Attributes of God are the foundational beliefs about who God is and what He is like that comes from Scripture. You can’t worship a God fully if you only know Him partially.
One critical attribute to study is the independence of God.
Incorrect Perception: The Needy God
I first learned about the Needy God from well-intended spiritual mentors. At an early age, I was taught regularly concerning the necessity of having a daily quiet time in which I would read my Bible and pray. To ensure that I didn’t cancel that appointment, I was taught that God’s emotional wholeness and my daily obedience were intrinsically linked. In fact, many people teach that God was apparently lonely so therefore, He created us.
Through spending time with God and doing things for God, we tend to imagine that we are helping God out. Many of us feel guilty if we seem to let God down. The only way I can let God down is if I was holding Him up in the first place.
God is not needy. God is independent.
The Independence of God
The attribute of God’s independence is of extreme importance. Sometimes this attribute is described as God’s self-existence. Others will use the term, “aseity,” which means one’s “existence originating from and having no source other than itself.”
The concept is simple to communicate but difficult to grasp:
- God is without origin.
- He is the uncreated Creator.
- He is the causeless cause.
Nothing existed before God, and God needs absolutely nothing to exist in order to prove His divine nature. The Creator does not need the Creation for anything. God is without need completely.
Scripture is full of reminders regarding God’s independence:
- God precedes the beginning (Gen. 1:1; Heb. 1:3; 11:6).
- God doesn’t need anything (Acts 17:24-25).
- God had no help for Creation (Ps. 104:5; Job 38:4; Ps. 102:25).
- Everything was made by God (John 1:3; Rev. 4:11).
- Everything was made for God (1 Cor. 8:6; Rom. 11:36; Col. 1:16).
- God defines Himself (Ex. 3:14).
How Should This Truth Change Us?
We must change our thinking. God doesn’t need us. We need Him. We should be in awe that He even thinks of us (Ps. 8:4). Everything under heaven belongs to Him (Job 41:11) and the fullness of the earth belongs to Him as well (Ps. 50:12). There is nothing we can give to Him that He cannot possess.
Like Queen Esther with a mighty task, we can tend to think that God’s work relies upon us. In reality, we come to our tasks “for such a time as this” (Est. 4:14) thinking that God needs us. Quite the opposite. If we don’t do our job, God can and will use other means.
- God’s independence should create in us a significant insignificance.
- God may appreciate our efforts, but He has never once relied upon our efforts.
- The universe will continue the previously planned operational schedule with or without any of us.
- God doesn’t need you, but He wants you.
- God’s invitation never comes out of desperation.
God is not needy. He is not dependent. He is independent, and we should stand in awe.
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Just (About) Married.