The sufficiency of God in all things Definition of the sufficiency of God - God possesses within himself, intrinsically and

eternally, every quality in infinite measure. In other words - God has no need for anything outside of who God is, in and of himself. God needs nothing apart from himself, for he possesses every quality within himself. Exodus 3:14 - God said to Moses, “1aI AM WHO 1I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘1I AM has sent me to you.’ ” Biblical Insight: God has no needs or restrictions outside of Himself1

God has this attribute intrinsically but we possess our attributes derivately in that we had to get them from someone else.

God possesses all His qualities by nature: It is God’s nature to be good, loving, holy, just and beautiful

God possesses these qualities eternally – there was never a time in the past and never a time in the future when He won’t have these qualities.

God possesses these qualities in infinite measure which means there are no limits or restrictions to His love, wisdom and justice. So is this view taught in Scripture?

Please turn in your Bibles to Psalm 50 Background – Israel is on trial and God is acting in the role of both judge and prosecuting attorney who is charging them. God is holding Israel accountable before His bar of justice.

Psalm 50:4 – God is talking about the people of Israel and those who have practiced the sacrificial system that God has put in place.

Psalm 50:4-6 are what I am calling the set up verses: God is calling heaven and earth to bear witness His people are on trial and God is judging them So we need to know – “What is the charge that God is bringing against His people?”

Read Psalm 50:7-12 You may be asking the question – “What in the world is going on here?”

God first tells the people of what they are NOT guilty of. They are not guilty of failing to bring sacrifices before Him because He says that they are doing that. God says – you are bringing your bulls and male goats from your field

So Israel might ask – “So what are we doing wrong?” You told us to bring sacrifices and that is exactly what we are doing, we are bringing our sacrifices.

However, Israel is evidently doing this with the same mindset toward sacrificing that we common to those pagan nations that were surrounding them.

The pagan nations around Israel believed that their gods were needy. They thought that the gods got hungry literally and therefore they would bring a sacrifice to their particular god to eat and then be satisfied. When the tummy of this god was full then he would bless those who fed him. This is probably the religion that occupies almost 2/3s of our current world.

Illustration – a person goes on a missions trip to Madagascar and discovers that they are big on ancestor worship. People spend time doing whatever the deceased grand father liked to do.

So what picture does this paint for us about God? As we sacrifice these things to Him we are helping Him out and contributing to His needs. It’s a good thing that we are here because if we weren’t He would lack.

Go back to verse 8 – The problem isn’t their sacrificing but their thinking about sacrificing Do you see the problem?

These Israelites are worshipping God as if He were needy, and they are going to give in order to help Him out. Application for consideration: How many people in the evangelical church think this exact same way?  In the giving of their tithes and offerings Going to the mission field Serving in a particular ministry There is an underlining thinking that to this degree – poor desperate, poor hungry, poor helpless God and I am going to save the day with my gift, sacrifice, service and life. And God says to that type of mindset – Don’t give it!

Read Psalm 50 verse 13 – Question – Is that what you think I am doing, eating flesh and drinking blood in order to satisfy My hunger? Did you not understand what I said in verses 10-12? Verse 14 – What does thanksgiving imply, in terms of relationship to God? We are the total recipients of His gifts and He is the Giver!

God says you think you are offering in order to help me out? No, instead offer me a thanksgiving. I am the Giver and You are the receiver I am the full One and You are the empty one I am the wise One and You are the foolish one I am powerful and You are weak Read Psalm 50:14-15 and get the order right You are to call upon me – God is the rescuer, helper, strong hold, rock, refuge, provider, protector, shield, And then it says – He will rescue you because we are weak, needy and helpless Oh brothers and sisters in Christ learn this truth for your prayer life and be transformed!

Now turn to Isaiah 40:12-17 – Still under the attribute of the self sufficiency of God

In verses 12-13 you have rhetorical questions which means the answers to the questions are obvious that you don’t have to give the answer. Look at verse 12 – and look at all the metaphors and think of these images Do you know anyone who is big enough to scoop up the Atlantic Ocean or the Pacific Ocean in His hand? How big is God?

Illustration # 1 Going to the beach and grabbing up all the water in your two hands and seeing what difference it really makes. So what is the picture of God here? 1. 2. 3. He is big He is powerful He is immense

Lesson for the grandkids someday – if I scoop all the water in the ocean in my hands you can’t tell anything. But can you imagine a God who can scoop up all the water in all the oceans in the palm of His hand.

