Have you ever been worshipping away, in a state of blissful abandon as you do, when you actually realised what you were singing? One moment you’re giving your all and the next you’re choking back a line because in your heart of hearts you feel that you probably can’t sing it at that moment without being a hypocrite. Perhaps none of the august readers of this blog have had this problem, holy as you are, but humour me and let me tell you what happened when I did a few weeks ago.
I was at our new Newcastle North extension service (Where we’ve already seen decisions for Jesus, btw!) and was raising my arms and singing. “Through every trial my soul will sing, no turning back, I’ve been set free…” And then the words kind of lodged in my throat and wouldn’t come out. Christ is enough for me. Could I really sing that given not ten minutes before the service I’d been having a whine about how I didn’t have enough because I wanted this or that?
The words just stuck in my throat there until the line had passed. That annoyed me, why was that? I mean Christ is enough, right? That much I know. The sticking point, you’ll not be surprised to know, was not in the Christ part of the statement; the sticking point was with me. My conversations earlier that day about not having enough? Either they weren’t right or me singing this line wasn’t right.
I think that we can all sometimes slip into feeling like Christ isn’t enough. We can look at our hopes and desires and conclude that we’re unfulfilled in some way, that in spite of His promise that He knew our needs and would meet them He hasn’t done so. So often as people we have a tendency to focus on the areas we perceive as lack at the expense of the abundance with which God has blessed us.
Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat? ’ or ‘What shall we drink? ’ or ‘What shall we wear? ’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Matthew 6:31-33 (ESV)
It’s a question of what we really need, and where we look for those needs to be addressed. I’ve never been in need, literally, I can look back on my life and I have never been in need. I may have ran out of change and missed a meal, but I’ve never went hungry, I have never wanted for a roof over my head, clothes on my back, or the knowledge that future provision would come. For the majority of you reading, it is probably the same. The times when I decide I don’t have what I need and whinge and go sit and nurse a chai latte while looking wan and melancholic? I’m not there because I’m in lack, or haven’t had my needs met, I’m there because I want something and have lapsed in the trust that God gives what we need at the right time.
Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
Matthew 6:8 (ESV)
God knows our needs before we ever even ask. I remember a year or two back, I got a need for more financially. I started to get anxious and wonder how it would be addressed, but when the provision came it was more than enough and came alongside an email thread dated before I’d even known about the need. He’d known and set the ball rolling well in advance.
The truth is that if we are feeling like our needs are not being met, then we’re trying to find fulfilment in the wrong place – drinking from the wrong well and wondering why we still thirst. Like the Samaritan woman in John 4, looking out for her temporal needs while the saviour of the world is there, we often look for fulfilment in whatever will satisfy our want while a well overflowing with life is with us.
Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
John 4:13-14 (ESV)
What do we do when Christ isn’t enough? Realise that the enoughness of Christ is never and has never been in question. Christ is more than enough, over and above, sufficient to meet our every need. The moment we realise that our feelings are telling us He isn’t: That’s the moment we need to realise that the problem is with us, we’ve found ourselves looking once more at the wrong well.
I haven’t missed that line in the song since, in fact, I’ve not been able to get the song out of my head or stop singing it. If we are feeling that we don’t have enough then we need to refresh our perspective and look at what well we’re drawing our water from. When Christ isn’t enough just doesn’t happen. Christ is enough for me. Christ is enough for us; the challenge is to live like it.