Over the past few months, I have faced a rollercoaster of health issues after discovering a tumor growing deep in my abdomen, close to my spine. The tumor, when discovered, was thought to be a hematoma from a childhood injury, and the doctors said not to worry about it. After taking another image, the doctors said it may not be a hematoma after all; it might be cancerous. After further imaging, the doctor said it may be coming off of a lymph node and lymphoma cancer became a concern, especially with my mom having died of lymphoma six months earlier.
After more studies, they discovered the tumor was not coming from a lymph node, but was instead coming from a nerve root, which meant the odds were the tumor was benign, as most nerve tumors tend to be. They did further imaging and discovered the tumor was moving into my spine, which was concerning. But two weeks later the final images revealed the tumor was no longer moving into the spine, but was isolated in the main mass. Throughout this process people would attempt to comfort and encourage me, and for that I am grateful. However, one of the comments I would hear as people sought to comfort me, was that God wouldn’t take me home and allow my life to end because He desperately needed me here. Nothing, my friends, could be further from the truth.
Let me be clear, God does not need me, and God does not need you. In our culture today, with the COVID-19 scenario, we are learning about essential and non-essential workers, which will help make this point. In the kingdom of God, there is one essential worker and one essential position: God, and He will hold that position forever. Outside God, there are no essential positions available; everyone else is non-essential. Don’t for a moment think the Creator of the universe, the one who spoke and a hundred trillion stars appeared, needs us. God lacks absolutely nothing, and God can build His kingdom with or without us. Harsh, isn’t it? People are trying to be nice when they say God needs me, but He doesn’t…not one bit. He is perfectly content and capable in His omniscient, omnipotent, triune nature.
Actually, this is quite a blessing. If God needed you and me, it would imply God does stuff for us because He needs us for His work. If God needs us, maybe He just shows love because He’s using us when He can’t get something done Himself. But such a belief is absurd! The limitless, infinitely powerful God does not need you or me, but He does want us, and that’s much better.
God loves you and desires to use you in His kingdom work, but not because He needs you, because He loves you and wants you. When Elijah told God he was the only one left who hadn’t bowed the knee to idols, God quickly informed him of thousands of others, unknown to Elijah, who were still following God. There is no one in the kingdom of God who is irreplaceable except God Himself. Don’t ever, ever look at ministry work or service to God as you meeting a need that God wouldn’t be able to otherwise meet. Ministry is not about you doing God a favor and helping Him accomplish His plans as though without you He would be hopeless. Ministry is about God allowing mankind to take part in His master plan and be part of the fulfilling, purpose-giving work of the Kingdom. I am not essential in God’s kingdom, but I am wanted. May my mindset never be that God needs me, but instead that God has given me an opportunity to serve Him and be part of His divine plan, and may all glory go to Him.