“As they had their pasture, they became satisfied. And being satisfied, their heart became proud; therefore, they forgot Me.”—–Hosea 13:6
Believers often talk about their need for God. This need for God is the basis for anyone to come to faith. And without understanding the depth of our sin, even our very existence, no one can begin to understand true faith in Jesus. People may say they have a need for God, but how many really comprehend their need for continual dependence upon God in our day to day lives??
Many will give lip service when it comes to saying they have a continual dependence upon the Lord. They may even sing songs and hymns like, “I Need Thee Every Hour”, as an anthem of relying on God. However, many believers tend to live their lives and only turn to God only in desperate times.
Tragedy, pain, and loss are just a few of the types of experiences when even secular people may reach out to God. It is in these times when people exhaust every human option that leaves nothing but to hope in God; a God that they rarely, if ever, even think about any other time. There is something about feeling without hope that can provide an opportunity to go to the One True Source of all lasting hope.
Most of the time, though, as soon as these difficult circumstances pass, people go back to business as usual. The sad reality is that it is usually no different among many professing believers today. It’s almost as if God is merely a safety net when people are desperate, but then they return to living and controlling their own lives once again. There are so many examples in Scripture where people look like they turn to God, only then are quick to ditch their so-called faith as soon as things get back to normal.
Each of us are at least guilty of living selfishly to some extent. Hopefully we find ourselves growing in living out our faith in all areas of our lives, but the truth is, there are times that we don’t. It is a humbling realization that we need to be reminded of continually.
If we are to live according to true faith, we must find ourselves with a continual dependence upon God throughout each day of our lives.
Easier said than done. Even though we would like to claim that we always live our lives for the Lord, we all struggle with keeping our focus on Him. But there are no excuses. We must wake up each day with the purpose of walking with the Lord to make sure we don’t find ourselves drifting away. We do this by spending time in prayer, reading and studying the Bible, meeting with other believers, and submitting ourselves in obedience to the Lord. This continual dependence keeps us connected and pursuing the Lord no matter what we may encounter each day.
There are so many things that distract us from our faith in the Lord. Some not bad in themselves, but can pull us away nonetheless. Often times our feeling of stability, or having things under control, give us a false sense that we are doing okay. But just as times of seeming chaos can drive some to God for a time, the feeling of assurance and that all is going well can also drive people away from God in selfish-pride and arrogance.
In Hosea 13, we see that the conditions of being well provided for led to the people becoming “satisfied”. This satisfaction was a comfortability and a seeming stability. The perceived security resulted in pride and forgetting about God.
This is quite common for people across all ends of the economic spectrum. Sure, the scale might shift in the actual amounts of wealth and the things people possess, but the same attitudes still reside. Hence the feeling of being “satisfied”, at whatever level, has the temptation for any of us to fall away from the Lord.
It’s almost as if there is a great warning, not about whether we may or may not have wealth or possessions, but in our pursuit. The warning is for us to be on guard against pride; so that we don’t believe that it is by our knowledge and by our strength we have all that we have. It is a continual acknowledgement that by God’s grace, His mercy and wisdom, that we even wake up each day. It is by God’s blessing that He guides, directs, and provides. And it is by God’s sovereignty that we humbly bow ourselves in recognition that He is God and we are not.
A continual dependence upon God is rooted in our daily relationship with Him.
When we profess to live for the Lord and sing songs and hymns like, “I Need Thee Every Hour”, it isn’t just a trite cliche, but a humble acknowledgement of our submission to God. By turning to God throughout our days, in all things, we lay down our lives and seek to glorify God who is our All in All. It is through this that we express of our need for forgiveness of sin, our need for wisdom and guidance, and our ultimate need for God Himself.
Trusting in God isn’t easy. It is natural for us to want to go our own way, do the things we want, and get puffed up with pride when we get comfortable. But as believers in Jesus, we need to be known as people who continually seek God and pursue Him and His Way throughout our lives. Not only does this confirm our own faith, but also serves as a testament to others of our faith in Jesus.