I can of Myself do nothing.
I will love You, O Lord, my Strength.
The Lord is my Rock and my Fortress and my Deliverer;
My God, my Strength, in Whom I will trust;
My Shield and the Horn of my salvation, my Stronghold.
I will call upon the Lord, Who is worthy to be praised;
So shall I be saved from my enemies.
As a Man, Jesus confessed His utter dependence on God: 'Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself' (John 5:19). As a king, David confessed his utter dependence on God: 'The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want' (Psalm 23:1).
David compared himself to a lamb--helpless without his guide. Jesus became a Lamb--helpless without His God. Jesus became insufficient to give us God's sufficiency. He revealed a big, bold lie: self-sufficiency is a myth.
Consider the self-help books that surround us. The world pays homage to these words: 'I am a self-made man.' But the world is wrong.*
David understood it: 'Certainly every man at his best state is but vapor. Surely every man walks about like a shadow; Surely they busy themselves in vain' (Psalm 39:5-6). Solomon, David's son, expanded this truth: ' 'Vanity of vanities,' says the Preacher; 'Vanity of vanities, all is vanity' ' (Ecclesiastes 1:2).**
'For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out' (1 Timothy 6:7).
Actors, models and talent for Christ: you can of yourselves do nothing (good) without God: Big roles, checks or fame are illusions destined to vanish in a puff of smoke. They are traps designed to pull you down with them--if you believe this myth: 'You are their rightful owner.'
Because you aren't. You are powerless. If you got the goods without God, your help came from another source:
'Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, 'All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours' ' (Luke 4:5-7).
Basically, independence is a myth: 'You are that one's slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness' (Romans 6:16). Bob Dylan put it this way:
'You're gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed, You're gonna have to serve somebody, It may be the devil or it may be the Lord, But you're gonna have to serve somebody.' ***
Nevertheless, in God's perfect irony, dependence on Him brings freedom: 'If you continue in My Word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free' (John 8:31-32).
## Valiant! Like David: Dependence (Part 9)
* 'Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, Who, being in the Form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a Man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the Name which is above every name, that at the Name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father' (Philippians 2:5-11).
** 'Upon deep consideration and long experience, and by divine inspiration. This verse contains the general proposition, which he intends particularly to demonstrate in the following book. All--All worldly things; is vanity--Not in themselves, for they are God's creatures, and therefore good in their kinds, but in reference to that happiness which men seek and expect to find in them. So they are unquestionably vain, because they are not what they seem to be, and perform not what they promise, but, instead of that, are the occasions of innumerable cares, and fears, and sorrows, and mischiefs. Nay, they are not only vanity, but vanity of vanities, the vainest vanity, vanity in the highest degree. And this is redoubled, because the thing is certain, beyond all possibility of dispute' (Benson Commentary on Ecclesiastes 1:2). http://biblehub.com/commentaries/ecclesiastes/1-2.htm
*** Bible Study article, 'You Gotta Serve Somebody': https://bible.org/seriespage/lesson-34-you-gotta-serve-somebody-romans-615-18
NOTE: This series is a republished edit of a 2014 series called, Valiant Like David. In these devotions, you may see notes to 'Actors, Models & Talent for Christ.' I have not changed this designation. Because in a greater sense, every disciple of Christ acts for Christ, models Christ and stewards His talents, from which God expects a profit.
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Valiant! Like David series.