Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you (1 Peter 5:6, 7).
Several weeks after one of my conferences, a friend shared with me the story of a dear Christian woman who had attended. She had lived in a deep depression for several years. She “survived” by leaning on her friends, three counseling sessions a week, and a variety of prescription drugs.
During the conference, this woman realized that her support system included everybody and everything but God. She had not cast her anxiety on Christ and she was anything but dependent on Him. She took her conference syllabus home and began focusing on her identity in Christ and expressing confidence in Him to meet her daily needs. She radically threw off all her other supports (a practice I do not recommend) and decided to trust in Christ alone to relieve her depression. She began living by faith in God, rather than men, and renewing her mind according to Scripture. After only one month, she was a completely different person. The support of a caring community can become a poor substitute for our own personal relationship with God.
Persons who want to move forward in Christian maturity can certainly benefit from the discipling of others. And those who seek freedom from their past can be helped through the counseling of others. But ultimately every Christian is responsible for his or her own maturity and freedom in Christ. Nobody can make you grow. That’s your decision and daily responsibility. We absolutely need God, and we also need the support of one another. Thankfully, none of us walks through the disciplines of personal maturity and freedom alone. The indwelling Christ is eagerly willing to walk with us each step of the way.
Dr. Anderson, Freedom in Christ and Harvest House Publishers www.ficm.org