I have been thinking off and on about our needs. It just hit me all day long we are either meeting our needs or the needs of others. God created us to have lots of needs. We have all kind, physical, mental, spiritual. What is the greatest need of man kind? I would say our greatest need is to be saved and loved by God.
This devotional is long and much to take in. My suggestion would be maybe to take a few days, divide it up. Think about it, pray about it, and just let Him meet your needs. It is the gospel.
We want to know who we are. Who we really truly are. He tells us we are perfect with His perfection. We can give up the striving for perfection. We already are. We are forgiven, loved, holy, saints, sinners saved by grace. God wants us to enjoy Him. To be happy in Him, with Him. This shows the world how great He is in us. Tim Keller said we are trophies of His grace. We were created and made for intimacy. We desire for someone to know everything there is to know about us, the ugly, the good, the things that we would not share with anyone, we long to share and be loved anyway. God does this. Not because He has to but because He wanted it so bad He sent Jesus to come get us. I believe sharing the love the Father, Son and Spirit with us burned within Him. Only then would He send His only Son to not only die to come get us but He knew the horrendous pain it would be to Him and Jesus to turn His back on Him because of bringing us into this relationship with them. They had never, ever been separated and never would again. The thoughts of how wonderful it would be to share their love with us it was worth it all to them both.
God is even interested and providing our physical needs for us. We have to make these a priority. We can not serve God or take care of anybody if we are broken physically or mentally. I didn't take care of my family for 20 years because I thought it was selfish to take care of me. I fell into a deep, dark hole. Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. God values our bodies. We are promised new bodies when we die. God decided this was a way Jesus could move into our world. He gave Christ a body to come and to relate to us in our pain, suffering, needs of rest and food and even death to make us His body.
We have a need for each other. But others cannot meet the need we may think we have to be happy or just feel like me matter. Like we are somebody. God won't let that happen. He won't let something else that you think will make you happy keep you from knowing Him in such a way that His desires becomes your. He may not give you a need you think you have to have just to show you how He can reach into the inner most part of your heart and meet your deepest longing. This may take a lot of time. He has been teaching me this for years and I still forget and wonder sometimes if I understand it at all. But He just won't give up on me, you or let me go too far from Him. Just far enough to make the longing of my heart for Him stronger, then I am willing to say you are my God. Here is my heart. Take it and seal it unto thee. It is yours Lord. I am yours. I wake up in the morning, sometimes fighting discouragement, I fail everyday to love others as He loves me. Then I know the gospel is for me. I just can't stop praying Lord teach me to allow you to love others through me. May I trust your finished work for me more.
The more we are open, honest, forgiving, and giving each other Jesus love and compassion the more the one Spirit within us brings us together as one, the body of Christ. When one part of the body hurts the whole body hurts. When one cries we cry with them. We take upon ourselves the things that is sometimes a weight so heavy it paralyzes them. We do this by feeling the pain they are in. By lifting them and their burdens to the throne of grace to the one who carries all our burdens. He not only carries them He experienced them all on the cross. Only by Jesus can we give each other the compassion He gives us. We are to encourage, teach, rebuke, serve, pray and point each other to God. Everything Jesus was in the bible we are to be to each other. This is impossible for us. All we can do is give Jesus to each other. Give each other the gospel. It is His Spirit in us. We have a passion for each other and to help each other to grow in Christ. When a prisoner is most punished they are put in isolation. Isolation is a dangerous, lonely, suffering place to be. Jesus knew this isolation. People need to be touched, and have relationships, and beauty. We need each other. We are human though and we will fail each other. We must point each other to Jesus who will never let them down. He will always be there.
We have a need to see our sin but at the same time the forgiveness of Christ so much bigger. Don't focus on your sin, it is too big for you to even consider. You won't be able to see Jesus. Confess it repent of it and move on. Seeing our sin is an indicator to us we have lost the way. The way of Jesus. We are not following Him. It is a reminder to us of how much we need a Savior. We forget. We must remember the gospel, what Jesus did on the cross is all it took to meet the holiness of God and the extreme demands He had to have to forgive us our sin. His demands were completely satisfied. He wants us to be just as satisfied. Martin Luther said
Be a sinner and sin strongly, but more strongly have faith and rejoice in Christ.I don't think Martin Luther was saying sin more but rather live in the freedom and joy of being forgiven. Remember the gospel. Do not worry so much you might mess up and sin that you don't enjoy God or move out in living life and trusting Him. Life by faith. If you blow it go ahead and blow it big. Don't hold back life because of fear of sin. Your sins are forgiven. Live as a child of the King, loved and forgiven. Jack Miller wrote a wonderful study on "Sonship". Living in the freedom and joy of who we are as a child of God. He said "Abba", actually means Daddy Father.
God choses not to remember, not think of, our sins any more because the sweet aroma of the blood of Jesus that was perfect satisfied Gods cry for justice. He gave us unbelievable mercy. He feels nothing but love, compassion and delight in us. He has such a design that He will be with us forever though out eternity where there is no end to time. When this happened, Jesus gave this perfection to us. He was the only perfect man that ever lived and it is now who we are. He died in our place, what we deserve He took. Our sin killed Jesus. It was Gods burning desire to make a broken, sinful people their very own, us.
So we have a need for life and freedom and peace and joy and rest. Every man longs for but it is totally impossible for us apart from God. We try to find it is our circumstances or people. God promises to meet these needs when we trust that there is nothing more we can do to make the gospel true. Jesus said it is finished. Nothing can make Him cherish you, adore you, long for you to be with Him where Hs is than right now. You cannot add or take anything away from the gospel, not your good works, your right choices, your good kids, joy, marriage, health, money, theology, beauty, successes, fame, knowledge, creativity, large following in ministry, helping lots of people, even writing a book, nothing makes you more loved or accepted or forgiven that you are right now in Christ. Don't focus on your sin. Confess it, repent and be done.
Go live life in the freedom of the gospel and let God meet the deepest needs of your heart. The deepest need you will ever have is met in Him. Spend time with Him. Seek His face. Remember over and over He loves you even when you don't feel like He does. When you think you can't go on remember He is there and He knows the beginning and the end. Ask the Spirit to make it real to your heart. Learn that He is good no matter how hard things get. We have a need to be dependent and not independent. We have a need to worship God and we will try to find anything to worship but Him. But He went to such extreme measures to get your heart and mine He is not about to let you go. He won and He is gonna win so give it up.
You will be amazed just what our God can do. He can raise the dead and give life. Life abundant. Jesus is Life. The more satisfied we are in Him the more He is glorified. I paraphrased John Piper. It takes time. Be patient with yourself, He is. He is in the faithful process of showing us all how He can meet all our needs according to His riches and glory. In heaven we will long no more and we will be completely satisfied. It is not Gods incapability to satisfy us it is our in ability to receive it. We will run to anything and everything but God to meet our deepest need. When we can't do anything else or go anywhere else He says I already met your need. I met it at the cross. I knew you couldn't come to me. I had to come to you. I gave it all and you are mine. Come to me. I love you in ways you never dreamed or imagined. Only then can I forget about my deepest need and go love another.