was asking for, because we weren't sure we could afford the monthly payments any other way. A day or two later, we discovered that we had lost our dream house to another buyer who outbid us. My family and I were devastated. Everything else we had seen in our price range paled in comparison to that house, and we held out little hope of finding another one like it. My father knew that Joe and I were in the market for a new home, so he was calling us regularly for updates. He happened to call the very night we lost our dream house, and when he asked how our search was going, I burst into tears, and began telling him the whole sad story. To my surprise, my dad got angry and began scolding me. He wanted to know why I didn't come to him and ask him for help, when I found the house that I wanted so badly. He chastised me for having an "independent spirit," and I realized then that my desire to do things on my own had hurt my father deeply. Before we got off the phone that night, my dad made me promise to call him as soon as Joe and I found another house we were interested in. Within the next few days, we were able to find a lovely new home that we could afford with my father's help, and we promptly bought it.

Our original "dream house" is only about a mile away from the home we ended up buying. I pass it quite often, and I can't help wondering what it would have been like to live there with my family. These days, it has become to me a reminder of what it can cost me when I neglect to ask for help when I have a need. My dad was right when he accused me of having an independent spirit. More than anything, I wanted to do things MY way--MYself. And I wasn't alone. Most of the people I knew felt the same way. The only problem was that whenever we did do things our way and on our own, we usually didn't like the results. That's exactly why, when the Lord got my attention and invited me to surrender my life to Him, I was ready to try something drastic. I discovered that the more I yielded to Him and His ways, the more freedom, victory, and blessing I experienced. As I left my independent attitude behind, and began living a life totally dependent upon God, my burdens lifted, and I began to experience the abundant life that Jesus spoke about. I found that one of the most important aspects of living God's way was to continually ask for His help--in little matters, as well as big ones. I soon discovered that my Heavenly Father was even more eager to help than my earthly dad was. And I began to sense that my Father in heaven was even more deeply hurt than my dad, when I neglected to ask for His help.

The Bible says, "You do not have because you do not ask." (James 4:2 NKJV) If I had only asked my dad to help us buy that first house, my family and I would be living in it now. Instead, I allowed my stubborn pride and my independent attitude to rob me of God's best. Jesus said, "If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ASK Him!" (Matthew 7:11 NIV) If my earthly dad was so ready and willing to give good things to me and my family, how much more does our Heavenly Father long to shower us with His abundant blessings?! We can discover the answer for ourselves each time we do our part and ASK, as Jesus says. If you, too, have been guilty of having an "independent spirit," I urge you not to pay the high cost of this attitude one more day. Instead, choose a life of dependence upon God, and begin asking Him for the abundant blessings He has in store for you!

Prayer: Lord, forgive me for wanting to do things my own way, instead of Your way. Help me to realize that when I fail to seek Your help on a daily basis, I am not only hurting myself, but I am hurting You. Deliver me from an independent spirit, and teach me to rely on You more and more. Thank You that my dependence upon You will open the door to a greater level of victory and blessing!

- J. M. Farro


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