When God Isn’t Enough

Many of us would probably verbally affirm that God is enough.  However, do our daily choices reflect the fact that He is enough?

Few passages deliver as powerful a blow as II Samuel 12:7, when the prophet Nathan confronts David after he [David] impregnated his loyal follower’s [Uriah] wife and had him strategically placed on the front line of battle, ensuring Uriah’s death,

“…Thus says the Lord God of Israel, ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul.  I gave you your master’s house and your master’s wives into your keeping, and gave you the house of Israel and Judah.  And if that had been too little, I also would have given you much more!  Why have you despised the commandment of the Lord, to do evil in His sight?’” 

This passage reveals God’s emotional investment in David…one can feel His exasperation, disbelief, and utter disappointment in the words above.  In modern words, the rebuke might have sounded like this, “Dude!  I gave you everything a man could wish for…power, protection, prominence…and would have given you more if you had asked.  But, no!  You had to go steal what wasn’t yours to have…another man’s blessing.”  Despite all the blessings God had given to David and all that God had done for David, David listened to Satan’s lie that God was not enough. 

Genesis 3:1-6 captures Satan’s first attempt to convince humanity that God was not enough,

And he [Satan] said to the woman, ‘Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden?’.”

Satan deliberately used verbiage that depicted God’s boundary in Genesis 2:16-17 as oppressive.  He willfully drew her attention to what was off limits…what she couldn’t have.  If Satan can get us to fixate on what God has not chosen for us, then he has successfully planted a seed of desire.  Eve replied,

“We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden, but of the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it…lest you die.” 

Satan rebutted,

              “You will not surely die…”

Classic temptation strategy…undermine God’s stated consequence.  Satan deceives us into thinking that we’ll be able to control our situation and avoid consequences that others have experienced.  Satan continued,

“For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

Satan portrayed God’s intended protection [We were not created to shoulder the burden of knowing good and evil.] as a power play by God to ensure that He [God] would remain the supreme being.  God’s boundary was presented as an obstruction to full potential.  How often does Satan lure us with the idea that we need to “find ourselves” or “tap into our full potential”?  If we allow the above concepts to become top priority, we soon find ourselves discontent, and our motive for decision making becomes self-fulfillment.  God, no longer, is enough.  We fall to Satan’s ploy that God needs our help to know what will truly make us happy.

Israel, as a nation…God’s own chosen people…determined that God was not enough in I Samuel 8:4, when they informed Samuel, God’s chosen leader, “…You are old and your sons do not walk in your ways.  Now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.”  Despite Samuel’s warnings that the king would:

  • Take sons and appoint them for his chariots, to be his horsemen, and captains
  • Appoint some to plow his ground and reap his harvest
  • Utilize their sons to make weapons of war and equipment
  • Take daughters to be perfumers, cooks, and bakers
  • Reserve the best of the fields, vineyards, and olive groves for his servants
  • Require a tenth of their grain and vintage for his officers and servants
  • Attain their personal servants, finest men, and donkeys to do his work
  • Obtain a tenth of their sheep,

Israel sold themselves and their children out in order to be like the other nations…free from God’s direct authority.  The nation of Israel fell for Satan’s lie that other nations had it all figured out.  Satan drew their attention to the dysfunction of the current leaders under God’s system and blinded the people to the dysfunction of the nations surrounding them.  How often does Satan draw our attention to the shortcomings and faults of the fallible humans (We all are fallible, by the way.) doing God’s work?  Is society any more functional?  Christian or secular…it doesn’t matter…where there are humans involved there will always be dysfunction, of sorts. 

Romans 6:16-22 quashes Satan’s lie that there is such a concept as ultimate freedom…the idea that we, alone, are our own authority.  Individual autonomy, in its truest form, is non-existent,

“Do you know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?  But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered.  And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.  I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh.  For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness.  For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness.  What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed?  For the end of those things is death.  But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life.”

Satan plays the ‘freedom card’ often…the idea that ultimate freedom, happiness, and potential lie beyond God’s authority and established boundaries.  Reality is, we have no choice but to surrender to someone or something.  Free will is the choice God has given us to establish who our authority will be…sin [Satan] or righteousness [God].  Once we make our choice, we agree to accept the wages that our chosen authority hands over,

“For the wages of sin is death [spiritual, mental, emotional, sometimes, physical], but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ out Lord.”  Romans 6:23

Because of free will, God cannot be blamed for consequences [wages] that occur resulting from our choice to operate apart from His authority.  He does, however, forgive and create a story of redemption when we come before Him at any time, ready to surrender and submit to Him.

Is God enough for you?  Does your lifestyle and do your daily choices reflect that He is enough?  James 1:13-17 instructs,

“Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God:  for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither does He tempt any man.  But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.  Then when lust has conceived, it brings forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, brings forth death.  Do not err, my beloved brothers.  Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no change, neither shadow of turning.”

Intentionally choose to fixate on all the blessings God has chosen for YOU…not others.  Satan WILL attempt…often…to implant the seed of desire for what God has not chosen for you, but you can actively prevent that seed from embedding itself into the soil of your heart.  Yes, choosing right can be an intense battle sometimes, due to our sin nature; however, if we are committed to choosing right, God provides a way of escape,

“No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”  [I Corinthians 10:13]

Serving righteousness and submitting to God’s authority pays a much fairer wage in the long run, with far less regrets.  God IS enough…don’t let Satan convince you otherwise.

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