Welcome to this weekend's In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley. Everyone has a need to belong, to have a sense of worth, and to feel confident. Today's podcast helps you see how each of these needs are met in Jesus Christ.
This particular message by simply asking the question and talking about this facet of it, and that's this. How do we identify what these unmet needs are? If I don't identify them properly, then I won't even know whether God's answered them or not. If I don't know what those needs are, I won't know how to go about asking God to meet those needs. If you notice in this passage what he says, he says, My God shall supply all your needs according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
Well, there are two issues here that we have to deal with. Number one, we have to distinguish between needs and desires. If there is a need, the key word in need is something that is essential, something that is required in order for us to become the persons God wants us to be or to do the things God wants us to do or to fulfill his particular plan and purpose and will for our life.
So those things would fall in under the category of needs. And then, of course, there's the whole idea of desires. Desire, the key word is enjoyment, something that God wants to provide for my life.
There's nothing wrong with having desires because he says that if you and I obey him, he says there'll be no want. God will provide not only the needs of our life, but he'll also provide those desires that we have that fit into God's plan and purpose for our enjoyment and pleasure of life. Now, what I want to do is I want to talk about the three essential universal needs that every single person has. And underlying those three awesome needs that God has given all of us is an underlying foundational needs. Remember what the apostle Paul said? He said, My God shall supply all your needs according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Now, but if I don't know what they are, I won't even know how to pray about them if I don't know what they are.
I won't even ask about them. I'll be asking about things that on the surface that appear to be our needs. So I want to give you three words. The first word is belonging. God is placed in every single person a desire and a sense of belongingness. We all want to belong.
God implanted that in the life of every one of us. You watch children who grew up in a family who feel rejected by their parents. They don't feel like they belong. They will go through life struggling to find something to meet some need in their life.
Oftentimes never realizing the real basic need. The basic need was to feel belong. This is why it's so important for a mother when she gives birth to a child to cuddle that child and hold that child and connect with that child.
So that child feels immediately that even in that little mind that cannot think, there is this awesome sense of awareness of belonging and feeling and warmth and sense of love and connecting. When people grow up feeling rejection because of something their parents say, or even after they become adults, people reject them for one reason or the other feelings of rejection or painful feelings. And what they say is you don't belong. Shut you out. Isolate you.
Move your side. Rejection is never a godly act on our part, no matter what. The first need God has placed in our heart, a sense of belonging. So if I should say to you, name me one need that God has placed in everybody's life. Universally, it's there.
What is it? Belonging. The second need.
Now watch this. And that is worthiness that we have a sense of worth about us. And by that, I simply mean this. We can say, you know, I'm good. Now, that does not mean I'm good enough to be saved in myself. It means I'm somebody worth knowing. You're being somebody worth knowing does not have anything to do with anything else except that you're a person. You are a worthy person.
And you see, when somebody rejects you, it is a slam not only gets your sense of belonging, but also gets you a sense of self-worth because it says, I must be a nobody or they would invite me in. I must not be worth anything. You are a worthy person. You know how I know that? Here's what God says. He says in Ephesians chapter two, eight and verse nine, he says, We are.
Listen to this. We are his workmanship. God doesn't make you to jump. We are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus under good works, which he foreordained that you and I should walk in them.
We are persons of...listen, that word workmanship means persons of notable excellence. You say, well, I've never felt that way in my life. Has nothing to do how you feel. It has to do with who God says you are. What you have to decide is you're going to believe what God says about you. Are you going to believe what somebody says about you?
Remember this. They change their opinion about you about every other day. People change their opinion.
That's why when people say, well, you know, I'm just real concerned about what people think. Well, you can forget that and you'll never have any peace and happiness in your life because your sense of self-worth has nothing to do with that. Now, I think there are three primary enemies that there are probably lots of them to our sense of self-worth. And the first one, of course, is sin.
Now watch this. You know what sin does? Living in sin gives you a nobody feeling. Deliberate disobedience to God is a nobody feeling. You say, well, I know some folks who think they're somebody.
Now I want you to listen real carefully. It's the people who are trying to impress folks. You know what? They have to have a deep sense of need. And all of that is just this flamboyant stuff that has absolutely nothing to do with meeting their need of who they are. Sin is a nobody feeling.
