Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Sufficient I Am Not

                Have you ever had one of those days? You know the ones where you get down on yourself. You start questioning this about yourself, that about yourself, wondering if you are on the right track, and wonder if you are worth two cents? I found myself in that attitude this morning. Lately, things have been tough. Things have not been going as I thought they would. I published my first book and have found myself questioning
everything about it. Was it really what the Lord wanted me to do? Was this really the direction the Lord wanted me to take? All these questions swirling around in my brain this morning, so I did what I know to do. I went and sought Him out, because only He can answer the swirl of thoughts running through this simple brain of mine.
                “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God.” 2 Corinthians 3:5
                These words were exactly what I need to hear. The thoughts that have surrounded my brain are because I am looking at myself to be sufficient. I am looking at myself to be the woman God wants me to be. Let’s be honest, I can never be who God wants me to be unless He does the work. My sufficiency is not based on what I do, who I am or even what I think. My sufficiency comes from Jesus Christ, what He has done, who He is and who He says that I am in Him. It is not about me.
                David Guziak (one of my favorite commentators) writes, “Many people refuse to be used by God because they think of themselves as ‘not ready’. But in a sense, we are never ready or worthy. If we were the sufficiency would be in ourselves, not from God.”
               My worth and my value is nothing. John the Baptist knew this and understood this truth. He stated that he was not even worthy enough to carry His sandals. And neither are we. My worth is not based off of my abilities, my worth is found in the ability of God to work through my life.
               
When my thoughts start to trend towards me, then my whole attitude gets out of whack. I am my own worst critic, to be sure, and that can even be a stumbling block for me in regards to my faith. Who I am means absolutely nothing. The only thing that matters is Who He Is in me. So many times we get in His way. He wants to use us, to work through us, but we don’t think we are good enough, or we don’t think we have what it takes. But what does the Lord say to us? Where does He say we get our worth, our strength and our abilities? We get them from Him and Him alone.
                “So he answered and said to me, ‘This is the word of the Lord to Zerrubabel; ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts.” Zechariah 4:6
                All that I am, all that I have, all that I desire is found in Him and Him alone. My ability to write, to teach, to lead is not my ability- it is His because it comes from Him. He desires to use us, to work through us, and to work in us. But so many times I find that I am the cork that blocks Him. I am the cork in the bottle that He is trying to pour out. Our hope is not in our abilities, but in the ability of the Holy Spirit who lives in us and through us.
                It’s not about me, and it’s not about you. It’s about Jesus Christ and the work that He wants to do in us and through us. Paul wrote to the Corinthians reminding them of this truth. It is not in our sufficiency. It is not in our strength; it is only through the power of God that we can be the children He desires us to be. I am not sufficient. I never will be. I will never be good enough, I will never be strong enough, and I will never be smart enough. I am who I am because Christ Jesus died for me and gave Himself a ransom for me.
                We need to get out of God’s way. He may be calling you to do a specific ministry, or He may be asking you to go out and preach the gospel to the lost and broken. No matter what it is He is calling us to do, we can only do it if He is in it. I once had a Pastor say that “if God calls you He will equip you.” If He has called you to do something, then He will give you the power, the strength and the ability to carry it out. We cannot rely on our own strength, for my strength is worthless. We cannot rely on our own abilities, because they are not ours to begin with.

                The struggles that I am having are because I have the “it’s all about me” mentality again. It is an area that I struggle with, and probably one that I will struggle with until I leave this body of flesh to be with Him. But, I can take action when I see it, and allow Him to refocus me on what He desires, instead of what I desire. We are not sufficient, we never will be. If we were able to be sufficient then Jesus Christ would not have had to come, suffer and die like He did. If we were able to be sufficient then we would never sin again. The truth of the matter is that we need to get out of God’s way. We need to recognize, accept and be thankful that we are not sufficient. We need to recognize and live a life totally and completely surrendered to the One who is sufficient, to the One who is worthy. We need to recognize that it is not about us, it is only and ever will be about Him.

                I pray today that each one of us would recognize and accept that we are not enough and we never will be. That instead of looking into our own abilities, we would praise Him for His. That we would open our hearts to His Holy Spirit and stop being the cork that holds Him back, that we would be His and only His, relying solely upon His power and His might, being sufficient in Him and not in our own selves. In Jesus name, amen and amen.