The All-Sufficiency of God

God’s all-sufficiency in himself is his absolute and universal perfection, whereby nothing is wanting in him, nothing to him….There is also in him an all-sufficiency for others; which is his power to impart and communicate his goodness and himself so to them as to satisfy and fill them, in their utmost capacity, with whatever is good and desirable to them.

John Owen, Of Communion with God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost1

God’s All-Sufficiency in Himself

Question: What does God need?
Answer: Nothing.

Nothing can make God any better than He is. He is already perfect. Nothing can supply God’s needs, because he has no needs. A. W. Tozer writes, “Need is a creature-word and cannot be spoken of the Creator.”2

God depends on nothing for his life (John 5:26), knowledge (Isaiah 40:13–14), or strength. All wisdom and blessedness reside in God. All goodness, mercy, and grace find their source in him, as all water from a mountain stream may flow from a spring.

God’s perfections cannot diminish. We grow old and weak. Clothing wears out. Colors fade. Electronic devices break. Nations fall. Stars collapse. Even the heavens will wear out. Not so with God! The passing millennia do not weaken or change him. Wars and conflict cannot ruin him.

Nothing can detract from God’s perfection, for his perfection is categorically different from ours. A bad pitch in the ninth inning of a baseball game can ruin an otherwise perfect game. Someone could ruin a perfect copy of a picture by tearing it or drawing on it. However, God has always been perfect, he is perfect, and he will always will be perfect. He cannot be otherwise. He can never become less than he is.

This should humble us, for the Lord has no need of humans. It is he that establishes the boundaries and allotted times of nations (Acts 17:26). God sets up and deposes rulers. Nations are as dust on the scales and a drop from a bucket (Isaiah 40:15).

God also does not need you or me. He does not need us for the fulfillment of his plans—no plan of his can be thwarted (Job 42:2). Rather, it is our plan that is subject to his will.

The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the LORD.3

Proverbs 16:1

I know, O LORD, that the way of man is not in himself, that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps.

Jeremiah 10:23

God does not need our company. He does not need our worship. He does not need our counsel (Isaiah 40:14). He does not need anything from us, or from anything else in all creation.

God’s All-Sufficiency for Us

Nevertheless, God delights to bless us, and his blessing is abundant!

Do you need a friend? You can have no better friend than God.

Do you need comfort? God comforts the afflicted. One day, he will bring his children to heaven, where there will be no more suffering or pain anymore. He will wipe away every tear from your eyes (Revelation 21:4).

Do you need purpose? There is no greater purpose than glorifying, enjoying, and knowing God.

Do you need strength? God gives strength to those who wait on him (Isaiah 40:29–31).

Do you need happiness? God can put more joy in your heart than others have when they prosper abundantly (Psalm 4:7).

Do you need someone you can trust? God always keeps his promises, and he never lies (Titus 1:2).

Do you need someone who will listen to you? God’s ear is open to the prayer of the righteous (1 Peter 3:12).

Do you need freedom from your guilt? God removes our transgressions from us—”as far as the east is from the west” (Psalm 103:12).

Do you need someone who will stick with you through good days and bad, through suffering and sickness and health and prosperity and poverty? God will never leave you (Hebrews 13:5).

None of this means life will be easy, or that God will make you a millionaire. It also doesn’t mean we’ll always feel the nearness of God, or that we’ll be happy all the time. Sometimes, God withholds something from his people for a greater purpose. However, it does mean that God’s children have something better than an easy life or money. They have God himself! God can satisfy our deepest longings.

How does someone receive all these blessings? They’re only found in Jesus. Trust in him, believe he died for you and rose from the dead, commit to him as your lord, and God will save you from your sin. He’ll give these blessings to you, and more besides. He’ll give you eternal life (John 17:3).

God is sufficient to meet all your true needs. Set your hope on him.

1 Of Communion with God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost by John Owen. Public domain. Republished by CCEL. Accessed December 28, 2020. You can also get a wonderful reprint of this book titled Communion with the Triune God (external link). Kelly Kapic and Justin Taylor edited the book by updating some language and adding very helpful footnotes.

2 The Knowledge of the Holy by Aiden Wilson Tozer. 1961. HarperOne. p. 32. HarperOne links to various sites where you can buy the book here.

3 Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.