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God’s Plan to Meet Our Needs

Description

Why do so many believers continue to act as nonbelievers when it comes to the quest for security, meaning, and fulfillment in life?

By trusting in Christ, we are placed in a position where we will be restored to God’s ultimate intention for His people. Christ redeemed us by paying the penalty for our sins and delivering us from the bondage of sin.

As a result of our redemption, God’s holy demands have been propitiated (satisfied) and we have been justified (declared righteous) by the living God (Romans 3:24; Titus 3:7); Christ’s righteousness has been placed on our account (Romans 5:18-19; 2 Corinthians 5:21). Because the barrier of sin has been removed, we are now reconciled to God with full access as His adopted children to call Him “Abba! Father!” (Romans 8:15). Moreover, our old selves have been crucified with Christ, so that we have become identified with Him in His death, burial, resurrection, and ascension to the right hand of the Father (Romans 6:3-11; Galatians 2:20; Ephesians 2:5-6; Colossians 3:1-4). Our former identity in Adam was put to death; our new and eternal identity in Christ became a living reality when we placed our faith in Him.

Without Christ, we were out of harmony with God; life was all about self, and we were driven to use people, things, and circumstances to meet our needs. In Christ, we are in harmony with God; for us as believers, life should be all about the One who has already fully met our needs.

A Spiritual Family

God the Father desires to create a community of spiritual beings to whom He can reveal Himself, from whom He can receive the glory, praise, and honor due His name, and with whom He can give and receive love (Ephesians 1:4-6). This desire is being realized in His plan to create a spiritual family that He can love and accept in eternal fellowship (Galatians 4:4-7; Ephesians 2:19). We are that family, and Christ is the firstborn (Colossians 1:18).

As members of God’s family, our need for unconditional love and acceptance is fully met. We are secure in God’s limitless love. Even when we were in rebellion against Him as His enemies, He demonstrated His love toward us “in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

A Spiritual Body

God the Son desires to create a community of spiritual beings of whom He can be the head, and with whom and through whom He can rule all creation (Ephesians 1:9-10, 22-23). This desire is being realized in His plan to create a spiritual body that has significance and identity as an extension of the incarnation of Christ (Ephesians 1:9-12). We are that body, and Christ is the head (Ephesians 1:22-23; Colossians 1:18).

As individual parts of Christ’s body, our need for true significance and identity is fully met. We have meaning and purpose because of who we are in Christ. God did not save us according to our works, “but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity” (2 Timothy 1:9).

A Spiritual Temple

God the Holy Spirit desires to create a community of spiritual beings who will receive and reflect the likeness of God and glorify Him forever (Ephesians 2:21-22). This desire is being realized in His plan to create a spiritual temple of living stones into whom He can invest His likeness and power, competent to serve and glorify Him in eternal fulfillment (1 Peter 2:4-5). We are that temple, and Christ is the cornerstone (Ephesians 2:20).

As living stones in God’s temple, our need for lasting competence and fulfillment is fully met. The Holy Spirit has blessed every believer with spiritual gifts, and we have been given the time, opportunities, and abilities to accomplish His purposes for us. The things we do in His power will last forever.

As followers of Jesus, we must look beyond people, things, and circumstances to meet our needs. All of these are unstable and inadequate, and if we depend on them, we will certainly fail. Moving in the direction of the flesh will not meet our needs; at best it can only provide a deceptive façade of security and significance. Instead, we must dare to believe that if everything else is taken away, our God is enough. This does not minimize the fact that there will be pain when relationships break down and when failure and rejection occur. These things are painful, but they will not destroy us when we derive our self-image from God rather than people. From an ultimate standpoint, we are loved, we are significant, and we are competent, but only in Him, and only in the plan to which He calls us.

Why then do so many believers continue to act as nonbelievers when it comes to the quest for security, meaning, and fulfillment in life? The answer lies in the fact that there are three powerful forces which are opposed to our walking in the Spirit: the flesh, the world, and the devil (Ephesians 2:2-3).

The flesh is the power or “law of sin” which is in our members (Romans 7:14-25). It is not the same as the “old self” which was put to death at the cross (Romans 6:6). Although we received a new spirit when we came to Christ, we are still encased in the same body with its physical needs and cravings. Nor was our soul or personality instantly transformed. Old attitudes, values, habits, and actions were not eradicated, but continue to surface. Our mental, emotional, and volitional processes must gradually be brought into conformity with the new person we became in Christ, but this takes time, willingness, and the work of the Holy Spirit. We have been programmed into thinking that our identity is based on what others think or what we think about ourselves rather than what God thinks about us.

This programming is largely a product of the second of the three forces, the world. We are constantly being bombarded by a cultural system that promotes values and perspectives that are totally opposed to those of the Bible. Our circumstances are so overwhelmingly real that we lose sight of who we are in Christ. Even though Scripture tells us that we are pilgrims and strangers on earth and that our citizenship is in heaven, we are prone to live our lives as though this physical existence is the supreme reality. Unless we habitually reprogram our minds with the truths of Scripture, we will be profoundly influenced by a culture that tells us to find meaning in hedonism and materialism.

The third force that works against our spiritual life is the devil. Satan and his minions utilize the world and the flesh to accomplish their purpose of defeating the lives of Christians and rendering them ineffective. But Satan can only oppress us while we are controlled by the flesh. He cannot defeat the life of Christ in us.

All three of these forces wage war against the spiritual vitality of the believer, and it is essential in this warfare that we cultivate an eternal rather than a temporal perspective. Everything hinges on how we respond to God’s plan to satisfy our needs for personal worth.

Taken from Ken Boa’s Handbook to Spiritual Growth

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