Whether God is all we need surfaced in our discussion of “Christian ideas that can drive you crazy.”
Seems to me that this question shows again how, by a simple shift of perspective, or motive, a statement can change meaning. All of us would probably readily affirm that, when God is all we have, we discover that He is all we need.
The Bible itself, however, seems to say that this isn’t the only way our God wants us to think. After proclaiming so many things “good”, He is the one who said to a solitary Adam. “It is not good for man to be alone” (Gen 2:18).
Solomon later gave reasons for two being better than one and described the evils that come from withdrawing from relationships for selfish purposes (Ecc 4:9-12; Prov 8:1)
We see something similar in our Lord. On one hand, he trusted only his Father and said he even relied on “food” that his disciples didn’t know about (John 4:32). But Jesus was also a person of many relationships. Were they incidental to his mission? Did he need any of his friends or enemies to fulfill his purpose? Did he need the little boy’s lunch of a few pieces of bread and small fish? Did he need his mother? What about his disciples?
Then there’s Paul. In his 2nd letter to Timothy, while imprisoned in Rome, he asks his younger friend, “Be diligent to come to me quickly; for Demas has forsaken me…Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for ministry…Bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas when you come — and the books, especially the parchments” (2Tim 4:9-13).
It’s probably important to see Paul’s willingness to ask for help. Yet he goes on to show that, ultimately, it is the Lord he depended on. He tells us about a time when he was abandoned by others when he writes, “At my first defense no one stood with me, but all forsook me. May it not be charged against them. But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that the message might be preached fully through me, and that all the Gentiles might hear. And I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever” (1Tim 4:16-18).
The examples of our Lord and Paul seem so important to me this morning. I’ve had to come to grips with my tendency to act like I didn’t need others. Has been easier for me to give help than to ask for it. Yet, looking back my independent attitude probably bounced between insecurity and pride—covered by the excuse of not wanting to bother others—or maybe to be beholden to them.
Worst case seems to be that not acknowledging my need of others actually enabled me to withhold love—and limited my usefulness to God in the process.
Anyway, that’s the way the question is hitting me today. Wish you’d add to or challenge any of these thoughts so that we can learn together.
The sun’s coming up here. Even though it turned colder overnight, think I’m going to grab my camera and see if I can catch some of the return of Spring to Michigan.