What does it do? It creates a sense of guilt. Guilt will give you a nobody feeling. Not only that, when a person compromises their convictions and we're getting to things that they know they shouldn't do, what happens? That compromising of their conviction gives them a nobody feeling. And so they don't feel worthy. And listen, no matter what they're able to achieve, no matter what their prominence or prestige or prosperity or popularity may be, there'll always be this deep abiding need to want to be able to feel worthy. Now listen to what Paul said.
He said, my God shall supply all your needs according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. He's going to supply my sense of self-worth. So therefore, I don't have to base my sense of acceptance on the fact of whether somebody thinks I look good or I don't look good. But you see, any time appearance is what drives your sense of acceptance and worthiness, then you're going to have a major problem. Not only appearance, but also performance. For example, let's say that none of us do our best all the time.
You can't. We're human. We all make our mistakes and we fumble and fall at times. And so but if your sense of acceptance of your worth is based on how well you do everything, you're perfectionist. You're going to be there on time. You're going to do this. You're going to do that.
And there's all these things. This is a standard that you have set for yourself. Well, you know, what happens when you don't do your best? What happens when you when those times you don't feel like doing your best? You're just not into it and you can't do your best.
Does that mean that you're less of a person than you were? Or let's put it this way, if your performance does not match someone else's performance and you're competing with someone else. And so you compare what you do with what they do. And when you look at how well they do and you don't quite measure up to what they do, you know what?
Let me tell you something. There's somebody out there somewhere who can do better anything you and I can do. What does that have to do their self-worth?
Absolutely nothing. Your self-worth has nothing to do with, listen, with your performance. Now, if my sense of self-worth is so poor, you know what's going to happen? I'm going to say, well, you know, I probably can't do that too well. I'm going to get myself in a problem.
Get in that cycle. You know, I don't feel good about myself. I don't feel like I'm worthy. Therefore, I certainly don't deserve a promotion. You may deserve the best promotion. Your sense of self-worth has nothing to do with appearance or performance or status. Status is, you know, I've got to have this because they have it.
I've got to have this promotion because they've had it. In other words, if you live your life comparing yourself to someone else and that's what your sense of self-worth is, in other words, you are only worthy when you are up there on their level. Let me ask you a question.
How many folks get up on that level and stay there very long? Let me ask you a question. What does somebody else's opinion have to do with your relationship to God?
Nothing. Listen, your sense of self-worth can be wrapped up in one single symbol. Here's how much you're worth. The cross of Jesus Christ says you are the most valuable thing on the face of this earth. You are a God-created person. What makes you valuable?
The fact that you're created by Almighty God. What makes you worth anything that you and I are the sons and daughters of God and people who are unsaved? Does God love you? Yes, He loves you. Are you worthy of being saved?
None of us are. Well, does God still love you? Yes, He does. Listen, we are persons of worth and those of us, He says, who are saved, He says, we are persons of notable excellence. God has created us.
He's living on the inside of you. You want to know how much you're worth? Here's how much you're worth.
God so loved you that He gave His only begotten Son, not only that, He came to live on the inside of you, to walk with you and to help you and to strengthen you, to enable you to meet every single need of your life. You know what you're worth? You're worth something beyond anything man can possibly put together. That's God's viewpoint of who you are.
It has nothing to do with appearance and what you're able to perform or establish. Another thing that strikes against our sense of self-worth is failure. Now, every person who's ever succeeded in life has failed at lots of things or failed many times at things. You say, what's the difference between people who fail and move on to succeed in life and people who fail and keep on failing and just end up being a failure?
Here's the difference. All of us have failed at certain things in our life. So we can do one or two things. We can say, I am a failure. Therefore, I must not be worth much. I'm a failure. Or I can refuse to internalize that act of failure and consider myself a failure. And you meet people all the time who have no sense of self-worth at all.
Why? Because they failed at something in their life back there. And somehow it made such an impression upon them. And because so much of their self-worth was wrapped up in the fact that they succeed in life and that people approve of them and people look up to them and people accept them and acknowledge them and lift them up.
You know what? If you're driven by any of that, you will never have any peace and joy in your life. Listen, we belong to the living God. That makes us somebody.
We are worthy sons and daughters of the living God because He's made us that way. What is the first leg on this tripod of absolute essential needs in our life? What's the first one? Belonging.
What's the second one? Worthiness. And the third one is competence.
