If we’re honest with ourselves, no doubt as Christians we would have to admit that consistently depending on God can be struggle. Our human nature—as well as our culture—has us leaning heavily into self-sufficiency.
God Dependence is one of six CVC passions (values) that has been partially defined this way:
“…our pride bows to humility; our worry yields to trust; and our stress is overcome by joy. We experience peace in the face of turbulence and the unknown. As Jesus comes through for us in ways that defy human explanation, all credit, praise and glory go to God, in both the good and difficult times.”
Many of us are familiar with the 1981 Oscar-winning film “Chariots of Fire”. In this movie based on a true story, Eric Liddell, a Scottish athlete known for his speed, competes in the 1924 Paris Summer Olympics. When his races are scheduled to take place on a Sunday, Eric is forced to choose between his belief about keeping the Sabbath and taking part in those races. This Christian man, so dependent on God for life’s decisions and so desiring to bring Him glory, chooses to pass on running in the Sunday races. Instead, he competes in the 400 meters–a race not held on a Sunday but one he’s not trained for. He wins the gold in an amazing upset.
His story continues though, beyond the movie. Eric and his wife, their children with them, went on to serve as missionaries to China. When Japanese forces invaded mainland China, Eric sent his wife and children to the safety of Canada. He was sent to an internment camp with hundreds of other civilians where he spent over two years before dying of a brain tumor. However, story after story has been told by those who lived in the camp with Eric about his example as a God dependent Christian man, including this quote from his friend A.P. Cullen: “He was literally God-controlled, in his thoughts, judgments, actions…every morning he rose early to pray and read the Bible in silence: talking and listening to God…”
Eric Metaxas writes in his book “Seven Men and the Secret of Their Greatness”: “Why does the world still remember and love Eric Liddell today…? Because this young man put his whole career as a runner in the balance, and deemed it as small dust, compared to remaining true to his principles.”
Eric Liddell exhibited God dependence. He experienced peace in the face of turbulence and the unknown—in the 1924 Olympic Games and while serving as a missionary to China. His example continues to be an encouragement to all in spiritual pursuit of dependence on God.