I am not enough (alone)
Paula writes a challenging article emphasising the importance of reverence when it comes to God. She argues that beholding Him is essential if we are to become like Him.
Today, more than any time in our history, we are consumed with the question of Who am I?
As Christians we arrive at the answer in a totally different way to people who do not know God.
For as Christians, our answer to this question is in reference to God. We can’t arrive at a true understanding of ourselves apart from an understanding of who God is - the two go hand in hand.
To understand who we are, we need to ask the question who is God?
A very popular phrase today is “ I am enough” and it is believed that if we say “ I am enough” to ourselves over and over again, we can accomplish anything. Of course all of us want to believe we are enough, but according to the Gospel, apart from Christ, we are not enough. We can’t do it alone. Our culture tells us to live our truth, “you do you”, you are enough but the Bible is saying something radically different.
As believers it is important to come to the Bible and understand being enough is rooted in the finished work of Christ, not in anything we have done.
As Christians, we worship God not ourselves. He is the author of life, enthroned in heaven. The more we know the truth of who God is, the more joy we feel and the more obedient we become.
A verse not often talked about is found in Psalm chapter 111, verse 10: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom”. The fear of the Lord here refers to the reverence of the Lord.
So often we have a low view of God. We prefer God who is our Abba Father, not God who thunders on high or is a consuming fire. Whilst God is tender, He is also mighty and powerful. Our understanding of His character is distorted if we believe He can only be one or the other.
We need to acknowledge that The One who is near to us is also worthy of our worship. We humans have limits, but God is free of limits. God is not bound by time, or space, or a physical body, or knowledge or anything? If that fact doesn’t boggle you - the fact that God is infinite, yet everything else in this world is fine - God isn’t in his rightful place.
Little g gods
In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were created in the image of God but not as God.
God designed us to be limited. Just like Adam and Eve, we have physical bodies. We need rest and food.
We are designed in this way so we would turn to God and glorify Him. I learned as a child in Sunday school “Man”s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. “
In light of this, the answer to the question “who am I?” is simple. I am designed to worship and anytime I aspire to be worshipped, I am sure to stumble.
“We become what we behold”
In the garden, Eve reached for the fruit because the serpent told her “You will be like Him”
We humans still do this today.
We desire to be Sovereign. We want to be in control of our lives and for others to give us glory. We want to be little gods of our own worlds.
In my life, I am constantly learning to walk in the limitations that God has placed over me. It is strangely freeing. I don’t need to rely on my own abilities, I can rely on His. Yet it still involves a great deal or repentance. The battle with self reliance and pride is a daily one.
Following Jesus is learning to walk in humility. It is about laying aside self and living a life of obedience. It is about becoming people who say no to ungodliness and worldly passions and, instead, living Godly lives in this present age (Titus, chapter 2).
I know for me the reality and truth of “I am not enough“ by myself is so freeing because He is enough and, In Him, I am too.
I am so thankful for His Word that reminds us that: “He satisfies the thirsty and gives the hungry good things” Psalm chapter 107, verse 9.
I prefer the lesser known phrase “We become what we behold”. Because, with the help of the Holy Spirit, we grow to love God and hate sin more and more. God becomes so beautiful to us that we can’t imagine taking our identity from anywhere else. We begin to know the truth that God is Sovereign, all knowing, all powerful, all present and we are not (even with a smartphone!).
As the church, we need to remember the transcendence of God. When Isaiah sees God, He says: “ Woe to me! I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips” (Isaiah chapter 6, verse 5). Isaiah found out who he was in light of the holiness of God.
We need to question the cultural messages that invoke pride. We can so easily “assimilate” as Christians, but not really know the truth and the depravity of the human condition.
Paula is a speech language therapist with pre-schoolers who have a disability. She and her husband, Jim, have been part of Windsor Park since moving from the UK 20 years ago.They are parents of two teens and are team leaders for year 10 youth. Writing is a new thing but one which she is enjoying as a way of expressing how God speaks and leads her in everyday life. // Photo: Caleb Van Essen
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