Greg Spires – Teaching Pastor
What Is Needed?
“Can I help you find what you need?” We might be asked a question like this if we are shopping in a store. If we have a particular item in mind, we will tell the store employee what we are looking for. Hopefully, they have the item in stock at a price we are willing to pay.
Sometimes we don’t know what we need, so we go to experts who can tell us. If we have pain or symptoms of illness, we go to a doctor in the hopes that they will know what we need. If our car isn’t working properly, we take it to a mechanic to find out what we need. But even then, we have in mind what we need: to be symptom-free or to have a car that is working properly, even if we don’t know exactly what we need to make those things happen.
But what if we don’t know what we need? What if our ability to discern what is necessary doesn’t work as well as we think? Could it be possible that at times we need things that we don’t want? Or, are there times when the things we know we need are actually things we can live without?
One example of this is when someone is lost in the cold. In the later stages of hypothermia, some people experience what is called paradoxical undressing. This means that in times of severe cold, a person will suddenly feel extremely hot. As a result, the person believes they need to cool off, so they remove clothing. They need to get warmed up, but they are convinced they need to cool off.
Philippians 4:19 says, “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” This verse is an important verse of comfort for those who love the Lord. We can count on God to never let us down and provide all that is needed. But even in that tremendous comfort, there is often just a bit of doubt. It seems that there are many times when what is needed is withheld. Each of us, on any given day, has a number of things we need. But it seems God is silent when we pray and ask Him to provide those needs.
What we tend to do at that moment is have a high level of confidence in our ability to know what we need. But is there any room for us to challenge our sense of certainty at that moment? Is there a chance that something we are convinced we need, we may not need, after all? Maybe we are like that hypothermia victim – certain of what we need, but not realizing something altogether different is actually needed.
What we learn from the Bible is God knows exactly what we need, and He will always provide it at precisely the right time. Another way to think about this is to say if something is needed, God will give it, and if it is not needed, He will not. If we pray for something earnestly and yet it is not given, there are only two options: either it isn’t needed; or, it isn’t needed just yet.
Let’s keep praying and asking (the Bible tells us too, so let’s be persistent)! However, when God doesn’t give what we ask or doesn’t do it right away, we exercise growing faith when we are willing to trust Him, and doubt our ability to know what is truly needed.
I look forward to being with you this Sunday as we celebrate the work of God in Jesus Christ together! This Sunday, we will be seeking God through His Word in Philippians 4:15-20.
See you Sunday,