By Charles Wages
Almost without an exception when we think of our needs we refer to things that are material: food, shelter, clothing and a myriad of “things” that satisfy our earthly pleasures or egos. Also, many never denote the difference between “wants” and “needs.” God promises to provide our needs, but never to satisfy our neverending wants. He knows that many of the things we want are not really needed, and that we would always be wanting more! We are often somewhat like the little girl to whom her mother said, “Lillian, there were two pieces of cake in the pantry this morning, and now there is only one. How does this happen?” “I don’t know,” replied Lillian, regretfully, “It must have been so dark I didn’t see the other piece.”
The Bible tells us in Philippians 4:19: “But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” No doubt, the primary and prevailing emphasis in the verse is on the “spiritual” needs of man. Also, it is directed principally to believers in the Lord Jesus Christ.
What are man’s spiritual needs? Well, first of all, he needs to be saved from sin—regenerated to a new life. After that, his spiritual needs are manifold. They are too many to mention, but we can always enumerate a few that are important to us all. As examples, a person needs
This great need is noted in nature. Animals, birds, and insects all exhibit the necessity of being together. This could be called a “social instinct,” but really it goes far beyond that. Bees who are “cast out” of the swarm soon die. Even animals don’t desire to be “a loner.” But all of this, as interesting as it may be, only points up the far higher need of man to have companionship. A beautiful passage in Psalms 55:14 reads,
“We took sweet counsel together, and walked into the house of God in company.”
It is enlightening to note that they “counseled together” before “walking” and before going into the house of God “in company.” Someone has aptly noted that one blessing to come out of the energy shortage is people doing things together more, such as car pooling. We must always keep in mind though that companionship desires and demands:
- The right kind of company. This becomes a major problem in society, especially the Christian society. Many of the heartaches and complications that surround every segment of society could be avoided if people were more discriminate in their associations. People have become overly reactive to discrimination because of the evils and mistakes that have been made in regard to human relationships. However, there is a difference between being discriminate and practicing discrimination for questionable reasons. Christians need to be discriminate in marriage, business, and church affiliation among many areas of life.
- The right kind of Christian company. The Psalmist said, “I am a companion of all them that fear Thee, and of them that keep Thy precepts” (Psalms 119:63). In Proverbs 13:20, it is stated, “He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.”
The philosophy of thinking that it makes no difference what church you attend, as long as you attend, does not fit into God’s desires for his children. Surely we should be desirous to be with those who love God’s Word, rightly divided (2 Tim. 2:15), and that honor the name of our blessed Saviour.
Yes, companionship is so needed by all, whether it is a natural, human relation or in the realm of worship and study of the Word. It is wonderful to see people together in love and fellowship.
Another vital need to the child of God is,
If it were possible to characterize this world, it would be appropriate to say it is full of sorrow, pain, tragedy, corruption, and misery. Everyone is aware of “news” we receive daily through the media. Death and destruction are always in the headlines. Every family is affected at sometime or another. We need comfort, but from where does it come? Surely, the world offers no comfort to its victims. Only God can supply this need!
The Lord Jesus said in John 14, “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.” Previous to that He had said, “And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever.” How we all need this comfort! We need someone to come alongside and help, someone to speak kindly, someone to support us.
We have great comfort in His Word. Romans 15:4 says,
“And whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.”
In Romans 15:5, God is spoken of as “the God of patience and consolation.” He is also spoken of as “the God of hope” (vs. 13) and the “God of peace” (vs. 33). We are never told that we will not experience sorrow, but He does inform us in 1 Thessalonians 4 “to sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.” And then, in verse 18, He says, “wherefore comfort one another with these words.”
May we consider this portion of God’s Word carefully which says,
“Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort: Who comforteth us in all our tribulations, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.” (2 Cor. 1:3-4)
Another compelling need of the child of God is
This great need goes beyond physical companionship but involves the deeper issues of soul and spirit. It also involves more than just an “ordinance” or remembrance ritual. For example, this beautiful word the scriptures uses for communion is translated some 12 times in the New Testament as “fellowship.” The benediction used by Paul in 2 Corinthians 13:14 speaks of the communion of the Holy Ghost.
“The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen”
Grace, love, and communion are so needed by us all, and God so wonderfully supplies these needs!
Again, it must be emphasized that communion goes so much deeper than the concept most think of when the word is mentioned. The Apostle Paul was so thankful to the saints at Philippi “for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now” (Phil. 1:5). A great need of every believer is to have sweet communion with other believers in the proclamation and service of the gospel of God’s grace. So many are perverting the gospel, so many are preaching “another gospel,” that it gives a deep felt need for fellowship with those of like precious faith.
The Apostle Paul also expressed a great need to know the Lord “in the fellowship of his sufferings” (Phil. 3:10). Communion involves more than just enjoying our salvation or sharing it with others. It concerns a willingness to commune with the Lord in His sufferings. This really gets down to the “heart” of the matter. This is real “fellowship” of spirit. This enables us to better share in other believers’ sufferings and results in real, deep, meaningful communion that meets a genuine need in our lives.
In the presentation concerning God’s great plan for this dispensation, the apostle Paul desired to:
“Make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ.” (Eph. 3:9)
The way Paul expressed this showed a burning desire on his part to have others involved in declaring this sacred secret. The “fellowship of the mystery” concerns God’s church for this age, the body of Christ. It also involves all the “spiritual blessings in heavenly places” that is the inheritance of all saints today. There is a real need for this message to be proclaimed today, and equally there is an accompanying need to have “communion” in this matter. This need is woefully being neglected today in “religion” and by “religious” leaders.
Our spiritual needs were all satisfied at Calvary! God is perfectly able and perfectly willing to meet our every need. We need to remember the Scripture which says,
“But my God shall supply all your need, according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:19)