I have been thinking about Acts 17:28 for the last few weeks. That verse states, "For in him we live and move and have our being." I have been mindful lately that I am totally dependent on God, sort of like a fish in water. I doubt if a fish has to think (if a fish could even think) about being in the water. I would suppose that a fish could even take being in the water for granted. But have you ever seen a fish out of water? They thrash about, their gills desperately seeking the water from which they derive their existence. If they can't get back into the water, after a while they just die. That is how I am in relationship to the Lord. But sometimes I can forget that truth.
When I was in Kenya recently on safari, we stopped for breakfast by a river filled with crocodiles and hippos While watching them, I stepped too close to the edge of the cliff and my leg dropped down and was badly scratched and scraped. It caused me to think, "I could have fallen off that cliff at that point. It could have all been over just that quickly." The only thing that kept me intact at that moment was God, nothing less and certainly nothing more.
The verse says that we live, move and have our being. There can be no better expression of our total dependence on God. I think the psalmist understood this dependence as well when he wrote, "My times are in your hands" (Psalm 31:15).
A wise man once wrote, "The holy blessed God never does evil to any man. He only withdraws his gracious presence from him, and then he necessarily perishes." So what should your and my response be to this truth?
First, we should be thankful. Second, we should fight arrogance and pride, which clings to us as part of our sinful human condition: "For everything in the world — the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does — comes not from the Father but from the world" (1 John 2:16-17). Finally, we should be ever mindful of His protection and provision, which should cause us to fear doing anything that would jeopardize His care.
Take the time to add your own comments and insights about this verse by clicking on this site and adding your thoughts at the end of the post where it says "comments." I would really like to start a running dialog about this and other verses from time to time. But for now, I am not in a hurry to move from my meditations on this verse.