Monday, June 9, 2014

Is He Enough?

“At the bar of common sense Jesus Christ’s statements may seem mad; but bring them to the bar of faith, and you begin to find with awestruck spirit that they are the words of God. Trust entirely in God, and when He brings you to the venture, see that you take it. We act like pagans in a crisis, only one out of a crowd is daring enough to bank his faith in the character of God.”

--Oswald Chambers

How deep is my faith? Only so deep as it trusts the promises of God and presses them boldly to the heart. Only so deep as the obedience it offers. Only so deep as the surrender that it gives in the day to day choices that I make. If I am unwilling to trust the Lord where it doesn’t seem to make human “sense,” then I am unwilling to trust the Lord, and I have spurned His wisdom and authority. I have silently stated that He is not enough. 

My Mom loves the “old-time” preachers, and the other day we were listening to Vance Havner on CD. He said, in his simple, homespun way, “There are three kinds of lies—black lies, white lies, and statistics.” He then went on to explain that statistics have their place, but that as Christians we are often prone to quietly (maybe without even realizing it at times) rely upon them rather than upon God. 

I wonder, how many times in my life, have I sensed the Holy Spirit prodding me, pressing some truth upon my conscience, urging me in some step of obedience that didn’t seem to make human sense, and I have ignored it. Ignored it because I was afraid of what people would think, afraid of what Christians would think...

And I think, when I did obey, when I did walk in obedience and surrender to Him, how great was my joy at that moment and the sense of His Presence and spiritual power were tasted and realized. 

One of my favorite saints is George Mueller—here was a man through God’s grace who was willing to bank his life upon the Word of God and the witness of the Holy Spirit to his conscience through that Word. He consistently prayed through the Bible on his knees time after time throughout his life. He carried out what we would now consider a huge “operation,” opening five orphanages by faith and through prayer, refusing to ask for donations, only letting his needs be known before God in petition. He wanted to testify that God is able to move men through prayer, and indeed, His God was enough.  Beginning with the equivalent of 50 cents, George Mueller began this great work, and though his faith was greatly and daily tested, he continued to only let his needs be known to God throughout the course of his days. 

I hear about million-dollar church-building projects and the fundraising structures that are set up to support them and I wonder, is the reliance really upon God? If the church, if I truly took God seriously, and spent the time upon our knees petitioning God, rather than constructing elaborate, frantic fundraising campaigns, would He disappoint them, would He disappoint me? Or is it that we are sometimes afraid that God will not come through for us and we will be embarrassed in the end? If that is so, are we serving ourselves, or God? Are we doing the work for Him, or so that people will praise us and think how wonderfully spiritual we are? 

I struggled this week in trusting God. I looked at my circumstances, at my “poverty,” and I questioned in my heart whether God was “enough.” Is He “enough” when it comes down to my daily bread? Is He enough when the car is making funny noises, when a husband’s hours get cut at work, when an unexpected expense arises, when the iron breaks? Is He enough? 

Is He enough when I contemplate the calling that He has placed upon my life, when I look at the seeming immenseness of it, and it overwhelms me? Is He enough when the baby is crying and fussy, when the animals get sick, when I am weary in the day to day, when the faucet is dripping? 

Is He enough when I look at other Christians around me and they are warm and well-fed and they travel and smell pretty and their husbands buy them expensive jewelry—is He enough? Do I possess that “godliness with contentment,” which is “great gain” in the midst of my trials? 

And is He enough for the future—the future of grace that stretches before me-the calling that looms large upon my heart and that I cannot forsake? Is He enough? 

He is enough . . . “Bless the Lord, O my soul and forget not all His benefits . . . who forgives your sins and heals all your diseases, Who fulfills your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s . . . (Psalm 103:1-3)”

He is enough. 

Photo credit: <a href="">Carl Chapman</a> / <a href="">Foter</a> / <a href="">Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)</a>

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