Faith - June 5, 2019

Attributes of God: He Is Self-Sufficient

We are heading into chapter 4 of Jen Wilkin’s “None Like Him” this week and are going to be chatting about God’s SELF-SUFFICIENCY.

The Attributes of God Series

If you missed the series introduction post, I announced the Attributes of God series there and explained a little bit about WHY we should care to know more about God and his nature. But for a quick recap, over the next several weeks, we’re going to be discussing the incommunicable attributes of God in the order that they’re presented in Jen Wilkin’s book, None Like Him.

God is Self Sufficient

By definition, self-sufficiency means that one would need no other means of help to provide for basic needs outside of themselves.

At first glance you may think you can check that box off and deem yourself a self-sufficient being, but in reality we have needs that typically require something outside of ourselves in order to be met. An easy example is we are relational beings with relational needs, so even in that reality alone, we need others. God is the only completely self-sufficient being who is created and sustained by nothing outside of Himself.

It can feel a little unsettling to hear that we are pretty needy people, but God doesn’t need us. We often like to feel needed and can easily put our identity in being needed, but let me unpack why this is a better way with some of the highlights I pulled from this chapter.

You don’t want a needy God

It’s not unlikely that many people have grown up being taught God needed companionship or love, which motivated Him to create humanity. While initially that sounds real sweet, it is not only untrue about the character of God, but it also sets us up for MAJOR failure.

We are broken, limited creatures who will always fall short of being able to fully meet the needs of anyone, let alone God. So take a deep breath because meeting the relational needs of God is not why you were created.

So why did he create you? God is love. He’s not just loving – HE IS LOVE. He is also Creator and so we are this divine expression of His love. He fashioned us in His own image and breathed His very breath of life into us.

Can we just ponder that for a minute or two?

Though he doesn’t need us, He loves us. He is not looking for us to fill up some lack in Him, but He is looking to fill us up with Himself. Jen writes, “He is unruffled and unharmed by my inconsistency. He is pleased to be glorified either through me or in spite of me, but he does not need me in the least.”

Imagine if we lived out of that reality each day instead of feeling like we have to perform or please Him. He is pleased by you because He created you.

He will not abandon you in your need

God did not create you as a needy being and then turn you loose to figure it out on your own. But how often do we live like that is true?

We easily believe this lie that God is some exhaustible well instead of and infinite source of abundance. The problem is not God’s limitations in what He can provide, but our limitations in what we believe He will provide. If we travel along the path of scarcity, we begin to grasp and control things in an attempt to meet our own needs because we don’t trust God is capable or willing to meet them for us.

But friend, that’s just not true if we believe what scripture says about Him. He created you to need so don’t be so hard on yourself when you feel needy. His design was for you to turn to Him with those needs, though. In turning to Him and acknowledging our need and trusting His wisdom in how he meets our needs, worship is created in our hearts as we learn to rest in Him to supply all of our needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19).

God WANTS to be the SOURCE you go to when you need something and He has the resources to care for you emotionally, spiritually, and physically.

That being said, He has also created us to need each other to some degree. It’s good for us to be in relationship with others and we were created for community. The body of believers is meant to work together while depending on God. Sometimes this gets a little out of order and we end up reversing the two, which causes problems. Other humans cannot satisfy our needs like God can, but He did design us to live in relationship to mutually encourage, teach, and counsel each other towards persevering in our faith.

Take off the mask

This section of the book identifies some great markers for identifying self-sufficiency in our lives. It can take the form of prayerlessness, anger when things don’t go your way, lack of conviction, avoidance of community, concealment, and lack of humbly and accountability to name a handful. When we deny our need of God and others we start to live in isolation, which is not where God designed us to flourish. We have needs – all kinds of them – so it’s time to EMBRACE this reality. God has already displayed His willingness to meet those needs when He sent His Son to die on a cross to preserve your life. He is willing and able – so turn to Him in absolute CONFIDENCE! Run to Him with your needs and ask Him to meet them while you trust and wait expectantly. He knows you have needs and He’s not exhausted by them. God is so unlike you, and that is such GOOD NEWS!

Verses for Meditation

There is a section at the end of each chapter which includes verses for mediation I am going to include below that I hope you find helpful.

  • Psalm 50:7-12
  • Acts 17:24-25
  • Philippians 4:19
  • Hebrews 1:3

Tech Background To Reflect Throughout The Week

Since we’re doing this study week by week, I thought it would be fun to add in a little extra value for those of you joining me in this study. I wanted to make these backgrounds for you to put on your phone so that  you could think a bout, pray, and meditate on God’s self-existent nature throughout the week.

Here are 3 options. Click on the text hyperlink below this image to download the full resolution.

he is self sufficient iPhone background

Click to Download:

One // Two // Three