Sustains himself and sustains us.
This week we’re taking a look at chapter 4 of Jen Wilkin’s book, None Like Him. This chapter is on the self-sufficiency of God and his infinite provision to us for our every need. I have to admit, reading about this attribute of God convicted me.
Creating and sustaining all things, he is himself created and sustained by none… Our God is self-sufficient, needed by all, needful of nothing… He created us gladly and loves us infinitely, but he does not need us.
He created us to need, so that we might turn to him who is the provision of all our needs and worship him. But what do we do instead? I know for me, I tend to try to do things on my own. I didn’t realize just how much I tried to live by my own power until now. I knew I needed to go to him more often in prayer, but didn’t realize the extent that I lived as if I could handle things on my own or felt like I could do God’s job for him. I knew these things were silly in my head, but looking back, my actions seemed to contradict it.
Just before I wrote this, I was getting overwhelmed, and I lost it. I yelled at my kids and went about doing everything in a huff. I didn’t think to turn to the one who could provide sanity in the midst of my crazy life, until after I blew it. But I need him, every hour I need him; why do I forget that when I’m not dealing with any immediate struggles? It’s usually right at the time I’m feeling OK with how things are going that things start to get crazy. And not only do I act like I can manage my own life without him, I want to have the answers for everyone else’s problems as well! Crazy, right?
I need to run to the one who has everything I need, and point others to him as well to fulfill their needs.
As I was reading this chapter, I really enjoyed the lists and explanations she had on the signs of self-sufficiency in the life of a believer. There was a list for us when we live like we don’t need God, and one for living like we don’t need other believers. Many of these items I have seen in my own life at one time or another.
When we deny our need for God, it reveals itself in prayerlessness, forgetfulness of God’s past provisions, anger in trials, and lack of conviction of personal sin.
When we deny our need for other believers, self-sufficiency reveals itself in our avoidance of christian community, concealment of what’s really going on in our lives, lack of accountability towards others, lack of humility towards others, and exhaustion.Lord, make our need for communion with you and fellow believers evident to our hearts. Click To Tweet
These are great lists, and you can read the book to see her explanations of each of these items. Jen points us to how Jesus responded to temptation and difficulty in the Bible – he affirmed the all-sufficient will of God the Father. I think it’s an important thing to remind ourselves of: God and his will – that’s all we need.
This is my prayer for all of us – that we would seek him for all our needs, and that his will would be done in our lives.