One thing I have discovered about myself is a tendency to want to be needed by others. Whether it is my students or coworkers needing my help with something, my friends or family seeking me out to do things together, or my church family asking me to help out with different ministries - I like to feel like I am needed and that I have something to offer to others. Our hearts are so deceitful and full of pride that serving others can easily become more about boosting our own ego than glorifying God and pointing others to Him. Thus, all too often we wait to serve until we feel that we are really needed, and if we never feel needed then we never serve or reach out to others.
As I was reflecting on Psalm 63 recently (which just happens to be one of my favorite passages in the Bible), I was reminded yet again that God not only desires to be needed by us, but He is also the only Being who can truly satisfy any of our needs! We were created for Him, and to seek to have our needs ultimately met in another is nothing short of idolatry! Therefore, in my desire to be needed by others, I must consider carefully whether I am really putting myself in the place of God in their lives. This is a serious thing, for God will not tolerate being dethroned (Is. 42:8; 48:11).
Instead, I must be quick to point others to Christ as the only One who can satisfy them and fulfill their needs. I also have to be daily made more aware of my own need for Christ and for others who will help point me to Him, and not get offended or feel threatened when my needs are exposed. The beautiful reality is that we are more effectively able to point others to Christ by being open and transparent about our own desperate need for His grace than by looking like we have it all together.
If I want to be an effective witness for Christ, I must be humble enough to let others see someone completely in need of grace and living daily in dependence upon my Savior. The Christian life is not about striving to be acceptable before God in my own strength, but about recognizing that I need Another who stood in my place to provide His righteousness on my behalf and daily clothes me with His power!
If I am looking to Christ daily as the One Who sustains me and am being filled up by Him, then I will be able to overflow into the lives of others and serve them, not in order to feel good about myself or because I feel like I am needed, but out of love for the One Who is completely satisfying and a desire that others would know Him and be filled with Him as well!
Do I feel my need for God’s grace each day? Do I recognize how completely needy I am? Do I look to Him alone to fulfill my every need and faithfully reach out to others in order to point them to Christ?
“For You have been my help, and in the shadow of Your wings I sing for joy. My soul clings to You; Your right hand upholds me.” Ps. 63:7-8
“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves; we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.”
2 Cor. 4:7-10