How many times have you heard a church leader say that God doesn’t need our money?
I’ve heard it a lot, and so I figured I should actually think about and reflect on the phrase to see if it fits with the biblical message.
The Omnipotence of God
One of the terms we use to describe God is his Omnipotence.
Omnipotence recognizes God’s all surpassing power. God can do anything, and there is nothing God cannot do.
I’m guessing that we’ve all heard skeptics ask questions which, of course, prove that as a matter of function, there are indeed things God cannot do:
- Can God make a rock so big that He cannot move it?
- Can God lie?
These questions highlight the fact that to be God, God himself is bound by his own nature and he cannot do things that contradict each other.
So, Does God Need Our Money?
Skeptic that I am, wanted to put this statement to the test. It’s a statement that has always left a stale taste in my mouth – probably because I think that it is one of the phrases we use so we don’t have to be transformed by the Bible.
Here’s a related question that will help us answer the primary question – Does God need missionaries?
The answer, in my opinion, is yes and no.
No, God does not need missionaries because he is all-powerful and can do anything he wants. He could drop a weekly newspaper from heaven with an updated message of his Good News. He could send an angel to houses where the ungodly reside.
But here’s the point. He doesn’t.
Despite his ability to do otherwise, God has chosen to entrust the ministry of the Gospel into the hands of mankind. While logically or technically God doesn’t need missionaries, God does need missionaries because he has entrusted that ministry to them (in a practical and functional way). This doesn’t mean he is lacking anything.
How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” (Romans 10:14-15 NIV)
Paul seems to think that God needs missionaries to share His message.
So, does God need our money?
In John 1:14, we realize that the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. He was God in the flesh.
In Ephesians, Paul writes:
And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way. (Ephesians 1:22-23 NIV)
The church, in some unfathomable way fills Christ. We fulfill his ministry.
It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. (Ephesians 4:11-13 NIV)
People within this body are given different forms of ministry so that the body may be built up and we may attain the fullness of Christ.
Christ’s work here on earth was left incomplete. It was not full. God chose, by his wisdom, to entrust the ongoing work of Christ to a community of people we now call Christians. It’s an almost unimaginable twist in history. I believe God needs us to fulfill his will. Now, one good thing about God is that he never manipulates and never forces, but he always wins. It’s just his way.
Paul says it in this way:
This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. (2 Corinthians 9:12 NIV)
God’s people have needs. Needs that God has chosen to fulfill through his people.
How does God plan to fulfill the needs of the people of the world? How does God plan to display his mercy, grace, and his kindness to the citizens of this world? He does it through his merciful provisions of rain, fertile ground, and other resources. But I think God’s plan is actually broader.
Your plenty will supply what they need. (2 Corinthians 8:14a NIV)
I think God is saying that he needs us to play a role. Not because he is unable to play that role. Not because he lacks the resources necessary. But because he’s made a choice to rely on our full participation in the process of giving.
My conclusion is that God does need our money in order to fulfill the work He began in Christ. Here’s the amazing thing about God: even without our money, he’s going to get the work done! A contradiction? Yes. Do I still believe both statements? Yes.