The Attributes of God: Self-Sufficient
As humans, our minds and physical bodies are always in a state of need. We need oxygen, food, and water to sustain our very lives. We need love from and fellowship with others. We need to work to provide for our families. We need to love and nurture our children. We need sleep and rest. We need exercise to strengthen our muscles. We need to laugh and experience joy. I could literally speak all day on our needs because need is constant in our lives. But needing is foreign to God. He does not need anything. All that He is, He is in Himself. To Him alone, nothing is needed or necessary. All life is in God, so every created thing and every created person needs Him.
God is self-sufficient, self-existent, self-independent, and complete in and of Himself. His self-sufficiency is one of His absolute attributes.
"I Am Who I Am"
“And God said unto Moses, I Am That I Am: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I Am hath sent me unto you.” Exodus 3:14
This name for God describes His self-existence and who He is eternally. He was, is, and will be - He’s the same throughout the ages.
“He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Hebrews 13:8
God existed prior to creation and independent of creation. He is solely and completely self-sufficient, not dependent on anything else. Everything created receives its all from Him. God has no lack, He has no need, and He has no deficiency. God being self-sufficient, or self-existent, is an attribute of His aseity. The definition of aseity is “the property by which a being exists in and of itself, from itself, or exists as so-and-such of and from itself.”
Aseity comes from the Latin phrase “a-se”, meaning “of oneself”. Since God is a-se, He does not owe His existence to anything or anyone.
“The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything.” Acts 17:24-25
This attribute of God, His self-sufficiency, is seen in and displays His glory. Paul wrote about this in Romans 11:36: “For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be glory forever. Amen.”
Though God did not create the world because He needed anything or because He was lonely, He did create it for His own glory and pleasure. His creation does not supply Him with any completeness. God is complete, in and of Himself. He has no unfulfilled needs. The mistake is often made that because God does not need us, then we do not matter to Him. But God created us in His image and to have fellowship with Him. Creation was an expression of His love. God takes delight in His works.
“May the glory of the Lord endure forever; may the Lord rejoice in his works.” Psalm 104:31
Our belief, or even disbelief, in God adds nothing to Him nor takes anything away. When faith is present, God can and does work through anyone. God possesses infinite love, wisdom, power, goodness, mercy, and grace. The attribute of His self-sufficiency helps us to see God as the God whom we can fully depend on. He delivers us, protects us, and keeps those who trust in Him. He will never be insufficient. He never grows tired or weary. What great news that is for us!
Even when sin entered this world and fellowship with Him was severed, He made a way by sending His own Son to die so we would no longer be separated from Him.
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved.” Ephesians 2:4-5
Knowing this truth about God evokes a spirit of worship. We can be in right standing before God because of the Lord Jesus Christ. Because of Him we can know the Self-Sufficient God.
“All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:27-30
The Bible is about God, and the more we learn about God, the more we are exposed to His attributes. His self-sufficiency is just one of His many attributes. God is complete, in and of Himself. He is the great, self-sufficient “I AM”. Soli Deo Gloria!
“Teach us, O God, that nothing is necessary to Thee. Were anything necessary to Thee that thing would be the measure of Thine imperfection: and how could we worship one who is imperfect? If nothing is necessary to Thee, then no one is necessary, and if no one, then not we. Thou dost seek us though Thou does not need us. We seek Thee because we need Thee, for in Thee we live and move and have our being. Amen.” - A.W. Tozer
Kelly Smith is one of our devotional writers and also a writer for Women’s Hope Project. Kelly is a wife, mother, and grandmother. She works full time as a virtual business manager. Her hobbies include writing and baking. Kelly has a passion for studying the Word of God, doctrine, theology, and sharing what she learns with women around her. Kelly lives in Florence, Alabama, with her husband of 15 years and her rescued fur babies!