The Indispensable Purpose of Need
I believe that through this title, the scope of the foundation of God’s creation may be better understood. I came to an understanding of the essential elements of God’s plan for mankind over 40 years ago. Those elements included a universal manor of inter-relationships that we know as the Law of God. But it wasn’t until about 10 years later that I came to a more complete understanding of the value of God’s everlasting creation. Until that time I could not envision a compelling reason for existing --- through eternity. We know that God has things planned for us to do. But after we do those things, then what do we do? More things, I would think. And, after that? --- More things. This basic outlook was not enough for me to really anticipate being a part of ETERNITY.
I had given considerable effort, for a few days, to find a more meaningful reason for an eternal existence. Then, after several hours of concentrated effort (in a private area of the fire station where I worked), at about 2:00 in the morning, I gave up the quest. Literally the moment I gave up, the answer was given to me. And that answer shed light on all that God has created, as far as we know it. So hopefully I’ll be able to share what was so valuable to me in a way, that it may have value for you.
The answer lay in the understanding of what goodness is. Not one of the many definitions of goodness that we can find in a dictionary, actually defines what goodness is. Those definitions of goodness are synonyms.
The definition of goodness is --- simply --- the satisfaction of any of the elements of God-given need. Not the satisfaction of want or desire. Goodness is the satisfaction of need. Of true need. In other words, an alcoholic doesn’t need more alcohol , that person NEEDS something else. I have spent much time looking in God’s Word and looking at the world around us, and I have found that goodness is nothing more, and nothing less, than “the satisfaction of the elements of God given need”.
All that has been created exists in a state of need. We can see it in the physical realm from the “glue” that holds the electrons in their place in an atom to the unfathomable needs of human life. We can all see that need exists but God has given us two formidable statements of the existence of the all-encompassing element of need. In the 8th Proverb “wisdom” is spoken of in a very special way. Using wisdom inherently involves a decision-making process. This process examines the presence of specific need. Wisdom promotes THE “NEED” TO MAKE THE BEST DECISION. Wisdom is speaking in Prov. 8:22-23,30.
“The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. (30) Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him”
Now, if this can be understood, that wisdom has ALWAYS been with God, even “before the works of old”, then we can know that need has always existed and will always exist. One would need to make the best decision if one is going to employ wisdom and wisdom was with God from the beginning. It is my opinion that there exists a most perfect fulfillment for every need. Or, another way of looking at it is, that for every created need a most perfect fulfillment for that need has been created.
Deut.31:30-32:4 shows us that God lives in and provides us this level of perfection.
“And Moses spake in the ears of all the congregation of Israel the words of this song, until they were ended. Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass: Because I will publish the name of the LORD: ascribe ye greatness unto our God. He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.”
By these words we can see that God WORKS, and His work is PERFECT.
In Hebrews 1:3 we have another statement revealing the continuing existence of need. “Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;” Thayers shows that to uphold means to “bear or carry”. To bear ALL THINGS shows me that all things are in a state of need. Notice that it requires “power”, or effort to “uphold” or bear, or maintain all things. All things are in a state of need.
Need is the foundation of all creation, for we can see that without need, ···· without need, ···· THERE COULD BE NO SATISFACTION OF NEED, and without that satisfaction GOODNESS COULD NOT EXIST. A further consideration is that need is the eternal or continuing element of creation and that the satisfaction of need is the temporary element of creation. As humans, we have a continuing need for air and food, which is temporarily being satisfied by every breath, and every meal. Now, if need is the eternal element, then it has a very close relationship with the Spirit of God. I can see it as oneness with the Spirit of God. With that Spirit ever involved with the most perfect satisfaction of any and ALL need. I believe this is borne out by Christ’s words in Matthew 25:34-38
34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
35 For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we you an hungered, and fed you? or thirsty, and gave you drink?
38 When saw we you a stranger, and took you in? or naked, and clothed you?
39 Or when saw we you sick, or in prison, and came unto you?
40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
Christ was completely involved with the needs of his people. At one with them. And I believe it would be correct to say, that through their need, he was “spiritually at one with them”. He loved others as he loved himself.
Since the satisfaction of need is so relatively temporary, and being created as we have been, there is then the potential for never ending satisfactions, resulting in never-ending goodness. The thought that came to me late that night that did much to change my life, was that : We will be in an eternal state of need!!! Unalterable, absolute and everlasting need.
It could also be said that God crafted truth, in that need is absolute and there also exists specific avenues (truth) to the satisfaction of all God given need. In this way, truth is imbedded in the creation of God. The principle avenue to the satisfaction of our need as humans is through the law of God. We are in absolute need of the law. It is the main source of our well-being and we will find our satisfaction in it.
