Christian Living

Spiritual Life

God Knows What We Need

“We must never allow the idea that because we have been obedient, because our need is great, because we long for it, therefore God will hear us.” - Oswald Chambers

Oswald Chambers never fails to challenge me and get me thinking. The sullied message of salvation earned by my good performance or by virtue of my bleeding heart is insidious. It’s always with me, trying to replace Jesus at the center of the story with someone who looks an awful lot like me. There were a lot of people at the pool of Bethesda that day whom Jesus didn’t heal. If God responds only to our needs then He would be unjust and inconsistent to not treat everyone equally. But He responds to faith. The writer of Hebrews reminds us of this quite clearly.

“And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6, NASB)

I must continually bring my whole life back to Jesus. It’s because of what He did, not because of what I do or don’t do. Going further, Paul said,

“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9, NASB)

I’m not advocating a lazy, do-nothing Christianity. The point is that God wants more for us than just a bunch of people waiting in line for a handout. His goal is to grow us into mature sons and daughters who know Him, love Him, and out of that strong relationship, make requests as part of an ongoing conversation with Him. At any point where we divorce our understanding of Scripture and the heart of God from relationship, we have made a serious error and are in need of swift correction.

Of course God knows what we need and His good heart longs to completely satisfy us. In fact, He knows what we need before we ask, before we even know what we need. But He’s up to something much bigger than we can imagine. When Jesus met the woman at the well in John chapter 4, she though their conversation was only about water. Jesus had in mind the salvation of an entire village. He’s no different today.

Look at the needs in your life. By all means bring them to God with confidence that He is ready, willing, and able to meet them. Also, take time to prayerfully consider how the answer to your prayers will be much bigger and better than you ever imagined. How is God maturing you through this need? How does He want to show Himself strong on your behalf?

Lord, please forgive me for my faithless self-idolization and help me remember that I don’t earn anything in the Kingdom of God; it’s all by grace, through faith. Show me what You’re up to in my life and help me raise my expectation to meet Your ability. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Copyright © 1/9/2020 Mánus Baird, used with permission.

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