God’s Self-Sufficiency

A. W. Tozer on God’s Infinite Reign

Lately I have been thinking through and praying about where God wants me now, as well as the possibility of a future in ministry. I went back to a book titled The Knowledge of the Holy by A.W. Tozer and was hit with this quote on the self-sufficiency of God. I hope it encourages you as it did me regarding the power and sovereign control God has over his church and his grace in allowing you and I to be part of it.

“Almighty God, just because He is almighty, needs no support. The picture of a nervous, ingratiating God fawning over men to win their favor is not a pleasant one; yet if we look at the popular conception of God that is precisely what we see. Twentieth century Christianity has put God on charity. So lofty is our opinion of ourselves that we find it quite easy, not to say enjoyable, to believe that we are necessary to God. But the truth is that God is not greater for our being, nor would He be less if we did not exist. That we do exist is altogether of God’s free determination, not by our desert nor by divine necessity.”[1]

In our culture, we have focused so much on individuals’ abilities and achievements. We glorify celebrities, athletes, and other social leaders. Even within our own Christian circles, there is the common temptation to elevate leaders in the church because of their ability to speak, teach, and lead a church. Praise God that he has given the church men and women who love him and  faithfully serve him. They are undoubtedly beneficial examples for us to learn from. However, sometimes we may find ourselves focusing more on the work of man than the work of God. This quote above from Tozer reminds us that we are all created by God and that the Creator is on a whole different category than the creature. God is not dependent on us nor does he require our help. Our mission and life are given by God and we are called to live to glorify him, but that is not to be confused with God needing our help. Our pride would like to believe that we are needed and necessary for God and his plans, but we know in his Word that his plans will not be changed (praise him that he includes our efforts in his plans!). His ways are greater than our ways and thoughts greater than our thoughts (Isa 55:8–9). We see in Revelation 5 the helplessness that creation has without Christ being the Lamb that was slain. We do not aid God––even in ministry. All of this is only by his grace and ought to remind us of his greatness and the weight of his glory.

Today as you read this, I pray you are encouraged by and reminded of the greatness of God. He does not beg or plead for our help, nor does he need it. He is self-sufficient and all powerful. As Tozer says, “Almighty God … needs no support,” and to think that he does need our support is to think of someone other than “Almighty God.” Nevertheless, God includes us in his plans and uses us for his glory––and that is a joyful thing. Understanding this will encourage your mind and heart to rely more on him and trust in his Word. Spend time today reading and focusing on who God truly is and who he has shown us he is in his Word.

[1] A. W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy (New York: HarperCollins, 1961), 34.