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Monday, March 03, 2008

The Deepest Need, Part Two

What do you need?

In the previous post, I examined a humanistic psychologist's attempt to answer that question. And certainly, Maslow's conclusions are worth looking into. We do have many (if not all) of those needs. But I contend that we have a deeper need, a thread, a pulsing life-line that permeates our lives such that, even should we somehow attain everything on Maslow's Pyramid, we would still find ourselves left wanting…and needing.

Several of you have posted that this need is the need for God. Can't argue that. I believe that each of us are born spiritually dead and stay that way unless we accept Jesus' free gift of eternal life. Confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, and you will be (not: might be) you WILL be saved. We all need God to save us. No argument there.

But I wasn't actually thinking about the need for God to give us salvation. This Need for God that I speak of is not just a need for those who haven't met Jesus yet. This Need for God is for believers too. I know because I am one. This need has become very clear to me over the past six months. You see, during that half year, I've had a few dents added to my Shield of Faith. They haven't really been primary hits, so to speak. My wife and children are all healthy. My parents are aging well. My house seems to be in good shape. Nonetheless, events have transpired, and these events were close enough to knock me around a bit.

In the past six months, I've witnessed the untimely death of two small children. I've seen a young man in the prime of his life who just became a Christian and seemed to turn a corner into really living--be struck down in a freak botched robbery. I've seen one of the Christians I most admire suddenly stumble in sin and be thrown under a bus by his church. And most recently, my own church family just suffered the loss of a young (39yrs) father of six in a tragic automobile accident. I have to tell you, from time to time, I've felt like I'd been kicked in the teeth. But in the midst of all of this, I've come to recognize the need for God in a brand new way. I need God to be supernatural, and I need Him to be perfect. And fortunately, He's both of those and more.

I believe we need God to be supernatural and perfect because everything else in life fails us. The world we live in is broken. A glance at the headlines or down an alley in the "wrong part of town" should prove that unequivocally. But on the deepest, most personal level, those of us who choose to be honest KNOW that there's something wrong. It's right now that we need God, and not just for salvation. We need God because, in Him, much of the world makes sense. In Him, the parts of life that don't make sense can be left to reasoning beyond our comprehension.

When I look at the tiny casket on the altar, I need God to be bigger than I am, smarter than I am, and more good and holy than I could ever be. Some might be tempted to say, "How could an all good and all powerful God let terrible things happen?" There are lots of theological answers for that one: 1. How do we know what "good" and "terrible" actually are? 2. God does not want robots, so He gives us choice. Choice means we can choose evil. 3. God can use all things for good. etc. Those all may be reasonable and true, but I can toss them out and just cling to the fact that God is supernatural and perfect.

This is where the atheist might suggest, "Ah ha! So you admit it: Jesus is your crutch. You weak minded person, you." Funny, I used to get upset when I heard people say such things. But you know what? Jesus is my crutch. He's my blanket too. He's my shield. He's my heavenly Daddy. He's my protector. He's my source of hope. He is everything.

Without any spite, I might say to the atheist: Yes, Jesus is my crutch. What's yours?"

No, I didn't just conjure up Jesus to help me get by. No, I don't just fool myself into believing in a magic being to explain the universe. I know there's plenty of legitimate evidence for the existence of God, for Jesus, for Christianity. I'm not even getting into that. I'm a believer, and that's that. But for those who try to go through life leaning on a different crutch…well, in the end analysis, that's hopeless.

Reminds me of a cool scene from the movie the Matrix. Neo has just been contacted by Trinity and they take Neo on a car ride and try to explain about the Matrix. Neo thinks it's all absurd and starts to get out of the car. The following dialogue ensues:

Trinity: Please Neo, you have to trust me.
Neo: Why?
Trinity: Because you have been down there Neo, you know that road, you know exactly where it ends. And I know that's not where you want to be.

Somewhere deep down, we've all been down the road of self before. And like Neo, we know very well where the road of self ends. It's not a pretty end.

I need you Jesus
to come to my rescue.
Where else can I go?

That about sums it up for now. More in Part 3.


Anonymous said...

I had some friends loose a 3 year old baby a month ago. I had to really trust God that everything would be o.k. and that it happened for a reason. I don't know if he will ever choose to show me the reason of why it happened but even if he doesn't, I'm o.k. with what happened.
When things happen that are sad, scary, etc., I have to repeat Psalm 46:10 in my head over and over again. So whoever is reading this, look up that verse when anything sad or scary happens.

***Flinn-fan-of-the-Twins*** said...

I have taken some hits on my *shield* as well over the past year. But every time God has been my comforter. And I praise him for that.

Shelby Marie said...

I agree with Flinn completely. Recent months have brought both heartbreak and rejoicing, but I know He's with me through it all. After all, where would I be without Him?

Lady Shyeloh said...

That was a great post. Can't wait to hear more. It reminded me of a prayer we read in school today called The Breastplate of St. Patrick. I go to a private school so we can do that sort of thing.

I can think of several bad things that have happened recently, like a baby at my friend's church who died, my grandparents moving to Florida, and my dad's job trouble. But I have lots to be thankful for, especially today. I got out of school two hours early because of snow. Fun!

Once again, great post.

-Lady Shyeloh-

fire phoenix said...

Wow, that was an awesome post.

Anonymous said...

Hey Wayne,

Love the post. I not sure if your getting my e-mails or not. I have e-mail a couple times with no reply. I e-mailing you right now please e-mail me at cyloseli at yahoo dot com .


Caleb Newell

Araken said...

Great post

everlastingscribe said...

There's no other name by
Which I am saved
Capture me with grace
I will follow you

My parents taught me long ago if you want to know who a person really is, listen to what they say but more importantly watch what they do because their actions will give you an idea of who they really are.

I don't know why there is hurt, and accident and malice that finds the most innocent of people, but I know there is One more outraged and hurt by it than I am. And moreover, He has done something about bringing it to an end.

I think this sums up what I mean:

"How many kings, stepped down from their thrones?

How many lords have abandoned their homes?

How many greats have become the least for me?

How many Gods have poured out their hearts

To romance a world that has torn all apart?

How many fathers gave up their sons for me?

Only one did that for me

All for me
All for you"

"How Many Kings" by Down Here

Elliot Reed said...

You know Mr. Batson, in times like this, knowing that we are Never Alone really encourages us all. And I think that it is trully encouraging to know that even when a firey arrow of the enemy does dent, or even seem to peirce our shield, there is one who is able to take that shield and fix it with his Love, Truth, Mercy, and Grace.


nick said...

Wow. That's deep. All that earthly stuff definitely goes away. This is just an example for me, but take video games. You get a game, yeah it's fun, but you beat it and it gets boring. Now you 'need' a new one to 'satisfy' you for the next month. It's an endless cycle that leads nowhere. Wait, they threw a guy under a bus for sinning!!?? Anyway, I like these posts a lot. Yeah, Elliot, Never Alone!: )

the lion hearted said...

You are the source of life
I can't be left behind
No one else will do
I will follow you

Yeah, that was a great post! Very deep indeed...