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The Sojourner Blog

Do You Know Your Need?

Posted by Steven Light on with 1 Comments

True religion is not for the strong but for the weak.  It is not for the self-reliant but for the dependent. It is not for the self-righteous but for the contrite.  Those who do not know the depth of their need have no part in God. 

 Jacob wrestled the Lord and would not let go, even though his hip was put out of joint. “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.” (Genesis 32:28)  The Hebrew word Israel means, “He strives with God.”  He would not let go because he desperately needed the blessing of God.  The blind man cried out, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" and when he was told to be quiet, he cried out all the more (Luke 18:38-39).  Mary Magdalene stood at the tomb of Jesus Christ and wept after the others had gone.  The impulse of faith kept her there; a woman who knew she needed the Savior.  He had cast seven demons out of her after all.

 From the beginning of the world, true religion was described in this way:  “At that time people began to call upon the name of the LORD” (Genesis 4:26).  David, the King of Israel said,, “Seek the LORD and his strength; seek his presence continually!” (1 Chronicles 16:11)  And Jesus said, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3).  

 Those who recognize their spiritual poverty, namely that they are sinners in desperate need of a Savior truly cry out to him.  They strive with God.  They call upon the name of the Lord.  They can do nothing else.  And those who do not know their need do not cry out to him.  How could they?  Their self-reliance, self-confidence, and self-assurance establish a pride that chains their prayers from rising.  What would they even ask?  Fervent prayer comes from deep need.  True reliance on Christ comes from knowledge of sin.  “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise” (Psalm 51:17). Do you know your need?

Tags: israel, need, weakness


Leslie September 21, 2019 10:08pm

This is so helpful. Why is it that our spiritual neediness is so often interpreted by our own selves as a negative and something from which we must grow out of...rather than the very mercy of God to keep us wholly oriented toward him and dependent on him?