What are some practical ways to depend on God?

Jesus said that He depended upon His Father for everything. "So Jesus said to them, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing. And greater works than these will he show him, so that you may marvel'" (John 5:19–20). He said He did the Father's will (John 6:38; 10:25; 12:49).

If even Jesus depended on the Father, how much more are we to depend on God? We know that in truth, we depend on God for our very existence (Acts 17:28; Colossians 1:16–17). We also rely upon God for our salvation (Ephesians 2:8–9). Yet on a day-to-day basis, we sometimes find it difficult to rely on God and instead find ourselves depending on our own strength or on worldly wisdom. So how can we depend on God practically?

Some practical ways to depend on God are through:

Prayer: When we give God praise and thanks in prayer, we are demonstrating that we depend on Him. When we confess our sins, we are depending on His grace and forgiveness (Matthew 6:12–13; 1 John 1:9).

When we seek God for things in our lives, we are relying on Him as a child would a good father (Matthew 6:11). Jesus compared a person who is great in the kingdom of heaven to a child (Matthew 18:2–4).

When we give things over to God to handle, through prayer, we are saying we trust—depend on—Him (1 Peter 5:7). When we resist worry and instead trust that God will be faithful to His promises, we depend on him. Jesus said, "Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble" (Matthew 6:31–34).

We also seek wisdom through prayer, thus depending on God to direct our path (James 1:5; Proverbs 3:5–6).

Read, study, understand, and obey the Bible: The Bible is God's Word and when we delve into it and respond to its truths, we are telling God we trust Him and take Him at His Word (2 Timothy 3:16–17). We are seeking to know Him and what He says so that we can depend on Him.

Act rightly: Jesus says that when we obey Him, we are showing our love for Him (1 John 5:2). We depend on Him by following His instructions.

Practice the "more of Him, less of me" principle: We are to offer ourselves as living sacrifices (Romans 12:1) and live as Christ. Paul also tells us in Romans to be spiritually minded rather than wanting things of the flesh (Romans 8:5–11).

Produce spiritual fruit: There is only one way to do this—stay connected with Jesus (John 15:4). Exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22–23) is only possible when we are in touch with, and in tune with, the Holy Spirit and depend upon Him to work in and through us.

To be sure, depending on God does not mean finding a place to sit and wait for God to send a raven to bring you food and a wanderer to happen upon you with water. Depending on God involves making use of the practical tools with which He has provided us. For example, it is not wrong to go to a doctor; we can make use of the gift of medicine while still knowing that healing ultimately comes from God. We do not want to rush ahead of God in self-dependence, but neither are we to test God (Matthew 4:5–7). Do not be foolish or presume upon God. Rather, seek His wisdom. Thank Him for the things He has provided and make use of them in God-honoring ways, knowing that any good thing ultimately has its source in God.

Having the desire to depend on God practically is a God-honoring desire and He will provide you ways to do so. Your desire is to glorify Him, and that desire itself honors God.

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