The conversation began over a cup of coffee in my University’s lobby. We were talking about what a life abandoned to Christ might look like. It would be bold. Selfless. All-encompassing. Full of love, patience, goodness and kindness. All of a sudden, this young girl looked at me from across the table, straight faced, and said, “I don’t know any Christians who act like this.”
I, being the wise and humble all-knowing woman I am, racked my brains to find the just-right words to say. But, those words stuck to the back of my throat and have yet to find their way out into the open air. I wanted to point to real life examples of people who proclaim the Gospel with boldness, who exude a love for Jesus out of every pore, who don’t care what people think of them, who would rather abandon a life of comfort to brave the great unknown.
I wanted to tell her that I am one of these people. But I couldn’t. Because deep in my heart, I knew the truth.
Where are the people?
When it comes to meeting people who don’t care for the things of this world, abandoning their lives to seek Christ, counting it all as loss, and treating Jesus as if He’s worth it all, I too struggle to find Christians embracing this call.
Is there more to Christianity than singing a few praises to a God that’s so far up in the clouds we can’t even know Him?
I know that surely there must be Christians out there who care more for Christ than money. There must be Godly twentysomethings who long for God more than marriage and careers. There must be. I’ve read about these people before. I’ve seen glimpses of them in the eyes of fellow believers.
Since that day, I’ve been fortunate enough to meet a few Christians who have given up their comforts to follow the things of Christ.
There was that 50 year-old man who spent his younger years as a high profile businessman, now abandoning the comfort of retirement, using his business experience to fight for the poor and vulnerable.
There was that 40 year-old lawyer who once worked at one of the top law firms in the world, now using his intelligence to defend former slaves from their abusers.
There were those twentysomething girls who decided to care more about missions than marriage. Who point me to Christ instead of boys.
Now, I’m not saying you have to be a missionary in some foreign country in order to follow Christ. In matter of fact, some of the most devout and missional Christians I’ve met are working “normal” jobs. But they do everything, even these jobs, for Christ. And it shows.
These people give me hope.
But unfortunately, these people are few and far between.
Maybe this is a cynical post, but maybe it’s also a needed call in my own life to WAKE UP. The cares of this world so often want to rob me of the joy that I have heard is found in Christ. But even though people tell me Christ is enough, I also struggle to find people who live like He is.
Maybe it’s just me. And yes, maybe I’m angry at this. Maybe I should be.
I’m angry at myself for letting fear strip me of the “enoughness” that is in Christ.
I’m angry that the devil has lied to my generation, telling us that we are only worth something if we have amazing careers and an education. We only matter if a boy or girl is chasing after us. We are only worth it if we travel the world and live loudly.
Then, I go to church and hear that Jesus is my prize. And I wonder why I have to go to church to hear this, when I wish I could go out in the world and see us Christians living it.
Jesus is enough.
I’ve heard He is. I need Him to be because the thing is, I want more. When I am faced with questions, I want to look up and know I am not seeking in vain.
Is there more to life than this?
I don’t usually notice that I’ve been chasing something until I have to stop and catch my breath. When I find myself exhausted, heartbroken, and feeling utterly hopeless. It is in these moments I have to re-set my focus on the One constant in this crazy world.
Even though I’m living in a foreign country, sometimes it feels like I’m running in circles, chasing every little high I can get. I hold out my hands and watch time slip through. Life is short and I want whatever it has to offer. But what if there is more to life than having a marvelous career that is the envy of all my peers? What if there is more than accomplishments and legacies and titles? What if there is more to life than dating people?
I need to know there is more than this.
So I run to Jesus and He shows me that there is more. There is HIM.
“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.”
I can stop chasing the highs and rest in the fact that I am loved and cherished without doing anything. My soul finds rest. The aching of my heart aches a little less.
There may be moments when I am tempted to point a finger at God and tell Him that He is not enough, but the very fact that He LETS ME shows that this thirst for more is human and He is merciful. Too merciful. I think the right phrase is probably, “rich in mercy (Ephesians 2:4).”
