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  • Adam Butler

God Does Not Need Me

“You didn’t want heaven without us, so Jesus you brought heaven down.” This is a line from one of the most popular worship songs today, “What a Beautiful Name” by Hillsong Worship. The problem is that it is not true.

Nowhere in Scripture is there any indication that God was somehow “lonely” or in need of company. God created humanity because He chose to. God exists for God; not us.

God is a necessary being. That is, He is the only being in existence, the reason for whose existence is Himself. Nothing created God, God does not need any outside forces to sustain Him, and because of Him, all other things can exist. Even the angels are creations of God, not for His benefit, but theirs.

Humans, likewise, exist for God’s glory. God created humanity to glorify Him; not ourselves. The common misconception about God, particularly in modern church circles, is that God was lonely in heaven, and so created humanity to fill a void in Himself, and loved humanity so much that He is hoping we will one day live with Him in heaven. This is the God as a “best friend” understanding of God.

But the Biblical God is far different. The God of the Bible is a ferociously holy, magnificent, overwhelming, powerful, mighty, glorious being who does not need our worship–He deserves it. He deserves our submission and surrender, not for His benefit, but for ours.

The God of the Bible is a God who destroyed two men, Nadab and Abihu, because they offered up unauthorized fire and worshiped Him incorrectly (Leviticus 10). The God of the Bible is a God who cannot even be looked upon. When God passed by Moses in physical form, Moses could only glance at a piece of Him, and had to be hidden within the crevice of a rock (Exodus 33:22-23). The God of the Bible is a God whose very presence within the throne room drew Isaiah to cry out “Woe is me, I am lost” (Isaiah 6:5). The God of the Bible is a God who caused Ananias and Sapphira to drop dead when they lied to the Apostles (Acts 5). These descriptions, among many others in Scripture, do not paint the picture of a God who is in need of anyone or anything. God is sufficiently holy and perfect.

This should make the Gospel message all-the-more overwhelming. Even so, having understood these aspects of the character of God, He still pursues us for His name’s sake. He wills that all people should be saved. The God of the Bible is a God with a relentless love, and a righteous wrath.

Another popular worship song today is “King of My Heart,” which features a bridge that repeats the line “You’re never gonna let me down.” As if God needs reminding that He will not let us down. While it is true that the faithfulness of God will not let us down in that sense, and we can depend on Him to meet our needs (Philippians 4:19), I believe the bridge should say something to the effect of “I never want to let You down.” We should be the ones who are in awe of the goodness of God, and as a result, are overwhelmed with a desire to serve Him and keep His commands.

False teachers have perverted the holiness of God by buying into the narrative that God needs us as well. Jesse Duplantis, a famous prosperity preacher, suggested in one sermon that he regularly has conversations with God, and that God takes suggestions from him and wants to know his opinion on certain matters. What a blasphemous thing to claim! Similarly, Kenneth Copeland, another false teacher, once suggested that God told him he could have taken the place of Jesus on the cross.

These dangerous, heretical claims are a result of a twisted view of the Biblical God.

Even the concept of “revival” worship services is problematic. Many churches will host revival services, in which the goal is to spark revival within the hearts of the people attending. While I do not believe there is anything inherently wrong with hosting a “revival” service, is not God the author of revival? Does not the Holy Spirit move as He wills? From a Biblical standpoint, human beings have not the power to “schedule” revival. This is to suggest that we play a part in the spiritual movement of the Holy Spirit. We are merely ambassadors for Christ’s sake, who are expected to carry the message of the Gospel to the ends of the earth, glorifying God as we go. In other words, the job of the Christian is not to create revival, but to be faithful to God, and leave the results to Him.

“But I got saved at a revival service,” you may be thinking. Consider the implications of that statement; whether we realize it or not, what we are suggesting in the previous statement is that God could not have saved me any other time. Now, the fact that salvation occurred at the revival service is part of God’s sovereign timing. But we cannot choose when revival will occur. God’s Spirit moves and awakens hearts in His timing. He does not need a supplement. He does not need the physical, aesthetic elements of a modern worship service in order to stir hearts.

God’s motivation in all things is His glory and His greatness.

Scripture says our existence ultimately points back to God (Isaiah 43:7). Everything that we do should be in light of glorifying our Creator (1 Corinthians 10:31). Jesus answers our prayers, not for our benefit, but ultimately so God may be glorified (John 14).

God does not need our praise, but He is worthy of it all (Psalm 145).

God does not need our prayers, but He deserves every one of them.

God does not need our existence, but He has created us to share in fellowship with Him, only if we choose to accept the free gift of salvation and turn from our sinful lives. Christ died and rose from the grave in order that this chance at life might be made available to us–all for the Glory of God.

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