“And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19
This past year the theme of the youth ministry at my church was ‘He is enough”. What a simple concept. Yet, it is so profound. Understanding those 3 simple words can give life and freedom and hope to a lost world.
The Christian faith often comes down to such simple principles. God doesn’t expect us to bring much to the table. He is enough . . . . period. All we need is faith and a willing heart.
“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6
He is enough. How many of us truly believe that? How would our lives be different if we lived as if that were true? Would worry and fret plague our lives as they do now? Oh, the freedom that could be ours if we believed that He is enough.
“My grace is sufficient for you” 2 Corinthians 12:9
Am I enough?
The other night my family and I went to a graduation open house. Tis the season! The house was bustling with high schoolers, family & friends. My cousin (the graduates mom) joked that it was like “a happy funeral” because all of their sets of friends and family that don’t know each other were there. We had a good laugh.
When we got home, my husband and I were talking about the other open house we had coming up. Most of our friends’ kids are not graduating yet, so we only had a couple to go to. It was for the son of a good friend of ours. I had been looking forward to it for months. My friend had been stressed about it for a while so I had been praying for her.
“When is the other open house? my husband inquired.
I thought that it was this coming weekend, but I couldn’t find it on my calendar, so I looked at the invitation on the fridge. June 1st. I had missed it. My heart fell out of my chest.
How could I have missed it?! What kind of friend am I? How could I have let this happen?! Everybody was probably there except us . . . the losers that can’t keep their schedule straight. After I had sufficiently berated myself, I started to wonder as I often do if ‘I am enough’. I certainly didn’t feel like it at that moment.
I can’t tell you how often I have felt ‘less than’, or ‘unacceptable’. More often than I would care to admit.
Many of us suffer from feelings of inadequacy. As a woman and a mom, I tend to feel like I am never enough. I am not enough of a good wife, not consistent enough as a parent, not in The Word enough, not serving enough, not going to church enough, not accomplishing enough, not praying enough, and the list goes on. I am never enough.
I also know that my husband along with many other men and fathers feel inadequate as well. I don’t make enough money, I am not enough of a spiritual leader, I am not enough for my wife. Most of us from time to time suffer from feeling ‘less than’. . . . feeling like we’re not enough.
Why do we feel this way? “I don’t have anything to offer” you might be thinking. Not true. God can use whatever you have. No matter what it is. God needs very little from us to fulfill His work in us.
“He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” Philippians 1:6
And the truth is, we aren’t enough without God. We were made with God shaped holes in us. Without Him, we are incomplete. But once those holes are filled with the power of Christ, we become strong and mighty warriors! Whom shall we fear (Psalm 27:1)?!
“you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.” Colossians 2:10
With Him, we are more than enough. God has shown us in His Word that it doesn’t matter how much or how little we have . . . . because HE IS ENOUGH!
“And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” 2 Corinthians 9:8
Take the story of the widow and the oil in 2 Kings. A woman’s husband had died and she was going to lose her children if she didn’t pay off her debts. All she had was a single bottle of olive oil. The prophet Elisha told her to go to her neighbors and ask for empty jars . . . . lots of empty jars. So she did what he told her to do and they took the jars home and started to pour the bottle of olive oil in them . . . . .
“When all the jars were full, she said to her son, “bring me another one.” But he replied, “There is not a jar left.” Then the oil stopped flowing. She went and told the man of God, and he said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debts. You and your sons can live on what is left.” 2 Kings 4:1-7
God proves to us over and over again in His Word that He is sufficient. Whether its turning water into wine or feeding 5,000 people with just five loaves of bread and two fish (Matthew 14:13-21, Mark 6:30-44,Luke 9:10-17; John 6:1-15), He is enough. He is always enough. There is no ‘need’ that he cannot fill.
More than enough
Not only are we enough with Him, we were made for greatness with Him. Not just for goodness or righteousness or humbleness. And, yes, we were made for those things as well, but, we were made for GREATNESS.
We often look at the pastor of a mega church or a popular Christian singer or author, and think, wow, God is really using them! Billy Graham, Chris Tomlin, and Beth Moore are some of my favorites. I have caught myself thinking, now THEY were made for greatness. However, we need to realize that you don’t have to appear great here on earth to be used greatly by God. God has greatness for every one of us.
However, we can not achieve greatness on our own. Because of our humanness, we need Him. To be great without God is impossible. Take Naaman for example, who was the commander of a mighty army and a great and honorable man. So, what’s the catch? It says . . .
“he was also a mighty man in valor, but he was a leper” 2 Kings 5:1
The catch is that he was a leper! That’s a big catch if you asked me!
According to Beth Moore’s study of this scripture, each one of us can be a mighty man or woman of valor. However, we also have a ‘but’ in our statement of greatness. Your’s might look like this . . .
She was a mighty woman of valor, but she lacked confidence and was plagued with doubt, or,
He was a mighty man of valor, but suffered from loneliness
How many people in Jesus’s day would have considered His disciples great? Many of them were fishermen. Could they have doubted if they were enough? Absolutely! And they probably did at some point. Yet, look at how greatly God used them!
Each of us has an affliction that makes us need a savior. I am so inadequate without my savior. I seriously fall short. I can’t quite seal the deal on my own. But when you add a savior to the mix, I am great and powerful! No hesitation . . . I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me! (Philippians 4:13)
Strength made perfect in weakness
The idea of greatness sounds pretty good to most of us. If there was a sign up sheet to obtain greatness, it would fill up pretty quickly! I would be first in line! However, greatness can only be achieved by walking in humility first. Greatness and humility go hand in hand. You can’t have one without the other. One could say that humility leads to greatness.
“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” Matthew 5:5
Even Jesus started His ministry on earth with quiet humility. If the Son of God, who is without weakness, started humbly, than how much more should we expect to do the same?
To be great in the kingdom of God, we must bear the fruit of humility, and realize that we aren’t enough in and of ourselves. Humility is the act of acknowledging our weakness or need. Weakness is part of the human condition. There isn’t a man or woman alive that doesn’t have a weakness. Only those that acknowledge their weakness can be great.
“And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure.” 2 Corinthians 12:7
So, Paul had a thorn in his flesh. He asked God to remove it, but he didn’t realize that without it, God couldn’t fully use him.
“Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. 9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:8
I cannot tell you how overjoyed I am at these things! God says that someone as lowly as me, can do great things! I may never be great in this world, and I am ok with that. Being great in the kingdom of God is far better.
“But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.” 1 Corinthians 1:27
So, am I enough? Do I have what it takes in me? With the power of Jesus Christ in me, I am more than enough! And so are you!!