Have you ever had a relationship that drained your energy? If we are not careful, we can cross boundaries and take responsibilities for people who should be caring for their own needs. However, our reality is that we need people, and they need us. We were created to be in community, caring for one another. We are raised by parents who are to care for our needs until we are adults. God has created within our soul's many longings, such as to be cared for, loved, and protected. When we look to Him to be the ultimate satisfier of our longings, we feel the greatest fulfillment. He knows all our needs, desires, and longings which He admonishes us to bring to Him in prayer. Both our sinful nature and the enemy of our souls, Satan, will often tempt us to carry out life independent of God. Just as Eve was tempted to choose actions independent of God’s will, we are easily deceived to follow a course of action that is opposite God’s counsel or commands.
Unlike us, God does not have a need to be loved, served, helped, or protected by his creation. He is completely happy and fulfilled within Himself. The Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit have a complete and perfect union, communication, and love. God does not experience loneliness because He has perfect fellowship from within the Trinity. Thus He is independent of us, though He chooses to be in relationship with us. “God’s independence is defined as follows: God does not need us or the rest of creation for anything, yet we and the rest of creation can glorify Him and bring Him joy. This attribute is sometimes called his self-existence . . . God’s existence and character are determined by Himself alone and are not dependent on anyone or anything else” (Grudem, Systematic Theology, pages 160 - 161). In Acts 17:24-25, the apostle Paul explains that God was neither created by human hands (unlike idols) nor does He need human hands to serve Him.
Understanding this can be very freeing for us. Too often, we can feel a pressure that God needs us to serve Him endlessly so we can make Him happy and so His will can be accomplished. Though God chooses to use us for His glory and to complete His Kingdom plans, He does not NEED us to do this. He could choose to reveal the gospel to the whole world without us, but this is not what He chose. He could heal, encourage, and provide for people apart from our prayers, edifying words, and sacrificial giving and service, but He chooses to use us to accomplish His purposes.
Though God does not need us for anything, this does not mean that we are unimportant. “We are in fact very meaningful because God has created us and He has determined that we would be meaningful to Him. That is the final definition of genuine significance” (Grudem, p. 162). We also see that we bring joy and delight to God (see Isaiah 62:3-5, Zephaniah 3:17). What greater significance can we have than delighting our Awesome Creator!
God gives us an incredible experience of being brought into the love of the Trinity. Jesus says, “On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in Me, and I am in you. Whoever has My commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves Me. He who loves Me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show Myself to him” (John 14:20-21).
The reason I feel compelled to write this today is that too often I see believers exhausted because they feel the burden that they have to tirelessly work for God, or keep giving sacrificially of themselves or else people will go to Hell or people will starve to death. We may even feel that God feels anxious and desperate because we are not doing enough for Him or adequately caring for His sheep. The truth is that all we have to do is ask God each day to lead us in His will. Begin each day reading the Word and praying and He will faithfully guide you through the day. Remember that He does not NEED you, but He chooses to use you and love and delight in you. Remember Jesus’ words:
“Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).
Today’s Bible Reading: John 14:15-21, Matthew 11:28-30
By Sue Corl