Romans 1:20 “What I Need”
For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.
No excuse. To deny the existence of God is to betray all logic and common sense. One cannot look outside their window and conclude that mountains, trees and flowers just evolved. It takes more faith to believe that than to believe in the Creator. But people do it; they purposefully with hardened hearts ignore the completely visible qualities of God.
It’s because we want what we want. But only God has what we need!
It’s interesting that the Rich Young Ruler, who encountered Jesus, went away from Jesus feeling sad. It’s interesting because this guy had EVERYTHING he wanted, so why did he walk away sad? Why not just walk away indifferent, perplexed, or annoyed? But sad???
Someone came to Jesus with this question: “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?”
“Why ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. But to answer your question—if you want to receive eternal life, keep the commandments.”
“Which ones?” the man asked.
And Jesus replied: “‘You must not murder. You must not commit adultery. You must not steal. You must not testify falsely. Honor your father and mother. Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
“I’ve obeyed all these commandments,” the young man replied. “What else must I do?”
Jesus told him, “If you want to be perfect, go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” But when the young man heard this, he went away sad, for he had many possessions. (Matthew 19:16-22)
Why did he go away sad? He still had all his stuff in tact? He may have had all he wanted, but only Jesus has what this guy NEEDS.
Jesus gives us what we need, yet we only love what we want. But it’s very simple to simply ask him to help me love what I need.
We don’t need God to fix our nation, solve all the crimes, and heal our every discomfort. Believe me, I want that, but that isn’t what we all need. Author Tim Keller says that “we need pardon and reconciliation so that God can come back to earth and bring an end to evil without putting an end to us!” He’s paraphrasing 2 Peter 3:9-10. The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief. To give us what we want (an end to poverty, sickness, and evil in the world) would be to get rid of most of us!
I’m so glad God focuses on giving me what I need instead! I need Jesus and that’s all. The Rich Young Ruler should have tried it; maybe he did later - I hope so. I’m so thankful for Jesus. I love him! And I find that if I just tell him I love him over and over that the JOY of the Lord is my strength (Psalm 28:7), and I actually prefer what I need over what I want.
I prefer Jesus. And I’m so thankful that God made his presence and existence as plain as the sun in the sky and the leaves on the trees and literally the nose on my face. And I pray for those who look at these things and deny he is real because they will be sad. They will have all they desire and live how they wish, but they’ll still be sad because only Jesus has what we NEED!
Thank you for the visible qualities right in front of my face that prove you are real. Thank you for giving us Jesus. Thank you filling up any holes in my heart with YOU and your love and your forgiveness and your hope! I love you so much. And I’m so thankful that I am not sad. Please turn my unsaved friend’s and family’s hearts towards YOU so they can have what they need too. Even though they think they have all they want, they are admittedly sad and unfulfilled. Thank you for filling every inch of my heart with you! I love it!! And I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.