AT THE PLACE OF “I NEED”
by Pam Clark (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Human pride is a dangerous thing, especially to the beholder! It is a human plague and none of us wants to own it. But the good news is that we don’t have to!
I can take any subject and try to make you feel less qualified. But I don’t want to do that! My goal in writing to you is not to make you feel guilty. But if I provoke you a little bit more towards Him, maybe I did a little good.
How many of us really feel “over qualified” in the things of God? The needs are out there everywhere in great numbers and they are more than one person can bear, or even oftentimes as a group. But God can bear all things and God can fix all things, because He is Love.
The apostle Paul was not trying to put a psychological head game on us when he stated: “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:10
I mean, it’s kind of strange, isn’t it, when people are marose and think only of the negative? And so many of the world have translated Christianity to mean being broke, busted and disgusted and happy about it. Is that really our identity? It really is not!
I am not selling potions or packages or even secret revelations of instant success by sharing this with you. The Gospel of Good News is that Jesus, the Son of the Living God, LOVES YOU! So how can one translate this verse into that? By understanding it correctly.
When we bait people with Jesus can fix it (but later reveal that we can’t), we deceive people. But some to assuage their grief over that, become super spiritual and they put on not godliness but ungodliness!
They appear lost and undone and needy so you will help them “because they are so spiritual.” No, they are not! They may be going through some stuff or junk, but poverty is not a sign of blessing or godliness.
It is possible to become unbalanced. If we don’t recognize that, then we won’t recognize that we can have so much of this world’s gain that we are distracted and drawn away from Christ. But when our spiritual lives are based on relationship with God, then we will realize when we do really need something, or when we have too much and need to unload.
Locating ourselves in the Presence of God is the greatest freedom we can have. We may be in a tight place but if we can recognize that we not only need God but can have Him, we are really so rich indeed. And this is what the apostle Paul was recognizing here.
He knew the place of “I need.” In the world we boast about what we don’t need, but he boasted in what he did need. We are in a fallen world. Things in this life hurt. No one, despite all the claims, has such a charmed life that they don’t have some serious needs, whether it is internal or external.
When we realize how great and powerful God is, the place of “I need” can become the greatest place of power. We are being changed and transformed from faith to faith, strength to strength, grace to grace and from glory into glory.
Now is the glory ours or His? Now, don’t just sound Spiritual, answer the question honestly. No, we are not the source but we are meant to carry His blessing. And if we don’t understand the how or why, we can miss it.
Ephesians 1: 11-12 “In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.”
Our mind has to work on that statement but in plain English, if we are to be “to the praise of His glory,” then we must be receiving something from Him! He counseled it in Himself, He prepared for it, He purposed it, He set an inheritance for us with it, and sent His Son to die (knowing He could overcome even death) that trusting Him should be to the praise of His glory. In other words, if we are believing in Him and calling on Him, WE ARE TO BE TO THE PRAISE OF HIS GLORY!
That means that He has not predestined evil for us, He has not chosen evil but GOOD for us! Do we go through stuff? Of course we do, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t. But something more is at work and the inner work can be much greater than the outer work if we will allow for that.
God is the Father of our spirits and He is trying to raise us up into being overcomers! Now is ti making more sense for the apostle Paul to say “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” ? I hope so!
Apostle Paul is honing in on the relationship that has been offered to him and to all of us. He is going for the challenge and the battle with the belief to win not only himself but others also. And it’s not a one man show. God is bringing together a great Body of people to display who He is. Our “I need” is His place of giving us the strength to overcome the worst of circumstances.
We can never underestimate the power of prayer. Nothing happens without prayer, including your salvation. If you did not pray to God that you NEED Him, I can promise you that you are not saved.
But that is only step one and the baby step at that. Because God is GOOD, when we ask Him to reveal Himself, we can expect to go from that grace to grace into that glory to glory. What makes a baby happy is not necessarily what makes a grown up happy, and God knows that and He wants to mature us to the greater things.
Oh, poor devil, he loses again! God is good and He loves us. And only we can give up on that, or we can go on and rejoice in all the places of “I need” where we find Him there.