Last night I did something I rarely do. I sat down and watched a movie. As a huge fan of the original “Clash of the Titans” film I thought it would be good to see the new one to make some comparisons.
As far as action films go, I was underwhelmed by the new one. However, after watching the trailer for the 1981 version I realized that my taste in movies as a kid wasn’t as good as I thought it was.
The changes to the storyline, the introduction of new characters, the absence of the mechanical owl (except in a jab at the old movie made early on) aside, I realized something about this movie that made me curious.
The premise of the movie is that the chief of all gods, Zeus, desperately needed people to give him strength. He needed people to pray to him and love him in order to stay alive and in command.
The less people prayed to Him, the stronger other gods like his brother Hades became.
So I had a thought: Does God, Yahweh, the God of the Bible need us?
I have to say “no.”
The absence of our prayers to him would not cause God to cease existing. The lack of our knowledge of God would not erase Him from the comings and goings of people.
It disturbs, destroys, and torments US, but not God.
In Job chapters 38 & 39, a man who has been beaten senseless by evil is contending for a day in court with God and gets it. Wow does he get it.
God shows up and spends 2 chapters talking about why Job isn’t God, and how God made and sustains everything without Job’s help. Don’t you know, I can do this without you? Who are you to question and judge me? I don’t need you to make this work.
And yet, by the end of the book God gives Job back everything because He was willing to go to God with questions and arguments and, though He learned the hard way, come to a new place of knowing God.
God doesn’t need you. He wants you.
That’s the gem of this whole thing. We can lean and depend on the fact that the suspension of planets in orbit doesn’t depend on us. The salvation of the world doesn’t depend on us. God doesn’t need us to make things happen.
But he wants us for relationship. He wants us for mission. He wants us to bring hope and life to the world because it’s what His Son would have done.
What would it do for our lives being formed around Jesus if we began to realize that God doesn’t need us to make this whole thing work, but He wants us and gives us the grace to live into that “wanting”? What if we prayed knowing we aren’t God but we belong to God?
How would we read the Bible, pray, serve, speak, and think if we truly knew that it was out of God’s wanting (not needing) us that we even have that opportunity?