Illustration #2 God marks off a span, which is the distance between you thumb and little finger. Think of it light traveling at 186,000 miles per second and it takes approximately 7 minutes to get to us from the sun to the earth. The next closest start is 4 and ½ years from the time it leaves the star to planet earth and by the way this is our next door neighbor which is the Milky Way Galaxy. When you look at the stars on a clear night almost every star you see is in the Milky Way Galaxy of which there are about 10 billion stars and those are the ones in our neighborhood. Separated by an average distance of about 10 light years spanning out across this Milky Way Galaxy.

Which begs the question, how many Galaxies are out there? The Hubble telescope still finds more and more but it seems as though there are millions upon millions more spread out across this universe. And they are hundreds of thousands of light years away – so who do you know that can mark them off between His thumb and little finger? Who could possibly do this? Answer – only God How big is God? Then the next image – who do you know who can calculate the dust and weigh the mountains ranges of the Rockies and the Himalayas on a scale? God is so great, so powerful and so huge that He can do this with no problem

Verse 13 – A shift in the topic – it is no longer the bigness and enormous nature of God but instead it is His knowledge and wisdom What is the answer to these questions – Who has taught God? Who has advised God? Answer - No one God doesn’t need any advice because He already knows it all

Illustration – Contrast this with a President who takes office and states that he will have no advisors but himself. What would we say about a President like that? We would say that he is a fool.

Folks we need to remember this image of God when we pray and we need to pray like the Lord Jesus. How did He pray? Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name!

Father God you are separate and above all creation in Your wisdom, supremacy, and majesty! And then we pray that by the Spirit we might get in tune with the will of God, this is not a will we are trying to shape but one that is already established.

Jesus praying in the garden, not My will but Thy will be done!

God needs no advisors because His wisdom is flawless!

Can you imagine all the problems in the world and God doesn’t need help from anyone! The nations – all of our collective prowess and military power, technological advancements, wealth, wisdom, and all the resources that we have are but a drop of water in a bucket or a speck of dust on a scale to God. Illustration – My foot is injured and I have Plantar Fasciitis. Nancy went on the internet the other day and there were thousands of entries just on one section of the foot. I was overwhelmed with all the information. Imagine if someone from a campground is bringing back a bucket of water from a stream and they only spill one single drop. What would you say? Basically they didn’t spill anything and surely it would not be even noticed.

Illustration: Housewife goes to the deli to buy a couple of pounds of ham and the butcher is getting ready to weigh and price it and the lady says “wait a minute.” And the man says what is the problem and she says there is a speck of dust on the scales. What is the point of these images? Just keep reading – we were a speck of dust but look at Isaiah 40:17 now we are down to nothing and keep reading, the nations now are less than nothing! Trivial Inconsequential – they don’t matter or even make a difference

So we need to be careful here and think and meditate on what this really means. Are we to take this as meaning that God doesn’t care about the nations?

So is does NOT mean that God doesn’t care about the nations for all we have to do is read Psalm 2:8 – Christ came for the nations (Revelation 5:9 and Genesis 12 – all the nations will be blessed)

So what does God mean when we are less than nothing before Him. It means in comparison to God’s wisdom, knowledge, power and greatness that could contribute anything to God.

Illustration: Me going up to Tiger Woods at the Wachovia and offering him some tips on driving the golf ball a little further. What information do I have that could benefit his golf game? The point here is what can the nations of the world add to the infinite power, wisdom and knowledge of God? Answer – nothing

Turn to Acts 17:24-25 Paul is in Athens, which was the religious center of the world at that time. They had represented in their city all gods and it was as polytheistic as one could imagine. The irony is the one God they didn’t know was the true and living God. Main point of these two verses – God is self sufficient How could it be possible for God to need anything in creation when He gave everything for creation to exist. There is nothing that God needs! Illustration – teaching that Jesus died for you and since He died for you what are you prepared and willing to do for Him. And we grow up with this attitude that the tithe is God’s and everything else is mine You must stay in position as receiver and God must be the giver!

Some final thoughts
We live in a culture that encourages us to have a very man-centered theology. Many times we process the gospel this way: “If Jesus died for me then what am I going to do for Him.” Unfortunately that leads to religious living and not gospel living. Religious living says I will do for God and then He will approve of me. Whereas gospel living says I am already approved of by God on the basis of the death of Christ and now I want to do for Him. This type of living comes from delighting in Him not a duty performed for Him. Since God is sufficient in all ways and in all things we can not add anything to who He is nor what He has done.

Some final thoughts
We must learn how to align our lives under the waterfall of God’s grace where He is always in position of the Giver and we are always in position of the receiver. Yes we must serve but as defined in 1 Peter 4:11 - “…whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Therefore our serving comes through His strength and not ours which means we must receive that from Him. Once again grace is showing up to give us what we don’t deserve!
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