I may always wrestle with it on this Earth because I am living in a sinful world, but even so, God is a well that never runs dry. My goodness, He is enough. Even now. And when it doesn’t feel like He is, it’s time to get on our knees and cry out for more, and then more, and then more of Him until it feels like we’ve reached the end.
Because there’s still more He can give.
He will never grow tired of our thirsty hearts asking Him to fill us up.
Is God enough?
A few months ago, I found myself crying out to God to be enough for me. I was tired of talking with Christians who tell me that they are still searching for the longing in their hearts to be fulfilled.
I was so tired.
Tired enough to tell God that I want to start living a life that shows He is worth it all. And as I uttered this out loud, I knew in my heart that the world doesn’t need more buildings or devotionals or Christian music hours or people trying to lift themselves up in the world’s eyes.
This world needs more Christians living a life that declares Jesus is worth it all.
But is He?
Time has passed since that tearful evening. I have cried many tears since — waiting, knocking, seeking.
And then God opened the door. And He opened my eyes. And He showed me that He isn’t just enough, but He has always been so. He has always been waiting for me, His arms outstretched, ready to take me when I am ready to dive out of the boat and onto the water in faith.
I believe we all want more. There is a longing in our hearts for this.
And the good news is that there IS more than this. More than the new, next thing.
There is a God who “satisfies your desires in scorched places and makes your bones strong (Isaiah 58:11).”
But how can this be?
In my own life, I have found these 4 things to shift my focus off the sideshow distractions and onto Christ:
1. Believe in Christ and what He’s done for me.
“…if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9
Saved. If there’s anything we need to be saved from (other than our own sinful selves), it is our chasing after what will never satisfy us. Jesus can and He does. Stop seeking a Savior; He already is ours.
2. Surrender to God.
Don’t just say “Okay. I surrender.” Actually surrender. Get off your throne and get down on the ground in humility. Your life is no longer yours. Surrender won’t be easy. It hurts. It feels like dying. But that’s kind of the point. Only when we continue dying to what we think will satisfy us will we begin to understand that God is our prize. And only Him.
Cut off those substitutes when you have Living Water. You might think you’re giving up too much, but in reality, you’re gaining the only true thing that is of any worth.
3. Pray. Ask. Seek. Knock.
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” Matthew 7:7
Do you feel empty? Go to your Heavenly Father, who is ready to receive you with mercy because of Jesus. Does it not feel like God is enough? Keep seeking. Keep asking. Keep knocking. Don’t ask for STUFF. Ask for Him.
Beg for more faith. And then some more. And then keep seeking and praying and crying to God until you’re at the end of yourself. I have discovered that you’ll usually find God there.
“Every good and every perfect gift is from God” (James 1:17). I’d say that being satisfied in Christ is as good of a gift as anything.
4. Re-evaluate if you’re actually surrendered to God.
Though Isaiah 58:11 does show us that God can satisfy us, we also need to take a look at the verses before this scripture. In it, we see that praying and fasting aren’t enough. What’s the use of words if we aren’t serving others or being reconciled to our brothers? Surrendering to God isn’t a one-time, lonesome act. It’s communal and it’s constant.
5. Don’t underestimate the importance of brotherly love.
Sometimes we wonder why God isn’t enough because it doesn’t feel like it. But part of being in God’s hands is being part of His family. We need God, but we also need people. There are real human needs inside of us.
For instance, God is enough, but we also need food. We need water. We need friendships. Seek these out. And not just friendships for our sakes. Seek friendships in love. Be authentic in them.
For years I wondered why God didn’t seem enough for me, when really, God desired for me to have friends, which I was afraid of. We need people. If God is love, and people love, then God is also where the people are.
There are many verses in the Bible where Jesus healed people physically. But in these verses, we see that He always brought more than just physical healing. He healed people’s relationships. He brought outcasts back to society. We too need to be in community.
So, yes. Jesus is the more.
He is enough.
What are you waiting for? What do you have to lose?
Hope in Jesus as being “enough” is the only hope I have. My soul needs to rest. It needs contentment and to be filled with love. What my heart desires isn’t something that cannot be found. God isn’t toying with me in putting a thirst in me that cannot be quenched. I am running to Him. What about you?