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Pilgrim’s Process: Peter Sanlon, Sufficient God

Pilgrim’s Process

Sufficient God

By the Revd Peter Sanlon

As we journey through this world one of the basic ways we are sustained is by growing a bigger vision of God. Expanding our appreciation of how wonderful and magnificent God is fosters stronger faith and more delightful communion with Him.

One way we can raise our vision of God is to meditate on his self-sufficiency. Psalm 50:9-12 has God say to us:

‘I will not accept a bull from your house

        or goats from your folds. 

    For every beast of the forest is mine,

        the cattle on a thousand hills. 

    I know all the birds of the hills,

        and all that moves in the field is mine.

If I were hungry, I would not tell you,

        for the world and its fullness are mine.’

God does not need us — he is perfectly satisfied, happy and content with the fullness of who He is — the trinitarian God. All things were created by Him and belong to Him. When we begin to feel like we are doing God a favour by going to church, or that he needs us to deliver his mission — such thoughts lower our sense of God’s self-sufficiency.

Insights about God’s self-sufficiency in Psalm 50 are given to us that we might take time to ponder and meditate on God. Might we take fifteen minutes to reflect and meditate on the wonderful self-sufficiency of God. This sort of spiritual exercise counters the attitudes that bit by bit lower our view of God downwards.

When we have a rich appreciation of the truth that God does not need us — we are in a position to be all the more moved by the fact that God delights to give us good gifts and even gives us His Son. Romans 8:32 asks, ‘He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?’ God’s generous costly gift to us and his ongoing grace through all of life is all the more wondrous because the God who gives to us does not need to do so. He is both self-sufficient and generous. 

Such a God is worth praying to and trusting – such a God delights to have pilgrims who see him for the self-sufficient generous God that He is.

Rev. Dr. Peter Sanlon is minister of Emmanuel Anglican Church, Tunbridge Wells: