Is Jesus Enough?

We have a tendency in today’s fast food culture to want the solution to any of our problems, or the answer any of our questions instantaneously. It’s tough to wait for something when almost everything we need is right at our fingertips. But God’s process of bringing us what we need, or getting us to the place we need to be, rarely looks like the world’s process. God’s greatest desire is for us to be in relationship with him, and that relationship is the vehicle he uses to provide for us in every need. The challenge in today’s culture is that we want everything now. I have found this to be true both within and outside of Christian circles. We don’t want to wait, and when God doesn’t show up on our timeline, we look to other people or things to provide what we need (or what we think we need).

I sometimes think about what it was like for Abraham, Moses, or other patriarchs of our faith. They didn’t have newspapers to read about the latest world issues, they didn’t have books about how to attain deeper relationships, and they didn’t have self-help guides to teach them their identity. What they did have was a personal relationship with their creator. A relationship that included face to face conversations! What more do you need? I would much rather have a face to face conversation with God than anything else, and I am sure that is true of anyone else who follows Jesus. If that relationship was enough for Abraham, Moses, Joshua, and so many other heroes of the faith that countless stories and messages point back to, it should be enough for us.

There are many different ways we can try to fulfill our needs, but they are not all equal, and some sources are actually unhealthy for believers to pursue. Many times in scripture (John 17, 1 John 2, James 4 are a few examples), we are warned away from pursuing ideals that are part of the systems of the world. We need to guard ourselves against anything that is rooted in worldly perspectives. One example is reading. I love to read, and we have a lot of books in our house, but we carefully select the topics we read to make sure we are not absorbing ideas that are rooted in the systems of the world. This could sound a little bit legalistic, but it is important to remember that legalism says we need to follow rules in order to attain salvation. This is not about salvation, this is about obedience to the King who has already saved us. Jesus tells us in John 14:15 that carefully adhering to God’s word, as part of our relationship with him, shows that we love him. So, this isn’t about being legalistic, it’s about living in proper relationship with Jesus.

The great news is that God has designed the body of Christ with different roles that help to equip people to fulfill their role in God’s Kingdom, and with different gifts that help to complement those roles. It’s important that we all have wise and spiritually gifted leaders in our lives who can point out our blind spots and help us to make the correct choices. It’s easy to get derailed by the latest fad, and these types of relationships can keep us from wandering down a dangerous path. So, I think there are three key questions we need to ask ourselves as a way to analyze if we need to avoid something or stop involvement with something:

  • Am I replacing Jesus with something or someone else?
  • Am I mixing a system of the world into my relationship with Jesus?
  • What do my spiritual leaders think about this?

Our job is always to point people back to Jesus, because we cannot be Jesus for anyone. Jesus is more than enough!

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