In Your Experience, Have You Found Christ Is Enough?
Is Jesus Enough?
That is a hard question. Perhaps more to the point, it is difficult to answer honestly because we are taught Jesus is enough. To admit we don’t find Him to be enough can be quite devastating.
Statistics show a high percentage of American pastors are addicted to pornography. If they believed Jesus was indeed enough, they would not engage in sexual fantasies.
If it was easy to experience Jesus being enough, an increasing number of porn addicts would turn from their addiction, learning to release their passions in healthy ways – like worship and Bible study. Instead, the reverse is true. The numbers of people who claim to be dedicated to Christ but are turning to pornography are on the rise.
I see your raised eyebrows. You are not addicted to pornography, so what does that have to do with you?
Until you realize you are insufficient in yourself and utterly dependent upon Him, you may be in danger of losing your first love for Jesus and coming to the shocking place where you don’t find Him to be enough.
Why is it difficult to find Jesus to be enough?
It begins with all the hype. It is super exciting when you go to a conference or concert and everyone is singing and filled with what seems to be the joy of the Lord. It is easy to be swept up in the emotions and believe Jesus is enough! In that moment we feel He is indeed enough.
Surrounded by others who are excited, their excitement about Jesus is infectious. And that is fun and good.
The problem is, our excitement is superficial. It feels like we experience it at our core, but though it felt good and has made us hungry, it hasn’t had time to effect change.
That’s when you hit a snag. The lights go dim. No one is there when you feel lonely or self-destructive or long for the temporary satisfaction of sexual intimacy. In those down times is when the rubber meets the road so to speak.
In your head you know you are supposed to be excited about Jesus. But you aren’t. You wonder what is wrong with you, you experienced thrill and it was wonderful. But the wonderful feelings have been replaced by a dull ache and you feel empty. What then?
The difficult thing is this is a highly emotive topic. It hurts to be honest, so its easy to dismiss your struggles and pain and look at it in a very pragmatic way. Jesus is enough. That is truth.
If you are anything like me, you will feel ashamed. You will think something is wrong with you. You will believe you’re a failure. Feeling you aren’t enough, perhaps you will think you aren’t good enough to experience the wonderful satisfaction of Jesus being enough.
If you are normal, you have experienced this roadblock in your walk with Christ. Yes, that is right. There is a huge blockage. We do not find satisfaction on the basis of being happy in a group setting.
I bid you come deeper with me into the beauty and wonder of experiencing a relationship with Jesus that is beyond our wildest imagination.
Born Again, Still Unhappy
I was born again in 1969. The next day I joined Operation Mobilisation and embarked on their summer crusade. I was very shy but the thrill of being with others who loved Jesus was wonderful. The excitement of being a child of God was invigorating.
But as the months went by, I found myself in a battle. I had thought I would always be happy in my walk with Jesus, but happiness became more and more elusive. The harder I tried to be spiritual and the more I tried to atone for feelings that seemed to betray me and leave me floundering, the less I found Jesus to be enough.
I totally fell apart because no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t be perfect, nor was I able to be enough! I knew I was a failure, for God demanded perfection of me.
But then I made the marvelous discovery. The Heavenly Father doesn’t demand perfection of me. I was trying to fill the role only He could fill. Romans 5 says, if God loved you when you were His enemy and reconciled you to Himself, how much greater is His love now you are His.
God hates sin but His love is unconditional. As I began to relax and give myself permission to not be perfect, my life began to change. Instead of being afraid of His displeasure and expecting His anger, I began to discern little bouquets of His love. My heart began to fill with gratitude. I found myself wanting to spend time with Jesus and the original love I had experienced for Him when I first met Him was renewed.
It gets even better. Life, in the midst of all its twists and turns and disappointments suddenly became an adventure and I found myself glad to be alive. Why? Because I was loved!
Someone important to me had told me it was impossible for anyone to love me. For a long time I believed that lie and desperately tried to fill the emptiness of my heart.
But as I began to give thanks and get excited about little things, I learned the Heavenly Father, Jesus His Son, and the Holy Spirit wanted to spend time with me. In fact, they liked me! That truth thrilled my heart and I began to see life from a totally different perspective. Because I didn’t have to be perfect, I also didn’t have to save myself.
I can hear you saying, “Of course you can’t save yourself!”
But do we really believe that? When push comes to shove, don’t we desperately try to keep ourselves safe, keep ourselves in a place where we will be okay? Countless people have shared their pain with me and their struggles as they tried to be good enough.
Hallelujah! Neither you nor I can ever be enough. Nor can we be good enough.
When we wake up to that reality and lift our eyes up to Jesus, we will appreciate Him in a fresh way. And as He fills our horizon – one day we wake up to realize, Jesus really is enough!
Finding Jesus to be enough is a process. It doesn’t happen all at once. Really, the best way to see it become a reality is:
- Recognize you are not enough.
- When you were born into God’s Kingdom, He gave you a new identity. The old nature died. The perfect life of Christ was birthed in you. Recognize you are a new creation; die to your efforts to be perfect.
- Allow the resurrection life of Christ to blossom and fill your horizons.
- Realize no matter how hard you try, you aren’t perfect and you don’t have to be.
- When it feels like Jesus is not enough, give thanks and rejoice, for you are His beloved!
- Embrace the love Daddy God has for you; rest in the wonder of His perfect love.
My dear friend, I urge you to lay down all your striving and desperate attempts to be perfect.
Just be you! You are a beautiful person, deeply loved by the Heavenly Father. You are wonderful and the more you rest in Jesus, the more life will be satisfying and the sweeter will be your fellowship with Jesus.
Look at Him, love Him, by faith celebrate His life within you and one day you will find yourself singing, “Every day with Jesus is sweeter than the day before…” and sincerely meaning it.
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