Man has three basic spiritual needs.
- Security – being loved and accepted
- Value – being valued; desired; we need to be wanted
- Purpose – A life of meaning, significance; if your life does not bring meaning to the lives of others, it is empty and grows tiresome.
Before I knew the love of God I tried to create value through purpose in order to gain security.
Before I knew the love of God I tried to create value (being something to someone), through purpose (my performance), in order to gain security (love and acceptance).
Before I knew Christ, when I relied entirely on self-sufficiency, life became a performance, and when my performance wasn’t perfect, what happened? My value and security decreased. Life became a game of highs and lows—absent of peace, because I was always looking ahead at the next performance or behind at the last failure. Life, without an intimate relationship with God, is like a treadmill and there is no time to rest; we become weary, tired of the hamster wheel, hoping for “good luck”—hoping for something to cover our shame, hoping for something to give us glory, honor, and hope.
When we rely on our own sufficiency to meet our basic spiritual needs, our needs are never truly met. We live on that never-ending treadmill and burn out, becoming angry and depressed. We never experience real peace of mind and became more and more discontent, bitter, and hopeless–hardened.
At some point many of us decide to give up on the delusion of self-justification, instead focusing on self-protection and self-preservation. We become heartless, insensitive, selfish, greedy, prideful, lustful, and judgmental—while pretending to be otherwise. “I’m gonna get mine.” We make a vow, “I am never going to let anybody get in my way of getting what I want and what I rightfully deserve.”
But God. Then Jesus came into my life and changed everything. He commanded me to just stop–stop doing and be; be loved, beloved. He tells us to stop trying to earn love because all we have to do is receive His love. Stop trying to create value through your performance in order to gain security.
Grace, the new covenant, focuses on being, while the law, the old covenant, focused on doing. Stop doing and start being. What does that mean?
The law drew our attention to external behavior—it drew attention to our performance. But grace, through our union with the Lord Jesus Christ, changes our heart, our inner man.
Romans 7:4-6 “… my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to Him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God. For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death. But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code.”
Before Christ came into my life it was “do this” in order to avoid pain and gain pleasure, but now it’s “know Him” and be blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.
God reveals Himself to us; first in His Word, in our circumstances, and through people. Once the tender love of Jesus Christ begins to invade our inner man, we are wrecked—changed forever. He melts our hearts with a love we never knew existed—a security we never knew was possible. The truth of His word shines brighter than the sun and burns up—yes, consumes, the lies and the false beliefs we held about ourselves, others, and God. Has the love of God changed you forever?
When we discover God’s love for us, and become more and more rooted in His love, it changes everything. The love of God will transform you in a way nothing else can. His love will deliver you from evil, fear, and the grip of addiction—from the grip of sin.
2 Timothy 1:7 “God gave us not a spirit of fear, but of power and love and sound mind.”
Without the love of God we ramble around like selfish animals, devouring one another, stepping on the hands and feet of others to gratify our own desires. We may fake love, in order to gain the trust of people, but unless our motivation is the love of God, we will use, abuse, and manipulate others for selfish gain.
Only with the love of God can we love selflessly and sacrificially.
Romans 5:5 “God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”
With God’s love we rejoice at the opportunity to GIVE to others, HELP others, BLESS others, ENCOURAGE others, PROTECT others, CORRECT others, et cetera. Sharing and spreading the love of God makes us joyful above all else.
John 15:7-11 “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.”
While the law focused on doing, the focus of grace is on being—being like Jesus. With the new covenant, the focus changed from an obsession with self—am I doing the right thing, saying the right thing, wearing the right thing, thinking the right thing, and so on; to, falling in love with Jesus—His love for me, His, patience, His goodness, His kindness, His precious peace that surpasses all understanding—to the point that I want to be just like Him. He is the Lover of my soul.
Matthew 16:26 “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?”
One more thing. What does it mean to be consecrated?
Consecrated: to be set apart or dedicated to the service of a deity
Being consecrated to God doesn’t mean we are perfect, it means we are His. God values our purpose, not our performance. Before Christ came into my life I wanted what God has, today I want to be like God. How about you—do you want what God has? Or do you want to be like God? Do you know Him?
Only God, through our Lord Jesus Christ can meet our spiritual needs of security, value, and purpose—He created us this way.