God created you with certain needs of the heart which only He can fully meet. I, and my staff have seen that these needs are universal, whether here in the USA, or in places like Zimbabwe, Chile, Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan, Croatia, Ukraine or England.
Every person needs love because God is love. Every person needs acceptance because that is what unconditional love from God truly is. Every person needs worth because we are valuable enough for God to create us and for Jesus to die for us. Everyone needs security because we need to know we can’t mess up the love we have and only God’s grace in Christ can provide that. We use the acronym LAWS to help people remember their needs.
I want you to imagine four plastic buckets sitting in front of you. Each one has a different name on it. The first says LOVE. The second says ACCEPTANCE. The third says WORTH. The fourth says SECURITY. God made you to live with those buckets full. In fact, you can’t live very well unless they are full. Yet, because we don’t know they are already full, we work hard at trying to fill them ourselves.
What are some of the ways we do this? We may perform so people will like us. We may manipulate people. We may expect people to meet these needs such as in marriage and when they don’t, we get angry and start an argument. We may look on Facebook to see what people are saying about us. We may try to get our kids to meet these needs by making us proud for the wrong reasons. We may try sex outside of marriage. We may fantasize through porn. In other words, we try to control our personal universe by living independently of God, by looking to others or things in trying to meet these needs.
God says it this way in Jeremiah 2:13 – “For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, The fountain of living waters, To hew for themselves cisterns, Broken cisterns That can hold no water.” (NASB)
God was speaking of Israel at the time, but it’s still an applicable illustration of what our flesh wants to try to do for us. First, we turn away from our real Source who will abundantly satisfy our heart like living waters. Second, we work hard to get our buckets filled but our buckets have holes in them just like Israel’s cisterns did. (A cistern was a hole you dug into the ground and hoped rain water would fill so you could have water to satisfy your thirst. But Israel’s had cracks in them so that the water didn’t stay very long.)
You can’t satisfy your own needs for God given LAWS, no matter how hard you work or who you try to get to meet them. The little that you do strive for will not last and you will have to go out and work hard the next day to get it again.
If you are a Christ follower, you are united to the God who is love and He created you so He could love you. Do you believe that? We all get tested in this area when someone disappoints us or we disappoint ourselves.
Why don’t you thank God this week that He is the only one who can adequately meet those needs and ask Him to make them real in you?
Believe it! It’s the Gospel!
Mark Maulding is the President and Founder of Grace Life International in Charlotte, NC. Grace Life International desires that every person experience the reality of Jesus Christ in them. Since 1995 Mark and GLI have been sharing the grace of God through counseling, teaching, and training.
This post originally appeared on Mark Maulding’s blog and in his newsletter.