God needs me to ...

My daughter and I share a love-hate (you'll see what I did there in a minute) relationship with the English language. We have frequent conversations about its absurdity, the odd quirks that make putting pen to paper frustrating, something compounded exponentially when editing is undertaken. Here's one she shared with me recently: you can use a contraction in a sentence, but you generally cannot put one at the end of a sentence, otherwise we'd be able to say, "He's not as happy as I'm" or "She's taller than he's."

Welcome you're.

Another quirk in the English language is the oxymoron. Defined as "two seemingly opposite or incongruous words used together", an oxymoron differs from a paradox in that the words are side-by-side. Examples of oxymora include jumbo shrimp, walking dead, definite possibility, small crowd, and love-hate.

There exists an oxymoron used in Christian language, however, that is in another league. If ever there were two words more diametrically opposed than any others, it would be these two, yet Christians use them all the time. God needs. God needed another angel. God needs missionaries. God needs your service. God needs.

Nothing could be further from the truth, and any sentence that starts with the words "God needs" can be automatically rejected as false.

God needs my money. The truth is the Lord "owns the cattle on a thousand hills" and "the Earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof." Whatever we use for currency, He created, so He owns it anyway. What is material money to a spiritual God anyway?

God needs my time. The truth is "time is in the Lord's hands" and "a thousand years are like a day" to God. He is eternal and in no need of the human construction of time.

What I mean is He needs my service. Again, no. If God wants to tell the plan of salvation to your co-worker, He can write it in the sky with a brush of His finger or spell it out by aligning the planets just so. If he desires to bring water to a village in Africa, He can gather all the clouds over the area or bring forth water from rocks with a mere thought. He created herbs and balms. Does He need us to administer them? They themselves with jump out of the ground at the command of their Creator. What is it that we think we can do that He cannot? He is able to do it, some other way, and infinitely better.

God needs my prayer. This thought lies in direct opposition to the omnipotence of God. He is not bound by our prayer, since the Bible tells us He had a plan "laid before the foundation of the world."

He needs my worship. Our precious Father is not some far-off being craving the adoration of its inferiors. Worship is a gift to us from God, and prayer for our benefit, not His.

And as much as we like to think our loved one went to heaven because God needed another angel, it's just not true, dear one. The Bible says angels are created beings, and we know from Genesis God ceased creating on the sixth day, so He is no longer creating any angels. Neither do people transform into angels when they die, since we are completely different species, if you will, any more than dogs turn into people when they die. We don't want to, anyway, if we know the Bible. God has different plans for redeemed people in eternity, plans that are superior to the plans He has for angels. (See "A limited perspective...for now)

I love the way Paul told us this truth in Acts.

The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does

not live in temples made by human hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. --Acts 17:24-25

This verse tells us God is the Self-sufficient One. He is in need of nothing from us, but, out of His precious desire to bless, gives us the opportunity to be involved in His eternal kingdom work. He doesn't need us, but how we need Him!

Self-sufficient One, I acknowledge that You are eternal; I am finite. Everything belongs to you; I have nothing. You are all-wise; my wisdom is foolishness. You can do anything; I can do nothing apart from You. You don't need me, but I need You more than the breath in my lungs, and where this isn't true in my life, make it true! Teach me to thirst for You "as the deer pants for the water brook."

TRUTH FOR TODAY: I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me, you can do nothing. John 15:5 (NIV)