Do you need God?


Christians often say that everyone has a need for God or has a "God-shaped hole" in them, but skeptics usually respond that while Christians may have a need to worship something, they themselves do not. What many people don't realize is that a person's need for God isn't always as obvious as a desire to worship or to believe they'll go to heaven when they die. Many of the needs and longings that we all share are actually things that prompt us to look for God and that can be fulfilled by him.

Need: Wisdom

We all know that we lack knowledge. Many of us wish there was someone very wise and mature that we could confide in and ask advice of, but no human knows everything or has experienced much more than a century of life. Even the people we respect and think of as wise are busy with their own lives; we can't interrupt them at any hour of the day or night and expect them to listen to all our problems.

God is of course omniscient and perfectly wise, but furthermore he is always available and willing to teach us wisdom (Jas 1:5, Mt 7:7-11). He's also provided the Bible to teach us and help us make wise decisions, specifically books like Proverbs and the New Testament Epistles (letters) (Pr 1:1-7, Ps 119:98-100, 104-105).

Need: Moral behavior

We all want to be better people, yet we know that we aren't perfect and often do wrong. If we try to become better people on our own, we'll inevitably fail. If we realize our limitations and turn to God for help, he is willing and able to enable us to overcome those limitations, resist temptation and do what is right (Rom 7:15-25)

Need: Justice

Who hasn't complained that life is unfair? Most of us want equality and justice in the world. We wish life were like the stories we read as children, where things turned out well for the heroes and the villains were brought to justice. Instead, we see the rich getting richer, the poor getting poorer, and people in general continue to be selfish and apathetic.

God is the one who gave us this longing for justice, for he endowed us with consciences. He will ultimately give just punishment to those who deserve it (after giving them a lifetime on Earth to repent), and those who accept him will live in a place where there is no evil or suffering (Mt 13:41, Rev 21:1-4, 22-27).

Need: Unconditional love and friendship

We want to be known and understood completely, and loved even if our deepest failings are revealed. Yet no human completely knows another, for everyone has things they don't reveal to even their closest friends, and things they don't even know about themselves. Likewise, no one is perfect, and no one can love another person perfectly.

God, who created us, knows each of us completely (Ps 139), and loves us enough despite knowing all the evil inside of us that he died for us (Rom 5:6-8).

Need: Fulfillment

Nearly everyone has a reason to get out of bed in the morning, and many people say they're happy without God. But what about fulfillment: an inner peace even in the midst of difficult circumstances, a certain knowledge of the meaning and purpose of one's life despite one's mortality, a true sense that our deepest needs have been met (as opposed to the temporary satisfaction of wealth, entertainment, success, praise, etc. that ultimately leaves one craving more)?

God created us for a purpose, and we will find fulfillment and peace when we do what he designed us to do, namely be in relationship with him and love and worship him. It was because of this fulfillment that Paul could write the letter to the Philippians, rejoicing while he was in prison and saying, "I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength" (Php 4:12-13).