1 Tim 1:8 But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully (legitimately); (remembering that goodness is the satisfaction of need ------ the law therefore satisfies our need)
Now it is time to look at how we, in our carnal state, treat need. Isn’t it our fundamental objective to satisfy a need as quickly as “reasonably” possible? That is a natural response. If we are in need, their is HUMANLY a degree of anxiety that is related to it. For instance, feeling hungry (having a need for food) produces a feeling that is not necessarily pleasant. A degree of anxiety is produced. Of course, it is natural to want our hunger to be satisfied as soon as reasonably possible. Now, fast foods are usually tasty and FAST. But the more health-filled foods do require more time, and are often not as tasty. Well, the choice we’ve made is obvious.
From our birth, discomfort was a dominant experience for us. It became normal to desire that the discomfort be relieved, and the sooner the better. The discomforts, representing needs, produced varying states of anxiety. So we very naturally learned to desire “need” to be quickly fulfilled. In our earliest years, how could it ever be explained to us that our need is the avenue through which goodness will enter our life. And, that there are MANY ways that we may influence a need, but all those many ways won’t produce the same level of goodness in the long term. God’s great purpose for us is to experience goodness --- to live in the greatest level of goodness possible. Teaching the child not to consider need a threat, but an opportunity, is possibly one of the most important endeavors to be undertaken.
From birth we have related need to insecurity. We have learned from childhood to want to be satisfied with the quickest and easiest “satisfactions” for the needs that our personal five senses encounter. This fundamental attitude follows us into adulthood. We may develop some patience among other things, but our thinking is essentially centered on the most punctual way of satisfying our subjective need, which for the most part are simply only our desires. And God has some strong words about this attitude. In Proverbs 1:20-22 God says: “Wisdom cries without; she raises her voice in the streets: She cries in the chief place of the streets, in the openings of the gates: in the city she utters her words, saying, How long you simple ones will you love simplicity? And the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge? ”.
I’d like to repeat: HOW LONG YOU SIMPLE ONES WILL YOU LOVE SIMPLICITY? This is truly a monumental statement. It’s a perfect picture of mankind’s relationship with need. True satisfaction of need requires knowledge, wisdom and the fruits of God’s Spirit for its satisfaction. This is just too much to ask of the carnal mind. Our past motivations came through the fleshy, subjective, influences of the five senses. Since many of my needs, as a unique creation, aren’t your needs, the messages we receive from our senses will lead us in different directions and different outcomes. One man may eat humans while another may eat no flesh at all. In time, this results in confusion and contention and shows our need to follow the guidelines that God has given us. God has said that mankind has rejected Him, and in doing that, has placed himself in dependence on the five senses for the satisfaction of need. This is simplicity and it is vanity. But this is exactly how the Eternal planned it. Romans 8:20 says it all. The King James is a good translation of the Greek.
“For the creature (original formation-in context mankind) was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who has subjected the same in hope”.
Our experiences caused two basic results in our lives. Our needs produced insecurities (fear) which were our motivations to action since we had rejected God. And we became increasingly able in controlling the “apparent” satisfaction of those needs. IN OUR MINDS WE BECAME POSSESSORS OF ABILITIES TO CONTROL OUR OWN WORLD OF NEED. And this was all subjective in nature and God calls it VANITY. But remember that Romans 8 said that He subjected the same in HOPE. So, what is the hope that God has for us even though we are in a systematic journey to strife and destruction? Also, when God made mankind, what was it that He called good concerning the human creation? As a result of all the experiences God had in mind for us, it was and is His hope (confident expectation) that we would come to a place where we would appreciate the fact that through “truth” all the needs of the creation will be perfectly fulfilled, and come to that place where we will know that God is truth and would never lie. All of this, when looking at the end from the beginning, is the “good” that God saw in his human creation. Also, when this is accomplished in us, we will have been delivered from our bondage to the simplicity of our self-centered life to the liberty that truth would bring to us all. For Romans 8 goes on to say:
“Because the creature (original formation) itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the CHILDREN OF GOD”.
That “bondage of corruption” is our enslavement to the dictates of our five senses. And again, this is vanity.
We have ALL been given an utterly, thorough and effective direction, by God, into a way of life or state of mind that is profoundly limited in the ability to understand or appreciate or respond to the true needs that we were created with. But, this direction can lead us to a profound, personal understanding of the fruitlessness and corruptibility of an existence that pursues a world of subjective thinking that is simply based on personal experience and desire. This then represents a complete and perfect education, preparing us for an appreciation of the truth of God’s creation and an eternity where the spirit of God in us, will guide us into all of the goodness that has prepared for us through the satisfaction of our God given need.