He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with Him also freely give us all things? (Rom. 8:32)
Christians often have great need — along many lines. And we know that God has promised to meet our needs. Yet it sometimes seems as if God is indifferent to those needs. We can pray, and cry, claim the promises, and believe — and yet often the only answer we get is silence. This can go on for years. These are times of, “the trial of faith.” Why is this possible — if God is faithful?
There are many answers that Christians have offered to these questions. Usually, those answers give us something to DO to move God. Those answers include giving away money, submitting to authority, positive confession, trying harder to obey God, meditation, Christian psychology, joining any church, finding a guru, having someone lay hands on you, casting out supposed generational curses, going through 12-step programs — I could go on. These things find traction in Christian lives because God has made promises that do not seem to be coming to pass, so surely, it is suggested, God must be waiting for us to DO something to, “activate our faith” — which is utter nonsense. But if we are honest, we can do every one of these things — and when we are done it will have accomplished nothing. God is still silent and we are still in need.
If we would read scripture, we would discover that rather than wait for us to DO something to move Him, God will often deliberately bring us to the place where there is absolutely NOTHING we can do. There will be NOTHING we can do to supply our own need, fix ourselves — indeed, we will be able to do nothing to move God and break what we sense is His silence. In other words, God will bring us into the Truth — and THAT is the Truth — we can do nothing.
But of course, this is not a condition that is an end unto itself. The real answer is that all the while we are crying out to God for this or that, He has ALREADY FREELY GIVEN US ALL IN JESUS CHRIST. If Christ is in you, then in you is the One who is ALL.
Now, that sounds like some bit of poetry; a nice thought. But is it practical? Well, Paul said, “Christ is our LIFE.” There is nothing outside of LIFE — within life is all need met. Jesus said, “I am the Bread” — and I AM a whole bunch of other things. Paul tells us we are complete in Christ. He says God has freely given us all things in Christ. He says that God will supply ALL our need according to His riches IN Christ. This does not include ONLY spiritual needs. Material needs are also included.
This Truth explains much. It isn’t that God will not drop a blessing into our lives, or meet a present need. But generally, every need of the Christian is supposed to be met OUT FROM Jesus Christ as our life. In other words, as we grow to know Jesus Christ, and lose our lives and self-ownership to Him, what will come along with our growing realization of Him is everything that we need. This will, of course, be anchored in our inward relationship with Him — without that nothing else would be of value. But ultimately, as Christ grows to be our life, His life will include all we need.
This is exactly what Jesus meant when He said, “Seek you first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.” (Matt. 6:33) Read that entire passage and you cannot escape the fact that when He speaks of, “all these things will be added,” He is talking about material needs. Seek you first the Lordship of Jesus Christ — seek you first to be governed by the life of Christ Who is in you — and everything else that you need will be added. This is the abundant life Jesus promised — His life.
A person governed by Christ within can be blessed with material things — because these will not steal their heart. And a person who is governed by Christ within can be blessed by the withholding of material things — because they will not be stumbled. This is determined by God’s present purpose. Wouldn’t it be terrible if we will not lose our lives to Christ — if God just filled those lives we refuse to lose with material assets? That would make us hold onto them all the more. We would never come into the Truth.
The OT patriarch Job lost everything IN the will of God. He spent 40 chapters — which spanned years — asking WHY. He was met with silence. His ordeal did not end when his suffering ended — in fact, his real ordeal — the trial of his faith — ended BEFORE his physical suffering ended. Read the end of the book of Job. Job’s trial of faith ended, not when he saw the answers he wanted — his trial ended WHEN HE SAW GOD. “Now I see YOU….” And once that happened, Job’s physical suffering eventually ended. God had accomplished what He wanted.
Christian people cry out to God for many things — there is nothing wrong with that, and everything good about it. But God would say to us, “Look to My Son. He is THE answer. He is already in you. Abide in HIM.” Perhaps we ought to pray, “O Father, bring me into a realization of Jesus. Do whatever it takes. Bring me to know Him as my life; as my all.” You will note that this is not a “how-to.” It is not something you and I DO — other than lose our lives into His hands.
In Christ, God has already freely given us all things. In Christ are all of the riches of God. He is in us. And as God’s people, we must come to the end of our own resources, and let ourselves GO. We must abide in Christ by faith — as a branch abides in a Vine. And as we do, all that is in Christ can come into our experience.