Is God enough?
It’s a question that’s been prodding at me in recent days. We Christians say it and we sing it, but do we actually mean it? Do we really think God’s enough, or are we really after other stuff?
Spoiler: I do believe God’s enough, but I want to share a little of the journey I’ve been on and why it’s been on my mind. I believe we need to be sure of what we mean when we say this, and where it might lead. It’s not just words.
About 6 months ago, I was talking with someone about suffering and why bad things happen in this world. I don’t claim to have a watertight answer to that. There are some things I feel I can say and hold onto, but I can’t give a perfect answer by any means.
After that conversation, I found myself asking a question: what if it were me? You see, up until recently my life has been pretty easy. There are ups and downs for all of us, but when I look around at the world I can say with thanks to God that my journey hadn’t been too tough. So, what if that changed? What if the idea of suffering wasn’t about other people, but was a deep deep reality in my own life. What then? Could I still say the things I said before? Would my faith be uprooted? Would I be able still to stand?
This was an important question for me, because I want to have integrity. I don’t want to say I believe something if it’s really just my circumstances that let me say it.
Is God really enough?
Really, it boils down to the question I started with: is God enough? Really enough? If He is, if it’s really that I just want Him then whatever happens around me doesn’t change that. But if He’s not, it’s a different story.
If God’s not enough, and really what I want is all the things I believe He gives me, that’s pretty shaky. What if I lose everything? What if I no longer have security? What if my life falls apart? What if I can no longer see God’s blessing in any way? What if all the ‘stuff’ I’ve always said was from God just disappeared? I’m not talking about salvation and adoption into His family. I don’t believe those will ever be taken away. I’m talking about the stuff in my life. Shelter. Money. Friendships. Employment. Purpose. Marriage.
Well, as I’ve shared recently, my life has had a turn, and pain has become a deep reality for me. I want to be clear that I’ve not lost everything, not by a VERY long way. But I have tasted very clearly the pain this life can bring.
And I’ve discovered that God really is enough.
He really, really is.
What do we really want?
There’s one thing that I think makes the difference and it’s what I want from God. My pastor talks about the difference between a relationship with God and a transaction with Him. What he means is that lots of folk are willing to start a business relationship with God. I’ll follow you, God, serve you, pray, give and do all the stuff, and you’ll keep me safe, keep my family safe, my job, my money, my happiness.
That kind of transaction mentality – wanting the gifts God gives – is very easy to fall into, but so very dangerous. And I don’t want to say for a second that God doesn’t give good things to those who love Him. He does! But He never promises things will be easy. In fact He says the opposite…
Do I want a transaction with God, or a relationship? Do I want the gifts, or the Giver? Is God really enough, or am I in it for the upsides?
A week ago I was in an elders meeting at our church, and we set aside the business of the evening to talk about what our overarching aim should be as a church for 2015. God spoke very simply but clearly to and through us, and very quickly we came to this consensus: in 2015, we are going to seek God’s face, not His hand.
That’s my goal for 2015. I am resolved. I will be more interested in seeking God Himself, drawing closer to Him, than I will be in seeking what He offers, be that restoration, healing, direction, security or anything else. I want all those things, but I’ve decided to want God more.
I’ve decided that this year, God will be enough, no matter what.