What we need


Below is an excerpt from “God won’t provide: The lie we don’t believe we are believing” chosen in response to this episode.
You can learn more about this book, and how to get it free, HERE.

What do you need to survive?

We began this book noting that the human body needs shelter, water, and food to survive, but Jesus made it clear this was a limited understanding of reality:


The foxes have holes to live in, and the birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to rest his head.

Matthew 8:20

But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again.

John 4:14

Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.

Matthew 4:4


While the human body functionally needs these things, the God who created it all can bring thriving even in their absence.

Jesus wasn’t alone in dispelling the myths of “needs.”  Scripture is filled with examples of individuals surviving in outrageous circumstances, or finding provision in unconventional ways.

We can actually amend the original statement to this:

We don’t need _____; we need God.

There is an endless supply of words that could fill that blank, words that fill our lives day after day.  Throughout Scripture individuals were expected to function one way, and thrived when God led them to do the opposite.  They were simultaneously aware of their human needs and the capacity of a powerful God.

Whatever you think you understand about your needs, God knows more: your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” (Matthew 6:8)  If God knows what we need, and if we might not actually “need” what we think we need, how do we discern next steps?

Jesus reveals the answer in the next verse, and it’s one you likely have memorized:


This, then, is how you should pray:

‘Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts,

as we also have forgiven our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from the evil one.

Matthew 6:9-13


The Lord’s Prayer is an interesting choice when explaining how to address our needs, because it barely addresses them, at least not with our normal approach (“babbling”, 6:7).  In fact, the first half doesn’t even address our practical needs.

Instead, it addresses our spiritual needs, something we neglect when distracted by the physical.  This prayer invites us to do what we’ve already discussed: “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.”  Instead of a babbling prayer telling God what we need, we have a simple prayer honoring who He is.

When the practical is finally addressed, it’s brief and simple:give us today our daily bread.”  What this meant for Jesus may differ from our default.  I imagine for him it evoked things like the provision of manna, miraculously given one day at a time; or his ability to multiply bread beyond the realm of possibility until everyone was filled; or even his awareness that we don’t live on bread alone.  This line, then, isn’t a demand for food, but an acknowledgement that God can and will provide, in His way.

We then quickly jump back into the overtly spiritual (though, we never actually left) through our brokenness.  There is an acknowledgement that we will incur spiritual debts (phrased elsewhere as “sins” or “transgressions”) which God can forgive (as we seek to do the same for others), and an awareness of spiritual warfare that can trap us through temptation or overt attack.  In other words, this prayer for provision is actually a spiritual sandwich, with the small slice of our practical needs wedged between a supernatural acknowledgement of God and the spiritual forces at work around us.  While our humanity has us grumbling about something we lack, spiritual maturity compels us to recognize God and the spiritual activity occurring are way bigger than “what we need”… and yet we are invited to be participants.


This an excerpt from “God won’t provide: The lie we don’t believe we are believing” chosen in response to this episode.
You can learn more about this book, and how to get it free, HERE.
Or, take the course!


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