Our Bible verse for today: Neither is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything …” Acts 17:25 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “God is self-sufficient”
I have to admit that sometimes I feel like I’m doing God a favor by doing things for Him. Maybe it surprises you that I would admit that, but if you’re honest you’ll admit it’s true of you too. Sometimes we all get this silly idea that God needs us and that some important thing won’t get accomplished if you and I don’t step up and do it for God.
The truth is that God is self-sufficient. He doesn’t need anyone or anything. In Himself He is all that He needs to be, and He has all that He needs to have. God does not need anyone or anything, and He does not need you or me. This is what theologians call “the self-sufficiency of God”. A more precise definition of the self-sufficiency of God would be “He (God) possesses within Himself every quality and ability He needs, and with never-ending measure. Every attribute, power, and ability is His endlessly. God wants for nothing, lacks nothing, and is fully complete within Himself.”
So that means He does not need you and me – at all, for anything. However, He wants you and me. That’s why He created us to begin with. He desires first and foremost to have a voluntary, two-way love relationship with each one of us, and then He delights in involving us in His activities. Just as a human father delights in involving his child in whatever he is doing, so too God delights in involving us in His activities. Also, just as a human father could easily do the thing faster and better without the help of the child, so too God can accomplish anything He wants faster and better without us in the way. But, it brings Him great pleasure to have us working with Him, even though He doesn’t need us.
This is instructive and important. We often get way too impressed with ourselves, especially when it comes to ministry-related activities. We serve a meal at the homeless shelter and walk away patting ourselves on the back. Well, it’s good that we participated in that activity, but the truth is that God could have met that need faster and better by Himself, and without the mess you and I just made in the kitchen. Likewise, that dollar you gave to the homeless man with the sign? Nicely done, but God could have made a pile of dollars magically appear in the man’s pocket if He had wanted to.
As a preacher this is something I need to guard against, especially if someone compliments me for a sermon well-preached. Yes, maybe God chose to speak through me to His people. But the truth is that God also spoke through the mouth of Balaam’s donkey (and the donkey was probably more cooperative and easier to work with).
As you think about God this morning remember that He is self-sufficient. He doesn’t need you. But He does want you.