I listen to podcasts. It’s a great way to maximize my time while doing other things like driving, working out, and chores around the house.
While on a run recently, I was listening to the TED Talks podcast titled Believers and Doubters. It was supposed to be an intellectual discussion on the nature of belief and faith. One of the people interviewed was an atheist. I was provoked by something she said. One of the key components in the “epiphany” that led to her unbelief came about when she pondered why God is so “needy.” She told the interviewer, “Why would God care if people believed in Him or not? That was one of the many things I found so shocking reading the Bible, is first of all, how insecure God is. I mean God is so insecure He needs everyone to say, ‘You’re the Number One, and You’re the Number One over all the other gods and You’re the Top God.’ And it’s like—the most insecure character.”
I wonder where this woman ever got the idea from reading the Bible that God is “needy” or that He’s insecure and seeks to compensate for His low self-esteem by having people honor Him, because that’s nowhere to be found in THE Bible. Methinks she conflates what she assumes God is like and reality.
While God isn’t in the least needy as this particular atheist states it, He does indeed care if people believe in Him; but not for HIS sake. He cares for theirs. What a person believes about God is THE most important thing about them because it is the bedrock of all other thinking and living. God wants us to believe in Him and translate that belief into practical loving because He loves us and wants what’s best for us. Since He created us for His purposes and pleasure, life simply won’t work as it ought apart from our whole-hearted acquiescence to His will.
It’s long been satan’s (I refuse to capitalize his moniker) strategy to cast God’s will as onerous and hard; a burden to be endured. He insinuates that God’s holding out on us; that the “good life” awaits just the other side of our decision to go our own way. Thus telling Eve fulfillment and achieving her potential lay in doing what God warned not to. But it’s precisely BECAUSE God loves us He tells us to do one thing while not doing another. His commands aren’t aimed at diminishing life; they all aim at allowing us to flourish.
Jesus said, “I have come that you may have life, and that you may have it more abundantly.” However much life Jesus has brought us, there’s MORE, and Jesus came so that more would be appropriated by us. God wants us to flourish! And He wants it because He loves us and wants the best for us. But God doesn’t NEED us. Rather, we need Him.