My life and yours have altered drastically since the last time I wrote the CCF blog. Big changes in a small span of time. Yet I notice a consistent theme during my extended stay at home – GOD IS ENOUGH.
God is enough to overcome my fear and uncertainty.
He is the answer to every problem, the provision for every need, and the strength for every challenge.
- “fear not for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God’ I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with My Righteous Right Hand. (Isaiah 41:10)
- “for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. (2 Timothy 1:7)
God is enough to meet all my material needs.
He is my source of supply. His provision is consistent and always sufficient. His supply is never ending. I realize, once again, my natural place in God’s Kingdom is one of total dependency.
- “But seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33) Jesus was referring specifically to the things human beings need to physically survive – food, drink, and clothing for our bodies.
- “Every good gift and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of Lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” (James 1:17) Everything good in my life is a gift from God. I am the steward of His gifts, not the owner. I am the recipient, not the source.
- I am blessed to hear, on a regular basis, of God’s faithful financial provision. Friends and family received grace on mortgage payments; deferred rent; unexpected gifts of money, clothing, groceries; new business opportunities, and chances to align current talents and assets more closely to His plan and purposes – and all before the Federal government passed the stimulus package.
God is enough to meet all my spiritual needs.
Within one week, all my classes and group meetings were cancelled. I found a lot of extra time on my hands. With fewer deadlines to meet, a lot less work to accomplish, not as many distractions, and a significant decrease in busyness, I experienced more rest and relaxation and less striving and effort.
Life got simpler. Suddenly I had more time to read devotions, study the Word, spend uninterrupted time with God, and pray for the situations and people the Holy Spirit brought to mind. I felt like I was living out Psalm 46:10 – “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” I looked up the Hebrew meaning of the word “know” and discovered it has two connotations. The first has to do with cognitive awareness – knowing about something or someone by reading or hearing about it/him/her. The second is knowing about something or someone through direct experience. The first is impersonal, the second personal.
The Holy Spirit convicted me of living with God too often in second place – my work + God, my family + God, my church + God, my time + God, my finances + God, etc. I realized I needed to re-prioritize and re-balance. I seek the benefits and blessings without spending enough time developing the relationship. God wants to be the center of my life, not because He has an ego problem, but because He is God – the Alpha and Omega, the Creator of the entire universe, the Author and Finisher of my faith, and my heavenly Father. He deserves no less than first place, and fearing Him and keeping His commandments should be my highest priority, as King Solomon concluded in the book of Ecclesiastes (12:13)
I concluded we as a church have an opportunity, one believer at a time, to rediscover and get back to the basics of Christianity: “And He said to him, ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-38)
We have an opportunity to recognize and appreciate what we, living in affluence compared to the rest of the world, take for granted. We have an opportunity to rediscover what is most valuable in our lives and to reconnect with God, family, friends, colleagues, and neighbors. We have an opportunity, like Jesus, to take delight in the ordinary.
I’m reading Dr. Charles Stanley’s 10-day devotional “Finding Peace” on the YouVersion app. In Day six, Dr. Stanley reminds me that God doesn’t set us up for anxiety. “He’s always at work to bring you to a place where you’ll trust Him more, obey Him more fully, and receive more of His blessings.” God can redeem any situation or circumstance and use it for our good and His glory. God is still on His Throne. He is still in charge and in control. His unseen power still maintains our physical universe. His priority is still to save a dying planet full of lost people.
I pray that during the COVID-19 outbreak, as God removes most of the things that have distracted non-believers from His will and His way, many will realize their need for Christ as Savior and come home. With less of what we’re used to, we can receive more of what we need.
“But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15) and join Dr. Stanley in praying:
“Father, I bring this to you. It’s beyond my control. I feel helpless in this situation, but You have the power to change what I’m facing. You love me perfectly, and I’m trusting You to handle what concerns me in the way You see fit. I know whatever You’ve planned for me is for my good. I look forward to seeing the way you choose to express your love, wisdom, and power.”
In Jesus Name, Amen.