Saturday, October 13, 2007

# 222: Need God?

As the last few words were being written, to this author’s surprise, many of the precepts in this post were new to him, as they might be to some of the readers. The question comes up, Where did the source of this information come from? Become a part of this blog. Feedback would be appreciated.

All life, especially human life, is needy. Our needs are many. We all have basic needs such as food, water, clothing, shelter, etc. Then we may have needs that start out as “wants,” but in time, some of these “wants” somehow are converted into basic needs.

The fewer needs we have or desire, apart from the basics, the better off we are. This may sound strange to some, and yet, if we examine our needs closely, we will discover that we become dependent on the very things that are supposed to enrich our lives. This fact indicates that the more dependent we are on our needs, the more our lives become enslaved by them. (Our needs and desires possess us, instead of us possessing them).

Therefore, looking at life from a Godly point of view, those with fewer needs are, in a real sense, wealthier than those who are dependent (dependency exposes weakness) on more of whatever needs have been acquired. That fact seems to say that fulfilling our desires and needs, even though they satisfy, makes some people poor though they may have piles of money in the bank.

There is a verse, Matthew 5:3, that would defy understanding from a worldly perspective. "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." Why would God bless the spiritual poor? Wouldn’t you think God would bless those who are rich in spiritual commodities? The answer may sound like a riddle, but not so. Those who are in desperate need for all that God offers are the blessed poor; they are poor because they, to a great degree are completely dependent on God, while those who believe they are spiritually rich in God’s sight may be of little or no account to Him. Again, that seems to be an oxymoron. A continual need for God, along with the lasting wealth He offers, is of great value to God, Christ and the human respondents.

Need and love are partners. If and when love and need are separated, they both will cease to exist. Love is no more than words when there isn’t need for that love. In order for us to love God as He requires, which is with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, there has to be a strong and growing need for Him. Without a display of that love and need for God, we are only fooling ourselves. We display that love for Jesus by being obedient to His teaching. John 14:23-24. "Jesus replied, ‘If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching . . . He who does not love me will not obey my teaching.’" These verses and at least four more identical verses in John, Chapter 14 and 15, describe a binding connection between love and obedience. Without love, there can be no obedience; without obedience, there is no love; without a need for both, we may be delving into nothing but beautiful yet empty religious words. The awareness of our spiritual needs starts our Divine ball rolling, which under the right conditions will never stop.

Why does God love His children with a special love? Because He, in a way, needs them. That statement is not a sacrilege. Without us to love Him, He would, in a sense, not be a God of love. Even as Almighty as God is, His love for us must be attached with need. If God’s love was not combined with need for His earthly children, then who would continue His Son’s work? Therefore, it is a privilege and honor to be loved and needed by God through Jesus Christ. Human love must be mutual for each other in order to function properly—love combined with need makes the two, one—Divine love does the same, but to an even greater degree.

Do you and I have a deep, all-consuming love for God which springs from need and makes us one with Him? Before we can answer this question, we must first of all be honest with ourselves, and second, find out what ways are we dependent on Him. This is a critical question. Remember, our complete Salvation works this way: Faith in Christ and all He has done for us comes first; that faith, if genuine, produces love and need for our heavenly Father; finally, that faith along with our love-need combination for God, produces obedience. Take just one of the above criterion away and we end up with a bunch of powerless words. Said another way, those requirements cannot be compromised. I did not make up these absolutes; this Biblical blog is more than descriptive, in bringing them emphatically out into the open. This test will tell us if we are just fooling ourselves. It is bad enough to be fooled by others (Satan working through the lives of many deceptive church leaders), but even worse is to fool ourselves. Who wants to play the part of a fool?

Several of the major problems in Christianity are: We—including this author—do not love/need God as much as is required, nor do we love our neighbors as ourselves. If that isn’t difficult enough, we are commanded to love our enemies. I can tell you from experience; it isn’t an easy task to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, along with loving our neighbors and enemies. They are the main criteria that unequivocally tell us we are worshiping the true God. To my knowledge, no other religion incorporates those three.

That is where the hard part of being a genuine Christian comes into play. Besides love for other humans, which isn’t always peaches and cream, I ask this question: Why does God expect/demand the type of passionate intensity in our love for Him which should make all our other loves seem like hatred?

Answer: Anything less would endorse/espouse mediocrity; Christianity could not and would not function as required with half-baked followers. Then some would ask: "Who can actually love God to that degree?" God’s high standard is such that no matter how holy and devoted people may be, they still will not reach the zenith of love for God; there will always be need for more. That would imply that one can never come to the point where he/she can start resting on one’s laurels. There will always be a need to strive to a higher degree of love for God: That Holy Grail is perfection.

This all-encompassing love for God is the main foundation for all else that follows. Even faith in Christ for Salvation would be null and void without an active desire to continue to love God as described in the aforementioned manner. Put another way, it could be summed up in these few words: "From first to last, Christianity is a religion of Divine love for God and neighbor." No more, no less.

Every genuine Christian is at a different level of love for God. A person just born again today (being saved) may not be aware of the importance to have love for God and our need to receive His love to survive in a world-in-rebellion that is dominated by self-interest. But in a very short time, he/she will become aware of the need for our mutual love relationship, which we must have with our Creator. That is an absolute. Of course, it all hinges on whether one is a genuine Christian.

This type of setup for loving God makes every believer qualified to have their names written in heaven, regardless of what level of love for God they are at. Only one dire word of caution: no stonewalling; there must be growth in love for God at all times. Love for God is never dormant; it is like having one foot on a banana peel and one in hell. It is a crying shame that there are many in a stagnant relationship with God, which is no relationship at all.

Loving God with all our faculties is an active venture of continually negating many worldly things and attitudes we had been engaged in; though they may not be sinful in themselves, they rob us of what is needed to devote prime time to Godly activities. This unpleasant part of Christianity—which isn’t unpleasant at all once we actually are starting to experience the life of Christ—is what many denominations are silent on; they somehow or another circumvent this most crucial part of God’s plan of Salvation with feel-good holy bull, which many accept as truth and therefore may be denied passage into real life.

In conclusion, as one can tell, there is need in every phase of the Christian life. Become aware of those needs and then pray to God that He inspires us to fulfill them. All life is needy in one way or another. Let us examine our lives to see if we truly need God. He needs us, although His need is not desperate, where our need for Him must be whole hearted; halfhearted love will never do to please God. Please, for your sake, keep your love for God alive and growing. That is the secret to living the Christian life to its fullest. Every human on earth needs God’s love, although the majority are not aware of that fact. Remember, love is the solution to every earthly problem. Let your need for love (God’s love) be known by loving God and those in need. That is the Christian life. Amen and amen. God will bless all who take the words in this post to heart and put them into practice.

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