Jesus Is All We Need
Gospel singer and Evangelist Billy Fields wrote a song with a line in the chorus that says, "I didn't know Jesus was all that I needed until He was all that I had." While this quotation has been attributed to everyone from early Christian theologian, St. Augustine to current Christian theologian and pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church, Tim Keller, the message describes a common condition of people everywhere. We need Jesus, but we may not realize how much until He is all we have.
The reference also describes the people Jesus was speaking to in Revelation 3: 17 (NLT) when He said,
"You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked."
Many of us from a young age are encouraged to do things for ourselves. We are told that we need to take care of ourselves as no one is going to take care of us. We set goals. We achieve. We are rewarded when we accomplish and succeed. While that may work for a while, it often produces a certain amount of pride. It can also trigger a false sense of security. The truth is we need our Savior. We cannot do things on our own. When we rely on our accomplishments and achievements, we forget that we are actually wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.
I watched this unfold first hand as I witnessed a close friend who "had it all," a beautiful wife, children, money, material wealth, and good health. He worked and achieved. He sacrificed and succeeded. From the outside, he was one to admire and covet.
He confessed at the time his belief was he did not need anyone else. He could do everything himself. Through a series of unfortunate decisions and circumstances, he basically lost everything. It was only then that he realized how much he needed Jesus. It was the moment when Jesus was literally all he had.
We, like the Church of Ephesus in Revelation, are all at risk of this when we forget our first love. When we solely rely on our own resources and ability, we put our treasures in things that are temporary. Only Jesus can satisfy our deepest longings. Only Jesus can provide. He is our ultimate provider. Yes, He uses our abilities and resources as provisions, but we must never lose sight of His place as Lord of our lives.
He tells us this in the very next verse in Revelation, verse 18:
Revelation 3:18 (NLT), "I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see."
Over and over in the Book of Revelation, the Apostle John uses the word "overcomer." Another definition for overcomer is to be victorious. While it is tempting to live our lives as self-reliant and independent, it is much more prudent to live our lives wholly surrendered to the only One who promises eternal life. We can overcome the temptation to charge ahead in life focused only on the next goal or achievement without Jesus. It takes discipline and humility. We must be mindful that only God is Sovereign. We must make room for His counsel and yes, even His discipline at times. Walking through life hand in hand with Jesus assures us that He will direct our steps. Let us acknowledge that Jesus is all we need and not wait until He is all we have.
Fortunately for my friend, he now knows these truths. He is living his life with a new perspective and strategy that includes Jesus in every step.
A few verses later in Revelation, Chapter 3 offers one of the best invitations and best promises in the Bible:
"Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.
To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne." Revelation 3: 20, 21 (NLT)
Let us not wait until circumstances make us realize Jesus is all we have, let us open the door every day and allow Him in!