Man sure does have a lot of needs. A simple start to the list would be air, water, food, sleep, clothes, heat, family, love, affection, freedom, money, relationships, shelter, health, purpose, stability, order, protection, identity, and hope. Woman needs all of those plus makeup, hairspray, jewelry, and that perfect little black dress, right? All joking aside, no matter how you look at it, we all live in a world where we need certain things in order to survive and certain other things in order to thrive. Although all of those things listed above are certainly needed in life, I believe man’s greatest need to be PEACE.
You may be thinking, “What is he talking about? What good is peace without air to breathe?!” Well, in one sense you certainly would be right. Of course, for our physical being, we desperately need air, food, water, clothes, and shelter. On a spiritual level, many people would say that we need righteousness, also known as a right-standing relationship with our Heavenly Father, more than anything else. However, at our core, I believe that mankind has a need for peace with our creator that has not been fully realized by many. In fact, even though our need for peace and righteousness are so closely intertwined that they almost run together, I believe it is our need for peace that was truly preeminent.
All the way back at the beginning of time, a man named Adam was created in the image and in the likeness of God, Himself, and He gave to mankind all of the dominion and authority that man needed to completely replenish the earth and subdue it (Genesis 1:26-28). Of course, we all know the rest of the story well. He ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and by doing so, he revealed to God that he didn’t want to simply walk and talk with God in the cool of the day to receive impartation of what God thought was the right way to live. Instead, Adam wanted to be able to REASON out the difference in good and evil so that he could determine what HE thought was RIGHT. After all, if a man thinks that he is right, he can have peace, right? Unfortunately, that’s not the case. My friend, Adam sinned and lost the most meaningful thing that he had. He lost his righteousness in God’s eyes and the peace with his Heavenly Father that it accompanied. Right away, we can see the results of this lack of peace. The first thing that Adam did was run and hide from God because he was “afraid” (Genesis 2:10).
Since Adam’s fall, man has thought that as long as he can be right in his own mind, then he can be at peace. Isn’t that what we see all around us? We’ll say that if I can just do the “right thing”, then I can sleep peacefully at night. The problem is that this is not real peace. The Word says that there is a way that seems like it is right, but the end will lead to death (Proverbs 14:12). God has always wanted us to have a deeper peace than that. When Jesus made His entry into this earth’s atmosphere, that TRUE PEACE came with Him. As the multitude of the heavenly host announced the arrival of Jesus, they said “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men” (Luke 2:14). They could have announced anything. They could have declared eternal life or righteousness on earth, but they didn’t. I believe they announced the most critical thing that man needed. They announced PEACE!
It is only by believing on the finished work of Jesus Christ that we can now have peace with our Heavenly Father (Romans 5:1). All along, God wanted mankind to live in righteousness. He wanted us to be right more than we wanted it. The important thing to realize is that HIS righteousness is so vastly more vital than our childish definition of righteousness. We can never reason our way to true peace, but when we allow ourselves to partake in His righteousness, we can realize the fullness of what it means to truly be at peace with our Father. He is not mad at you, friend. He is at peace with you. His love for you is rich and He wants you to experience His abundant peace. Your greatest need has been met!
Today’s Word Study: Luke 2:1-14