Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Is God Really Enough?

God is BIG.  

Omnipotent, omniscient, creator and provider, but is God really enough?

If you have recognized God and embraced Him in your life, then you know He is worth knowing.  But when it comes to living out life…truly living out life day after day with all the feelings and frustrations, victories and losses is God enough?  Disappointments come along.  Having expectations of better from God can leave someone disappointed with God.  Paul reminds his friend Timothy that “godliness with contentment is great gain.”  Some may feel that way as long as they are healthy and have enough to eat and they are standing in a church service they are comfortable with, but what about other days when the comfort level has been crushed, health is a remote memory or things just didn’t go the way you thought they should?  Content?  

The women of Grace Bible Church have been doing a Bible study written by Cynthia Heald called “Becoming a Woman Whose God is Enough.”  Interesting title, and a good study from what I have been told.  Cynthia tells a story of being at a banquet with lots of people around tables and finding herself utterly alone.  Feeling isolated.  Not connecting with others.  No one is talking to her.  This was not comfortable.  Things are not going the way she wanted.  The Lord speaks to her, “Am I not enough?”  She recognized that He wasn’t.  She wasn’t allowing Him to be enough.  Many have been in that same position of things not going their way and having a melt down inside that may actually leak out.  Is God enough?  Really?  

The Aramaic Bible in English puts 1 Timothy 6:6 this way: For our profit is great, which is the worship of God while having the necessities, for we have enough.

There is something in our relationship with God that is enough. Look at these words from David Brainerd’s journal about spending time with God. 

I withdrew to my usual place of retirement, in great tranquility. I knew only to breathe out my desire for a perfect conformity to Him in all things. God was so precious that the world with all its enjoyments seemed infinitely vile. I had no more desire for the favor of men than for pebbles.
At noon I had the most ardent longings after God which I ever felt in my life.
In my secret retirement, I could do nothing but tell my dear Lord in a sweet calmness that He knew I desired nothing but Him, nothing but holiness, that He had given me these desires and He only could give the thing desired.
I never seemed to be so unhinged from myself, and to be so wholly devoted to God.
My heart was swallowed up in God most of the day.

Our church offers a quarterly get away to be with God that we call Spiritual Dimensions Retreat.  We have just returned from the 36 hours focus on God.  It is a most important investment.  However, God chooses to reveal Himself in that time each person attending has chosen to seek Him, to enjoy Him, to honor Him.  He is indeed sufficient.  He is enough.  Being with Him is enough.  These retreats, like David Brainerd’s “usual place of retirement,” is a place to be wholly devoted to God.  That relationship building finds its way into the day to day aspects of life.  As though carried on eagle’s wings the routines and work and road blocks and running can all be put into perspective because He is sufficient.  

Brother Lawrence shares a bit of his intimacy with the Lord in the midst of the routine:

The time of labor does not with me differ from the time of prayer; and, in the noise and confusion of the kitchen where I am at work, while several persons are at the same time calling for different things, I possess God in a great tranquility as if I were upon my knees at the Blessed Sacrament.

I am reminded of the words of the Psalm:

Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth.  My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever. Psalm 73:25-26 (NLT) 

The Lord is indeed enough.  He has proven Himself over and over.  Those who lean upon themselves discover the emptiness and dissatisfaction again and again.  But those who lean upon the Lord…wow…they know.  They know God is really enough.