That is, I can. God has given to every single one of us a sense of competence. Now, I can't do everything that other people can do, but He desires that you and I succeed in whatever we do in life. And competence says, you know, I can do that. And so what did God do in order to make us sense and feel adequate?
Here's what He did. When you trust the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, the Bible says not only are your sins are forgiven and you're brought back into a right relationship with God, but the Scripture says the Holy Spirit, one of the persons of the Trinity, comes into your life and He says He sealed you until the day of redemption. He seals you as a child of God for that moment when God takes you home. He's living on the inside of us. Now, if you will examine what the Bible teaches about the Holy Spirit, here's what you'll discover.
I've said this before and I'm going to keep on saying this because it's so important. Every single work of the Holy Spirit, with no exception, is directed toward an area of our life where we have a need that we ourselves cannot fulfill. That's why I sent Him. Listen, He sent the Holy Spirit in order that you and I may become the persons God wants us to be and to be able to do the things that God wants us to do. He desires that you and I feel competent. God has made you competent. He has made you capable. He has made you adequate to do in Christ Jesus and through your relationship to Him, do well everything God will call you to do. You are adequate.
You are competent. Now, if you say, you know, I feel so unworthy. I don't feel like I belong. I feel rejected. I feel unwanted. I feel shut out. I feel isolated. I feel all these things.
And you see, you can take all these passages of Scripture one after the other, one after the other, and look at all these passages and read them and read them and read them. But you know what? Until you discover that basic underlying need that's motivating you, challenging you, driving you, you'll never have any peace. You'll always be looking for acceptance and always be looking for something. You see, if you're living your life and you go to work in the morning and your antennas are out for some compliment because the way you look.
You know what? Suppose everybody's real busy and they don't pay attention to you. Is that going to give you a bad day all day? Or suppose you don't do the best job possible one day. Does that mean that you failed? No. It may have meant you had a bad day that day.
Everybody has difficult days, on days and off days, or on weeks and off weeks, whatever it might be. What I want you to see is this. Our unmet needs are so often those things that are deep down inside of us that have nothing to do with appearance, performance or status. It has nothing to do with what we wear or what people think about us. It has to do with our relationship to God.
Now look at this. We have a need to belong, so what did He do? He sent His only begotten Son and saved us and made us one of His children.
Put His loving arms around us and He says that you and I are going to belong to Him forever and ever and ever. What can separate us from the love of God? He lists these things and ultimately the conclusion is nothing. So my sense of belonging is wrapped up in an intimate relationship with Him no matter what somebody else thinks. Somebody says, well, my sense of self-worth, your sense of self-worth is wrapped up in a relationship to Him. You see, this is why He sent Jesus Christ to the cross. Listen, the greatest expression in the whole world, time and eternity, of your worth is the cross, the crucifixion of Jesus. That says you're worth everything to God. Don't deprive Him of yourself. Your sense of confidence, He sent the Holy Spirit to enable you to do anything and everything that the will of God desires for you to do and plans for you to do and purposes for you to do.
So watch this. If my emotional health is wrapped up in my sense of number one is what? Belonging. Number two is what? Worthiness.
Number three is what? Confidence. All of that rests on an eternal foundation.
What is that? Almighty God. You see, it all rests upon a relationship with Him. If you have an intimate relationship with Him, you know what? What somebody thinks about you is going to last about that long.
Whether you blow it at some particular area or not, that's not going to, you know what? I'll do better tomorrow. And whether you have people's approval or not has nothing to do with your worth. I want you to remember this. Your sense of self-worth, your sense of belonging and your sense of competence. Listen to this carefully, is wrapped up in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. So therefore, if I want to be a whole person, if I want to be an emotionally and spiritually whole person, what am I going to do? I'm going to first of all trust the Lord Jesus Christ as my Savior. That means that I'm going to accept what God says about Him. That He's the Son of God who came into this world to die on a cross and took my sin debt in full and paid it in full. And the moment I receive Him as my personal Savior, I become a child of God.
And then what happens? My sense of worth and my sense of belonging and my sense of competencies is now, listen, is now related to a person who will never disappoint me, who will never cast me out, who will never think I'm unworthy and who will never make me incompetent. Why? Because He's a loving God who wants the best and has provided the best for us. Thank you for listening to Discovering Our Real Needs. If you'd like to know more about Charles Stanley or In Touch Ministries, stop by InTouch.org. This podcast is a presentation of In Touch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia.
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