Our Need for God
We are entering the season of Lent, a season of the church year in which God calls us ever more deeply to stop and consider our sinful ways, to deny ourselves, and to meditate on the gift of Christ’s death on the cross that brought us salvation.
The season begins with a Scripture lesson from the life of Jesus in which the Spirit called Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. During this trial, Jesus fasts from food and drink for forty days. The devil then comes and tempts Him with all the comforts of the world. The experience pushes Jesus to the max, but in the end He denies all the devil’s attempts to snatch Him away, declaring boldly to the face of the enemy, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4).
Author Maggie Combs questions what we often consider to be a need for an “escape” in our lives. It could be a vacation, a sneak-away to our cupboard for a piece of chocolate, a bubble bath. All these can be good things, she says, but the problem comes when we elevate these “escapes” to a need. Considering them needs, we start to fight for them. When we don’t receive them, we get angry, short-tempered, bitter. These needs, Combs argues, come to take the throne in our lives in place of our need for God.
Jesus’ departure to the wilderness is a challenge for us. It’s a challenge for us to look deeper at what we think our needs are. Yes we need food; yes we need clothing; yes we need rest. Our Heavenly Father knows we need these things (Matthew 6:32). But what other things, what other so-called needs, have come to take the place in our lives for our need for God? While Jesus may have hungered, while He may have had no place to lay His head (Matthew 8:19), while He was betrayed and rejected, Jesus was never lacking. He was never alone. Why? Because He had God (John 16:32). “And my God will supply all of your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). There are some things that the human heart requires to survive that only God can provide.
What “need” has come to take the place of God in your life? This Lent, consider putting it aside so that you might find all that you truly need met in God.
In Christ Alone,
Rev. Garritt and Sanette Fleming