My posts for the last few weeks have been about surviving hard times. As a friend said recently, when you’re experiencing hard times, you’re in no mood for intellectual stimulation. You need something tangible to anchor your faith, not just information that makes sense. Such an anchor requires convictions which can withstand the hard times. I am finding that the convictions which I hold dear are a result of revelations from the word of God. There were seasons in my life where I read the Bible for information. However, these days, I am looking for revelation, the kind of revelation that causes a paradigm shift. In my experience, my revelations have determined how I perceive my reality and more importantly, how I pray.
For instance, one of the biggest challenges is the fear of not having enough. I suspect I’m not alone. For many of us, it’s money but the truth is even those with money, have things they lack which makes them insecure. As such, so many of us spend our days striving for enough. Many of us pray “…give us this day our daily bread”. Yet, the subtext of that prayer is a request for what we need today, not tomorrow’s or next year’s supply. I believe this is the case because God wants us to keep coming back to Him for what we need rather than put our trust in what we have. It’s not what God gives that is enough, it’s God who is enough. Therefore, it is the Lord who provides who ought to be our enough [Genesis 22:14], not the provision. So, if I’m praying for a lifetime’s supply so that I can experience enough, I need a paradigm shift.
There is a detail that I’d never noticed in John’s account of the miracle of the feeding of the 5000 with five loaves and two fish [John 6:1-13]. John tells us that everyone ate their fill and when they gathered up the fragments, there were 12 baskets full of fragments from the FIVE barley loaves [John 6:13]. The loaves and fish didn’t multiply, the miracle was that Jesus made the five loaves and two fish more than enough for thousands. In anyone else’s hands, it was just five loaves and two fish, which as Andrew pointed out wasn’t going to be close to enough. I find that my problem is usually trying to work out “the how”. This is similar to asking; “how exactly are five loaves and two fish going to feed thousands, Jesus?” And often, He lovingly whispers back: “did I ask you to figure that out?”
The application of this revelation to my life is amazing. Usually, I want to see the provision to know that I have enough. But Jesus is saying to me that irrespective of how much I have, it will be enough once I put it in His hands because He is enough. So rather than praying for more of X, I ought to pray for more of Jesus. David captures this beautifully in Psalm 23. He will not want because the Lord is his Shepherd, not because he has enough stashed away. Finding pasture is the job of the Shepherd, not the sheep. Therefore, a sheep distracted by searching for its own pasture is likely to lose sight of the Shepherd.
Unfortunately, so many of us put our faith in the provision rather than the Provider. Consequently, we expend so much effort chasing and accumulating resources to the detriment of our relationship with the Source. In our futile pursuit of the resources, we believe will satisfy our longings and provide the security and affirmation we’re lacking; we fail to trust God and acknowledge Him in all our ways [Proverbs 3:5-7]. We become wise in our own eyes as we hustle and strive in the marketplace while leaving very little room for God in our lives. The irony of our misplaced priorities is that even the few that are successful in their pursuit of resources never find satisfaction because only the Source can satisfy. So, when was the last time you did an honest appraisal of your priorities? What does how you spend your time say about your relationship with God?
Many of us need a paradigm shift from chasing the resource to seeking the Source. From accumulating provision to knowing the Provider. From striving to get enough to an encounter with the God who is more than enough. Multiple times in Scripture we’re reminded that we can’t survive on bread alone, we need the Word of God. How amazing is it that that Word became flesh and dwelled among us [John 1:14]? Then He revealed Himself as the bread of life who satisfies us [John 6:35-40]. He would later teach that the very essence of life, eternal life, was to know Him and the One who sent Him [John 17:3]. If we miss that He is enough, we will never have enough, no matter how hard we look for it elsewhere.
Think about it, would you be searching for God if everything in your life was great and you had enough? As I was writing this and reflecting on my own life and experience, a thought occurred to me. Enough isn’t having a sufficient amount of anything, enough is knowing Him. Therefore, if I am in need, rather than pray to have enough, I should pray for wisdom and revelation to know the Lord Jesus Christ more deeply [Ephesians 1:17]. As I earnestly search for Him, and He reveals Himself to me, then like Moses, I might just come to that place of encounter with the Great I AM. I believe Jesus is saying to each of us: “I AM…your hope…your peace…your inheritance…your sustainer…your security…your deliverer…your provider…your all in all” [1 Corinthians 15:28]. He is our enough!