Sunday, February 5, 2012

God is Sufficiency

I have been thinking about the truth that God is in need of nothing, that he is sufficiency. As a dependent creature, this is both humbling and difficult to grasp intellectually. Even if I weren't a Believer, and thus, weren't thinking in terms of my dependent need for a Savior, I still have other dependent needs that make me human: the physical need for water, food, and air; the emotional need for affection, community, and acceptance. And, as one who recognizes my spiritual needs as well, add to those lists the need for forgiveness (mercy), grace, and unconditioned love. I need those things for my own spirit, and then I need His Holy Spirit to live and to walk out each day. So, my spiritual needs are two-fold: for salvation and for sanctification.

And yet, God is in need of nothing. In fact, no comparison can be made. As Arthur Pink puts it, "He is solitary in His majesty, unique in His excellency, peerless in His perfection. He sustains all, but is himself independent of all. He gives to all, but is enriched by none" (The Attributes of God, p. 12). When I say He is sufficiency, that literally means He is the quality of being sufficient.

On the one hand, there is a certain confidence gained, a certain assurance found in the knowledge that He is sufficient. It means He is stable. It means He is immutable. And it means I can trust Him completely. He is secure because He is sufficient.

On the other hand, this is quite humbling. It means God is not now nor was He ever in need of anything from me. The verse that inspired me to add this to my list was Acts 17:25: "Nor is He worshiped by men's hands, as if He needed anything." If ever I thought this relationship was equal or reciprocal, I am wrong. He is all sufficient; I am all need.

It's humbling because it forces me to not think more highly of myself than I ought, but it's also humbling to wrap my brain around the gravity, the magnitude of this truth. Our salvation was not for ourselves, nor was it because He needed to save us. It was, as Ephesian 2:7 puts it, "to show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus." Or, as stated in Ephesians 1:5, it was "according to the good pleasure of His will." In short - it was His own demonstration of His own character (graciousness, kindness, goodness), for His own glorification.

In my pride, not only do I fool myself, acting as if I were the sufficient one, but I also irreverently approach God as if He were like me, as if He were in need of an exchange from me: the games and manipulations - "If I do this, then You do that." How foolish! Anything God ever does for me is because of His own goodness to demonstrate His own glory - not because He needs to and certainly not because I ever deserve or earn it.

What I have realized in seeking after this attribute of God is both a renewed humility and a reverence toward our God who is unlike any other being, toward a God "above all praise" (Nehemiah 9:5 - literally meaning He is sufficient even without our praise), and toward a God who chose, out of His own goodness, to call me His, to bless me greatly, and to be near me always. I pray that I would always be humbled with an accurate perception of reality: the reality of my condition and dependent need, and the reality of His perfection, his sufficiency - the total and complete picture of lacking nothing.
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