God Doesn't Need You

10:40 AMHeather

We are such ego maniacs.  I mean, really.  I'm realizing in this season of my faith and my life how much I have overestimated my contributions to the kingdom.  Because the truth of it is that God doesn't need me.  

He doesn't need me to sit in the pew on Sundays.  Or to bargain with Him about what I will do for Him in exchange for what He will do for me.  This really isn't a transactional, consumerism thing here.  Because He doesn't need a single thing I have to offer.  Yet, I dangle my loyalty or my skills or my time or anything else I can bring to the table as if I have something to negotiate with, some bargaining chip that will sway Him to move heaven and earth.  

I think entirely too much of myself.  I have no commodity to offer the Creator of the Universe in exchange for the commodities I want Him to offer me.  You may act like you don't know what I'm talking about, but I think you do.  How often do we hear of those who, in desperate times, make some bargain with God?  Offering whatever pitiful thing they feel they can bring to the table in exchange for what they want God to give to them?  

Do we not ALL inflate our contributions as if He is in need of me?  In need of what I can bring?  Thinking too much of ourselves.  Evaluating our usefulness and our assets that we can bring in exchange.  And all the while, He has no need of us.  

That is the humble pie I am feasting on these days.  That the God of all Creation has absolutely no need for anything I could possibly offer.  I have nothing but filthy rags--even when dressed in my finest self-righteousness, carrying my works and acts as if they are valuable, when really they are nothing more than a liability.  Because all of us have fallen short of the glory of God.  However, I carry my years of church attendance and Christian faith as if it's a pedigree or the most impressive resume, attesting to my worth and value. Approaching God like some, "let's make a deal!  Here--I will graciously give you THIS, if you'll give me this...."

Yi yi yi.  This approach clearly places me in the category of the white washed tombs that were the Pharisees.  In the same arena as the dear Martha who toiled away in the kitchen, wearing her devotion like a badge of honor that granted her an excuse for making demands of the Jesus who graced her home.  When all He really wanted was the one thing--the best thing.  Her fellowship.  This making much of myself as if I am needed builds up a wall where grace and love and mercy are ignored and unappreciated.  

Because the real truth is that while He does not need a single thing I have to offer, He wants me.  Not my talents or abilities or skills.  He just wants ME.  He wants me to recognize my filth and shame and to see that it has been covered with robes of righteousness.  Oh, there's been an exchange alright.  But it had nothing to do with what I brought to the table.  It was all about grace being bestowed on the least deserving.  

And it is there, laid bare with the acceptance of how little I have to bring and how much He therefore loves me, that I can see the miracle of being wanted by a God who has need for nothing.  

There, in that moment of accurate reflection, seeing myself for the sinful nature I have and removing all pretense of usefulness, that I can see the wonder of the Cross.  And begin to marvel at the miracle that His grace and love is.  The depth of all that He offers.  And the incredible truth that while He doesn't need me, He still chooses me.  And He invites me in to his miracles.  He includes me in the movements of heaven on earth. 

I've seen this anew in my study of John and the familiar passage of how Jesus fed the 5,000 in John 6.  Just consider these verses with fresh perspective:

When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward Him, He said to Philip, "Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?"  He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.  John 6:5-6

There you have it.  Jesus leads Philip and the disciples for THEIR sakes when he asked this question.  He didn't really need them to problem solve or fix it or offer their best solutions.  Because He already knew what He was going to do.  He already had the solution.  But, He cared about their hearts in this moment.  He cared about the process, not just the outcome.  

The truth of it is that Jesus didn't even need the boy with the five loaves of bread and the two fish.  Was he not the Son of the God who poured manna from heaven?  Who parted the Red Sea?  Who made all that is from nothing?  

But, yet, the true beauty and wonder and miracle of the gospel is that while Jesus doesn't need us, He wants us.  So He loved us to death.  

And He asks us to go ahead and bring our measley scraps to Him.  There, in our moment of surrender and being included in His miraculous ways, He takes our scraps and makes it enough.  Can I surrender to the process and be thankful to be included?  Can I see with accuracy how much I'm wanted and forget any misconception that I'm needed?  And there, can I trust Him for the solutions?  Because He already has in mind what He's going to do.  He just asks me to be part of it by surrendering what I can bring and trust His provision to be more than enough.  The truth of it is that He's got it.  He has it all figured out.  

He just wants us to sit on the hillside, at His feet, and to be fed to the point of satisfaction.  

The truth of it is that there is a starving world out there.  They are starving for the hope and peace and joy and provision that my God offers.  So, will I be willing to join in the work?  To just offer whatever little I can possibly bring--seeing how insufficient it is--and give all that I have to Jesus?  So that it can be multiplied in His capable hands.  And I can be party to what He is doing, amazed that I was included in it.  

The wonder of gospel living, day in and day out, moment by moment is this.  When I offer Jesus all that I have, He becomes all that I need.  He says, "I may not need you. You have nothing but scraps for the huge needs in this world. But I want you--to be part of the work of feeding the hungry world.  Literally.  And figuratively."

Emptied of all pretense and self-importance, we are awed by the miracle of the Cross.  We gain perspective on grace and plunge into its depths.  And we can marvel that a sufficient God would invite us along side of Him to be part of the miracles.  

I am not needed.  Only in grasping this, can I then fully appreciate how wanted I am.

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