Is He Enough?

When I was a teenager I began to encounter God in times of worship, and I distinctly remember seeing a picture every time we sang songs of surrender, songs telling Jesus that we would give everything for Him, because He is ALL we need. The picture He gave me was like an invitation, or even a test. I would see myself in a white space. It wasn’t a room, it seemed to go on and on into the distance, but it was completely empty. Only I was there, with nothing and no one else. Standing in the midst of nothingness for all eternity. And I sensed He was asking me, “if this was you and you had only my presence, would it really be enough for you?”

Is He really enough for me? 

I never really knew the answer. 

Leading up to this big transition in my life I was struggling with some anxiety and fears. I was very aware that I was coming to Nepal alone. That I was stepping out of the boat. And there were some things that I thought God was going to work out on my behalf beforehand that… well, He didn’t. So one day, as I was driving in my hometown, I just began to pour out all my expectations and needs before Him. I told Him, “God if you don’t fill these needs externally, I need you to show me that you are enough. I need to hear you like I’ve never heard you before, see you more clearly than I’ve ever seen you before, feel you so close that I can’t deny you are with me.” 

Now I’m dwelling in the valleys of my promised land. I walked into this place having been stripped of positions, recognition, relationships, ministries, independence, belongings, and yet still carrying so much. Still holding so many “things” to comfort my heart, just in case He’s not enough for me. 

I’m starting to see that I can’t really see God pull through for me when I’m holding to other things. I’ll never know if He’s enough if I never need Him to be my everything. He might have enough provision when I have financial lack, or enough wisdom when I need guidance, but I won’t know if He is fully enough unless I need Him to be. 

In the book of Hosea, God takes extreme measures to show us how He pursues His Bride, Israel. Even when she strayed from Him and tried to fill her desires with other lovers, He wooed her back. His tactics for wooing her didn’t seem all that nice though. He didn’t just give her more nice gifts or talk sweet to her. First, He stripped her of everything. He surrounded her with desolation and pain, took away all the blessings and glamor of her past life, and made her experience rejection and embarrassment. Then He led her out into the wilderness. 

The thing is, He did it all in His grace and mercy. It would have been cruel for Him to leave her to her wistful desires with her lovers that would satisfy for only a moment. But it was His grace that caused her to experience the pain and brokenness of the wilderness, so that He could take her back into His arms. 

“And now, here’s what I’m going to do:
    I’m going to start all over again.
I’m taking her back out into the wilderness
    where we had our first date, and I’ll court her.
I’ll give her bouquets of roses.
    I’ll turn Heartbreak Valley into Acres of Hope.
She’ll respond like she did as a young girl,
    those days when she was fresh out of Egypt.
Hosea 2:14-15 MSG

I feel God loosening my grip on even the few things that I carried with me into this season. Some things He is stripping away, other things He is asking me to lay down. But more than feeling like He is cruel or trying to hurt me, I feel His love stronger than ever. It’s His grace that does what’s necessary to bring me into deeper relationship with Him. It’s His goodness that won’t allow me to stay where I am. It’s His love that pursues me in the wilderness.

We often blame the devil for our wilderness seasons, we complain about our trials, and we avoid being alone. But just as it was the Holy Spirit who led Jesus into the wilderness, often He’s the one inviting us to join Him in the desolate, hidden places to prove to us that He is all we need.

Are we willing to journey out into the wilderness to meet the God who is enough? Are we willing to pay the price for intimacy with Him?

I’m sorry when I’ve just gone through the motions
I’m sorry when I just sang another song
Take me back to where we started
I open up my heart to You
I’m sorry when I’ve come with my agenda
I’m sorry when I forgot that You’re enough
Take me back to where we started
I open up my heart to You
(Nothing Else, Cody Carnes)

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