God has a plan and purpose for each of His blood-bought children which is to be like Jesus.. and it is by faith in God that He performs this change – and He takes His time! God uses life’s circumstances, (good and ill). to prepare us for ultimate maturity and though we are accepted in Him, we need to be conformed into His likeliness. And so God has built His universe upon certain unchangeable principles and precepts -life principles -relational principles -business principles -national principles. As with the dispensation of Law, there are specific of principles for the age of grace… for we are not under the law, but under grace. Rom.6:14
But one, comprehensive, universal, foundational principles – is ‘need‘… Whether sinner or saint, saved or unsaved, Jew or gentile, God has built ‘need‘ into man. The unsaved sinner needs a Saviour. He has a “God-shaped hole,” as C.S.Lewis called it. The unsaved sinner has the need of a Saviour and the Spirit convicts him of this need. When the unsaved sinner has been born again this initial need is satisfied – and from that day he is accepted in Christ.. as perfect in God’s sight as His only begotten Son. The saved saint similarly has ‘need’, without which spiritual growth will fail. He is accepted in the Beloved fully and perfectly, for time and through eternity.. but now he is to start being conformed into the likeness of Christ and God uses one, comprehensive, universal, foundational principle –’need‘.
One essential ingredient for faith, growth, and service rests on God’s principle of ‘need‘.. and God uses this inbuilt operative of the human heart, to develop faith. God uses this innate function of man’s soul, to turn him from self to Christ. When others fail us, it is to the open arms of His comfort that we fly. When things go wrong, it is to the one source of His supply that we turn. When life’s circumstances shatter our hopes, we discover our ‘need‘ of Him.
One illumined saint expressed it this way:- “The reason our Father creates and allows needs in our lives is to turn us from all that is outside of Christ.. to centering us in Him alone. “Not I, but Christ.” This God-breathed principle is uniquely established in the life of each believer. This living truth is specially fashioned according to our individual requirement. Christ talked of this principled truth in Matthew, by saying :- according to your faith be it unto you. Matt.9:29 – and likewise.. according to our ‘need‘ of Him, so God will supply… all we need.
This truth is well set out in the following words of truth… J.B. Stoney says: “The soul never imbibes the truth in living power, but as it requires it. As for our growth, ‘need’ causes us to reach out.. to reach out and appropriate by faith, from our Lord Jesus, all that we require. And in the matter of service, in witnessing and helping others, we must watch and wait for the hungry, needy heart – if there is to be abiding fruit. The true value of anything is known only when it is wanted. Wisdom and philosophy never “found out” God. He makes Himself known to us through our needs. It is necessity that finds Him out. I doubt much if we have ever learned anything solidly… except we have learned this.”
But how contrasting is this God-given principle to the status-quo of human thinking! Independence is what we are taught and self-reliance is what we all crave – and how we recoil from the perceived humiliation of helplessness. How true that Christianity turned the world upside down. But how!!!!
This most astounding reality was expressed by the apostle Paul. He wrote:- Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then I am strong. 2Cor.12:10. Paul the apostle to the gentiles learned this important lesson, of our need of God, and He expresses it in the following words :- My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in your weakness. Most gladly, therefore, will I rather glory in my infirmities that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2Cor.12:9.
At the soon coming of the Lord the believer whose life has been sown in dishonour; will be raised in glory. And that sown in weakness; will be raised in power. But first, we must die to self – if we are to be raised into His likeness.
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