READ: Zechariah 3, John 18, 2 Peter 2


Spiritual maturity is counter to natural human maturity. To become an adult in human society means to be ever more dependent on yourself. To become an adult spiritually is to be ever more dependent on Jesus. Humans consider continual dependence on others to be weakness. Continual dependence on Jesus is an indicator of great spiritual strength. Those that have been best used in the kingdom are those who recognized their absolute need for Jesus to sustain their every breath. The Psalmist said, “I will rise before the dawning of the morning and cry for help” (Psalm 119:147). There is something eternally beautiful about the man or woman who knows deeply that without Jesus he or she can do nothing.

Zechariah 3 relates the story of Joshua the high priest. In the narrative Satan stands continually at Joshua’s side to oppose him. There are two ongoing forces constantly present around us: the accuser stands at our side opposing the work of God in and through us, and the Lord dwells within us to rebuke the lies of Satan and to repulse his attacks. The reason we need to constantly turn to Jesus for help, to embrace our spiritual dependence, is because Satan stands at our side patiently waiting for a moment of vulnerability. We ever need the protection of the Lord. It is the Lord who rebukes Satan on our behalf and plucks us out to safety as a brand from the fire (v. 2). If the Lord did not continually keep us from evil, we would be consumed. Peter tells us that the Lord knows how to deliver the godly from temptations (2 Peter 2:9). Temptations can be isolated urges or they can be a sustained place of vulnerability. Jesus is able to deliver us from both if we constantly turn to Him, if we live and breathe a “Jesus help me!” lifestyle of dependence. The godly that are delivered are not the good–for no one is good–but those who ever turn to Jesus for help.

Jesus defends us; we don’t have to defend Him (John 18:8). When we get away from a position of spiritual dependency and slide into the arrogance of Jesus needing our protection, we end up hurting others and misrepresenting Jesus. Like Peter we chop off somebody’s ear and make a mess that Jesus has to clean up. Jesus is more than capable of defending both us and His own name. If we cannot even defend ourselves and need Jesus’ constant intervention, who are we to think that we can defend Him? Jesus is to be magnified and obeyed, not defended. Jesus defends us, we proclaim Him. Jesus helps us, we praise Him. Jesus delivers us, we worship Him. It is the responsibility of God to keep us from evil. It is the responsibility of humanity to turn to Him morning by morning, moment by moment for help. It is our daily dependence on Jesus than makes us dominant.

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