Northern Division: Serving every county in Minnesota and North Dakota
Salvation Army officer reading the Bible under a cross

Devotional: Does God need us?

Added on Friday, October 20, 2017

Written by Nicole Nicklin, online communications manager at The Salvation Army Northern Division

Have you ever thought about this statement? God doesn’t need us.

In Acts 17:24-25, the Bible says:

“The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else.

Recently, I was reminded by this truth when listening to the song “Control” by Tenth Avenue North. The refrain starts, “God, You don’t need me.”

Upon first hearing those five words, they were a little hard to swallow.

My instinct was to come to my own defense and plead my case, “But God, who would [fill in the blank] if you didn’t have me?”

That blank will vary for all of us. The areas of our lives where we try to take control often reveal how we perceive ourselves as necessary to God. Simply put, we think we know better than Him.

When I actually stopped to think about the implications of God not needing me, though, my heart softened.

God doesn’t need us. This means He wants us. He chooses us. He desires us.

If God needed us, we’d never know whether or not His pursuit of us was based on what we could accomplish for Him. That’s a works-based love, one that we are prone to fall into in our human fallacy, but the truth is, that’s not why our Father loves us.

Titus 3:4-5a says:

“But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy.

No matter who you are, what you’ve done, or what you will do, the God of the universe desires you.

The pressure is off. There is nothing you can do today to make God want you more, which also means, there’s nothing we have to do to be wanted by Him. That comes simply by being His creation.

In Romans 8:35 and 37-39, the apostle Paul describes the unbreakable nature of God’s love to believers in the early church:

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

As I continued listening, the song artfully described the implications of God loving us so unconditionally: “God, You don’t need me, but somehow You want me. Oh, how You love me and somehow that frees me to take my hands off of my life and the way it should go.”

We’re called to “take our hands off” and place our trust in God alone. Not in ourselves and our own abilities, not in the securities of this world which can disappear in a moment, not in our own righteous works that are fleeting – but in the God who wants us. God is pursuing you today. How will you respond?

Faith in Action

Hands linked in a prayer circleFill in the blank: “But God, who would [your response here] if you didn’t have me.” Examine the responses that come to mind today to help determine areas of your life where you may need to yield control to God. Tell a family member, friend or coworker, so they can help hold you accountable.

Learn more about how to start a relationship with God. Salvation Army officers are ordained pastors who can help you work through any season in life – spiritual or emotional. They offer advice based on God’s word and can pray with you.