Do I Need God or Not?
Luke 24:47 Repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations…
When I worked in the Emergency Room, I would, almost daily, meet addicts of which there were invariably two types. The first addict still acted like an addict. Either high or seeking a high, this addict was not helpable. Enslaved to the flesh, he or she could not see any need and thus, could not seek help. I did not spend a lot of time trying to convince this addict that he or she needed help. I knew the futility of this from personal experience.
The second type of addict was the one who came seeking help. This addict did not have life all figured out, but he or she could see the disaster and thus could start the road to recovery. Honesty alone does not mean recovery, but recovery is impossible without it.
I do not enjoy working with the first type of addict as they are blind to their need. I will go to great lengths however, to help the addict who wants help. I would rather work with ten addicts who know their need than work with one addict who remains blind and enslaved.
Jesus, in his final words to his disciples before leaving Earth, told them to carry the message of forgiveness and repentance to all nations. He commanded them to share the beautiful message that all can be forgiven and restored to God if they will repent and find forgiveness through Christ.
I imagine that those disciples encountered a similar experience to the one I had in the Emergency Room. The world is made of two types of people, those who know they need God and those who are blind to that need. Everyone needs God. Not everyone is aware of it.
As it seems futile to try to help an addict committed to addictive behavior, it likewise seems futile to try to convince those who see no need for God that they must repent. If one does not see a need for God, one will not see any need to change or seek forgiveness.
The beautiful message of the gospel is hope and peace to those of us who know what a mess we are. It is however, offensive to those who see no need for forgiveness. I’ve done nothing wrong. I do not need your God nor require his forgiveness!
As a follower of Christ, I am to daily embrace my own repentance and forgiveness. I am to live out the gospel message in my own life. My need for God did not end three years ago when I left active addiction. It is when I begin to think of my need as a thing of the past that I return to my own destructive thinking. I’m fine now. I’m forgiven and perfect. I’m sure glad I no longer need God…
Being honest about my own defects is the most effective way to help a fellow addict seeking recovery. Likewise, it is only in living out the gospel in my own life that I can share it with others. When I admit that I am still a bit of a mess and that I still need God, I can share that with others who also know of their need for God.
The Seeds of the Spirit is a daily blog based on a walk through the New Testament. Written from the perspective of my own addiction, it explores the common defects of our flesh nature and the solution, our spirit life. If you find it helpful, sign up for the blog as a daily email, tell your friends and like/share it on Facebook.