In Romans 11:33-35, Paul writes, “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! ‘For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?’ ‘Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?’” Here we find three questions, each one anticipating a negative answer: “No one!” Who has known God’s mind? No one! Who has been God’s counselor? No one! Who has given a gift to the almighty God? No one! Paul’s point is that God is self-sufficient; he is complete in himself, in need of nothing.
Probably the hardest thought of all for self-centered creatures to comprehend is that God does not need us. Admit it or not, we love the spotlight. We want to be the center of attention. We want to swoop in to save the day! But God does not need a savior, a benefactor, or an advisor. We serve a God who is perfect and complete in himself, who is lacking in nothing. Maybe you’re a little saddened by the reality that God does not need you. Maybe it makes you feel insignificant. I would argue that, rightly understood, it should make us feel all the more significant, all the more loved. The self-sufficiency of God is good news when you think about it. If need was the driving force behind God creating and redeeming us, if God only initiated a relationship with us because of something we could provide for him, then what happens when we fail? If God is like a supervisor who hires us because he needs good workers and thinks we will perform well, boosting productivity, then when we fail to deliver we get the ax. But this is not the way the God of the Bible operates. The God who needed nothing decided to create us and establish a personal relationship with us simply to display his bountiful and unconditional love.
We relate to God not as a worker relates to a supervisor, but as a child relates to a Father. And there’s a significant difference between these two relationships. If my sons were my employees, I would have fired them long ago. They’re disruptive. They break things. They disobey orders. But they’re not my workers; they’re my children. This changes everything. Our relationship is not based on their efficiency or productivity. Neither is our relationship with our heavenly Father.
The great news is that God is self-sufficient—he is complete in himself—and he comes to us, not out of need, but in pure grace, pouring out his own life and love for sinful creatures.