I have three questions that I would like to address today:
- What is our greatest need as human beings?
- Does God desire to provide us with our greatest need?
- How does God provide this need for us on a day-to-day basis?
Understanding the answer to these questions will eliminate the need to ask many of the other questions that continually plague us throughout our lives. So many of the questions we ask originate from not knowing the answers of these three questions. Let’s look at them together.
Question 1: What is our greatest need as human beings?
God is our greatest need. Not what God can give us, but God himself. God created us to have communion with him. This is what we lost because of sin, and it's what is restored through salvation.
Communion with God is more than just knowing him. It is an ongoing relationship with him, where you spend time with him, talk to him and listen to him. It is an intimate relationship with him, where you fall deeper and deeper in love with him as you spend time with him and come to know him in a more intimate way. It is characterized by a continually growing trust and dependence on him. This is communion with God, and it's our greatest need as human beings.
Question 2: Does God desire to provide us with our greatest need?
God’s actions have shown how much he loves us and how far he will go to have communion with us. Not only did mankind have perfect communion with God when he created us, but when we used our freedom to sin against him and lost our communion with him, he poured out his wrath upon himself in the person of Jesus Christ in order to restore our communion with him. There is no better display of God’s desire to provide us with communion with him than his willingness to take upon himself the wrath that we alone deserved. So yes, God does desire to provide us with our greatest need, which is communion with him.
Question 3: How does God provide this need for us on a day-to-day basis?
Answer: Through our daily needs and through turbulence
We’ve already established that our greatest need is communion with God, which is an ongoing intimate relationship with him characterized by an ever-deepening love, trust and dependence. Well, because we live in a fallen world, and our redeemed souls live within fallen, sinful flesh, our natural inclination is toward an ever-deepening love, trust and dependence with ourselves rather than God. If we were able to meet every one of our daily needs, and we never faced turbulence in our lives, we would eventually come to the conclusion that we only needed ourselves.
God, having created us for communion with himself and desiring to provide us with that communion, allows us to experience needs that only he can fill and turbulence from which only he can deliver us from. It is those needs and turbulence that drive us directly to our greatest need, God himself.
God knows our every need, even before we do, and he could fulfill those needs for us before we ever knew we needed a thing. But then we would not go running to him to meet our needs, and we would miss out on our greatest need, communion with our Father.
God knows what turbulence we will face before we ever begin to experience it, and he could deliver us from that turbulence before it ever reached us. But then we would not go running to him to deliver us from that turbulence, and we would miss out on communion with him.
Most people think that God’s blessings are mainly seen in the good things that happen to them in their lives, but I believe that God’s greatest blessings come through times of some of our greatest needs and most painful turbulence. It is during these times that we are driven hardest and run the fastest into the arms of our greatest need, our heavenly Father.
I was saved when I was almost 20 years old, and I am now 38. In the 18 years that I have been saved, there have been three defining moments in my life that have literally changed who I was and changed my view of God forever. Who I am today is more a result of those three moments than all the rest of those 18 years. And I would describe those three defining moments as the most horrible and painful times of my life.
Defining moment 1: God delivered me from an addiction that almost cost me my marriage.
God drove me to confession, repentance and, ultimately, deliverance. And he did it by driving me into communion with him, where I found the strength I needed to experience deliverance unto this day. Through this experience, I came to know my heavenly Father as my strength, my deliverer, and my restorer.
Defining moment 2: My father died.
God drove me into communion with him, where I found the comfort I needed to make it through the loss of my earthly father. Through this experience, I came to know my heavenly Father as my comforter.
Defining moment 3: My wife was in the hospital, and I thought I might lose her.
God drove me into communion with him, where I came to understand that he has a purpose for every turbulent event in my life, and that he is bringing good out of every bad situation. He showed me that what was happening to her was part of his plan to bring great blessing into both her life and mine, and we have both grown from the experience and been greatly blessed through this most traumatic event. Through this experience, I came to know God as sovereign and as one to be trusted in even the worst turbulence.
These three times in my life were almost unbearable. The pain was indescribable. I experienced such doubt and hopelessness. But it was during these times that God opened my eyes to just how much he loved me, and, each time, I came to know him in a way that I had never known him before. I experienced a communion with him that was more beautiful than words can describe, and I was forever changed by the experiences. I look back on those turbulent times as some of the greatest blessings of my life, and I wouldn’t trade them for anything. For it was in those times that God truly provided me with my greatest need, communion with him.
"But if God is so good as you represent Him, and if He knows all that we need, and better far than we do ourselves, why should it be necessary to ask Him for anything?" I answer, What if He knows Prayer to be the thing we need first and most? What if the main object in God's idea of prayer be the supplying of our great, our endless need - the need of Himself?… Hunger may drive the runaway child home, and he may or may not be fed at once, but he needs his mother more than his dinner. Communion with God is the one need of the soul beyond all other need: prayer is the beginning of that communion, and some need is the motive of that prayer... So begins a communion, and talking with God, a coming-to-one with Him, which is the sole end of prayer, yea, of existence itself in its infinite phases. We must ask that we may receive: but that we should receive what we ask in respect of our lower needs, is not God's end in making us pray, for He could give us everything without that: to bring His child to His knee, God withholds that man may ask."
— George MacDonald