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  • Shawn Thornton

Never Needs Anyone or Anything

Monday - September 14th

Scripture to Read Today: Acts 17:24-28

Self-Sufficient: Needs nothing, He exists in and of Himself

Day 14 of 30 Days of the Names and Attributes of God

And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything.

Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else.

Acts 17:25


Plants can only thrive as they take in water and through the absorption of sunlight through the process of photosynthesis. Every living creature in creation needs some source of food, light, or liquid to exist. Even human-made machines need some form of fuel to work. Whether created by God or made by man, everything in the universe needs something or someone else to exist.

Last year Lesli and I bought a 2020 Ford Fusion Hybrid Energi car to use as her car primarily. Lately, she has gotten close to 100 miles per gallon of gasoline. This type of Ford Fusion functions like a hybrid, but also as a plug-in vehicle. The first 20 miles of driving after a recharge uses pure electricity - no gasoline. After the initial 20 miles, the Fusion functions as a hybrid with the engine's system drawing from electricity and gasoline (whichever is most efficient at the time).

Since March, Lesli has worked at home 98% of the time. She drives the Fusion fewer than 20 miles the vast majority of the time. So, Lesli uses almost all electricity and very little gasoline. That is how she reaches nearly 100 MPG. It never ceases to amaze me how remarkable it is to read this high MPG notice when I take her car. Maybe fossil fuels will be a thing of the past as we get more efficient at utilizing other means of energy. No matter, though, how good the automotive industry gets in minimizing an automobile's gasoline consumption, cars will always need some source of fuel or energy input.

Everything in the universe needs and will need a source of energy or fuel to exist. But the Bible says that our God is self-sufficient. He needs no one and nothing to exist. He is wholly independent of anything outside of Himself to be and to do. Years ago, for a college theology class, I read A.W. Tozer's classic book on God's attributes, "Knowledge of the Holy." At that point in my short life (I was under 20), I had not even formally thought about or considered how God is self-sufficient. I am sure that I had been exposed to the concept throughout my childhood, but Tozer's way of explaining it left me in awe of God.

The below selection from chapter six of "The Knowledge of the Holy" still expands my understanding of how God is wholly other from us (or anything in creation).

Since God is self-sufficient and needs nothing and no one, we can completely trust Him to meet our needs entirely.

The Self-Sufficiency of God by Tozer:

Whatever God is, and all that God is, He is in Himself. All life is in and from God, whether it be the lowest form of unconscious life or the highly self-conscious, intelligent life of a seraph. No creature has life in itself; all life is a gift from God.

The life of God, conversely, is not a gift from another. Were there another from whom God could receive the gift of life, or indeed any gift whatever, that other would be God in fact. An elementary but correct way to think of God is as the One who contains all, who gives all that is given, but who Himself can receive nothing that He has not first given.

To admit the existence of a need in God is to admit incompleteness in the divine Being. Need is a creature-word and cannot be spoken of the Creator. God has a voluntary relation to everything He has made, but He has no necessary relation to anything outside of Himself. His interest in His creatures arises from His sovereign good pleasure, not from any need those creatures can supply nor from any completeness they can bring to Him who is complete in Himself.

Tozer, A W. The Knowledge of the Holy: The Attributes of God: Their Meaning in the Christian Life. Harrisburg, Pa: Christian Publications, 1961. Print.

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