To live a lifestyle where Jesus is enough, we have to walk submitted to His will in regard to all things both big and small. We also have to purpose as the Psalmist did, in Psalm 33:22 and 62:5 to put all our hope and expectation in Him alone:
Let your unfailing love surround us, LORD, for our hope is in you alone. Psalm 33:22
My soul, wait silently for God alone, For my expectation is from Him. Psalm 62:5
When God started to require me to live in the manner where He is all I need, He introduced the concept of Jesus being enough through my best friend Cathy. Over and over again I would ask her to explain what it means for Jesus to be enough.
Has God ever asked you to do something that you feel totally unqualified for? For me it seems this way quite often, especially during difficulties and suffering. In these times, I find myself saying to the Lord, “I can’t do it… but You can.” This is the essence of Jesus being enough. It’s where we come up short, knowing He will make up the difference and equip us for whatever He asks us to do or walk through.
To better understand the concept of Jesus being enough, visualize a rough wood surface covered with divots, grooves and holes. Now imagine a large putty knife or trowel smoothing spackle over the rough surface. This results in all the unsightly blemishes and empty holes being filled in and smoothed out. In this same manner, Jesus fills us in where we are lacking.
This concept was hard to grasp, mainly because at the time, I was still living primarily in my soul. The “Me” factor did not like the idea of losing its independence and having to become solely dependent on God. My soul found it hard to trust Jesus alone, mainly because I wanted to be in charge of my life and its direction.
For months on end Jesus would ask me, “Am I enough?” My response was “yes” but inside emptiness gnawed at me. The questions continually came: “If I never did another thing for you, am I enough? If your life never got any better than this, am I enough? If you lost everything dear to you, would I be enough?” Again my response was, “Well of course, Lord.” I struggled with letting Him be enough, but I did not want to admit it. I thought that if I committed to letting Him alone fill me then I would not get what I wanted. Finally, I answered Him truthfully, “No Lord, I’m sorry, You are not enough, but I want You to be.” This pivotal moment of truth set my journey for more depth and passion with God into further motion.
A lot of Christians do not even know that Jesus is not enough for them. The reason—we get so busy living and filling our lives with temporal treasures. I personally have found myself in pursuit of the American dream many times. If our primary concerns for ourselves are to acquire money, possessions, self-gratification, praise, status and the like, then we can be sure these things, not Jesus, complete us. Therefore, it would be fair to say Jesus is not enough. Jesus is asking us if He alone is enough, or if we need our health and all our temporal treasures to be complete.
One more way to know if Jesus is enough is to examine your actions when a storm hits or when you’re simply confronted by a rough day. What do you reach for? The phone to call a friend? The internet? Sleep? Pain relievers or antidepressants? Comfort food? Do you escape and watch TV or a movie? Or maybe you just default to your soul and you emotionally act out of stress, taking it out on everyone in your path with a nasty, bad attitude like I used to do. My comfort was also found in sleeping. When life got tough I would close my door, shut my life out and take a nap. This was one way I could avoid the truth. Other times I would look for consolation by calling a friend or escaping with a good love story chick flick.
Now that I am living in the reality of Jesus being enough, I follow a simple self-discipline guideline—I do not allow myself to call a friend unless I first call on Jesus. It’s the same with the movie—no escapism. I first have to check out the greatest love story of all…the Bible! The best news is, I rarely ever feel like shutting life out with a nap anymore. Instead, I shut myself into Jesus as my only comfort.
Jesus is enough where relationships are concerned
If relationships are let go into the hands of God and if we can turn to God as the one who fills us—not people—then we are free.
1. We are free from the emotional roller coaster that some relationships bring.
2. We can let go of all our unhealthy expectations of people.
3. Most important, we are free to just love people without choking the life out of them while trying to extract from them what we need to make us feel complete.
God longs to complete us, He wants to be enough for us where relationships are concerned. Sometimes the people we love just don’t have it in them to meet our needs—nor should they. Only God should have that role in our lives. If we let Jesus be enough then we can have healthier, freer relationships that are not all bound up by human expectations.
God has shown me that as I let Him be my everything, even in relationships, I am free to love without expecting anything in return. My love then is based out of purity and truth instead of manipulation
In the past, I tried so hard to make the people that I love, love me like I thought they should. That is reasonable when it comes to your spouse and parents because there are certain responsibilities that come with these relationships. But not everyone is whole enough to love as they should. This was true for my family. Rejection, betrayal and abandonment brought so much sorrow and pain that I would not have been able to function properly if God had not used this concept to help me love, honor and respect as the Bible requires me to.
In one of the most pressing times in my life I wanted to give up on my marriage. I knew it was not God’s plan that I give up and in a very dark season God turned to me and asked me some serious questions. “If your marriage never got any better, would you still love Me? Could I be enough for you? Could I be your husband? Would you allow Me to love you where he can’t? Could you love your husband for Me? Could you lay down your life as a bridge to him? Could you bridge his path to Me with your life and allow Me to be enough for you?”
I never could have done any of this without first giving my life up to Jesus and clinging to Him. Yes, it was agonizing and painful but by the grace of God I chose to let Jesus be enough for me.
I encourage you to be found in Him alone and to let Him fill in all the blanks in your life. Jesus undoubtedly is enough