"We are to be taking strenuous efforts in our walk with God, while being totally dependent on God."
I've known this and believed this; obeying God doesn't save us, but God saving us makes us want to obey him. But hearing it in these words made me think about it a little more deeply, and a thought came to me that I thought was a wonderful illustration of this. When a baby is learning how to walk (which happens about bi-yearly around here ;)...), she is totally dependent on those who are holding her up. Those first little steps are never taken without the supportive hands of those around her, usually her Mommy and Daddy. But the fact that they are there gives her the desire and ability to take those precious steps. It just really struck me as a wonderful way to describe that relationship between us and our Heavenly Father :)!