Beating Your ‘And’ Disease
We have enough. This is an audacious claim based on the equally radical belief that the source of our contentment is God Himself. That is, we can only live with the belief that we have enough if we believe God is enough. But what exactly does it mean that God is enough? How is Jesus enough? How is the Holy Spirit enough?
Think of starting each day with an empty glass. It represents our need for purpose, meaning and everything that brings fulfillment and satisfaction and peace. We seek to fill our glass through experiences, work, relationships, material things and so on. Yet by evening we find ourselves exhausted, staring at half-empty glasses and wondering why we can’t find the satisfaction we seek.
This daily quest for meaning and fulfillment will ultimately fail us. Even as Christians we can hope to find what we seek in life by pursuing God…and. We want the abundant life Jesus promised us but we look for it by following Jesus…and. We pray for the Holy Spirit to be our source of peace and joy but we thirst for these things through the Holy Spirit…and.
What are your ‘ands’? Security in money? Fulfillment in accomplishments? Satisfaction in relationships? Peace in politics? Happiness in possessions? Joy in experiences? We all fall to the temptation to combine the things we like to control and the promises of God…and it’s the ‘ands’ that are killing us!
Listen to Jesus challenge the ‘and’ culture that abounded in His day as it does in ours,
So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:31-33
Did you hear it? God’s kingdom and righteousness are enough. Nothing needs to be added. Seek Him and the things we used to chase after will no longer be issues. But it’s not only physical needs that Christ satisfies, but the deepest needs of our soul. Jesus claims,
“I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” John 6:35
In Jesus, our glasses are full; completely and always. Peter echoes the same promise,
“His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness.” 2 Peter 1:3
Paul tells the Corinthians that,
“our sufficiency is from God,” 2 Corinthians 3:5
“God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.” 2 Corinthians 9:8
To the church in Philippi he states,
“And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19
When Jesus is enough to meet our deepest needs, His promises become real.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit: part from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” John 15:5-8
Paul knew it when he said,
“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
David knew it when he proclaimed,
“For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things,” Psalm 107:9
“The afflicted shall eat and be satisfied; those who seek him shall praise the Lord! May your hearts live forever!” Psalm 22:26
Do you know it? Is your glass filled to overflowing by God alone? Is Jesus the bread that satisfies, the water that quenches every thirst? Can you say with David,
“You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing?” Psalm 145
Can you confess with Paul,
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness?” 2 Corinthians 12:9
This week, refuse to be tempted by the ‘ands’ of life. Pray daily for the Holy Spirit to overwhelm your spirit with the presence, provision and peace of God. Stay near the cross, lean into God and seek all you need for satisfaction and joy in Him. As the Spirit works in you to make Christ your sufficiency, every other area of need will be complete in Him.