“How do you let Jesus be enough in your life?” The question hung on my phone screen, and my heart broke. This was from a person who I knew had been hurting for a while, and who I wanted to be able to just give a hug to make things better. Life is so much more messy than that.
It would be so nice if things just sort of fell into place when you walk down the aisle of your church to say that you want to be a Christian. God doesn’t work the way I want him to sometimes.
What I love about this question is how honest it is. So many times I have paid God lip service on Sunday morning, while trying to manage my own life in my own way all through the week. I stay up late at night worrying, agonize over past conversations and slights. Instead I should be giving it to him.
Let Jesus be Enough
1. Acknowledge Your Heart.
When I don’t want to let Jesus take the things I’m struggling with, my heart is not in the right place. Often I haven’t been spending the time in Bible study or prayer that I should. My heart might want to want the right thing, but it doesn’t.
If that doesn’t seem clear, let me put it this way. I know that if I wake up earlier than my kids so that I can study and pray, I will start off the day on the right foot. When my alarm goes off in the morning though, I want sleep. I want to desire time with God so much that I ignore my want for sleep and get up anyway. Which do I choose?
2. Ask God for help.
When I first got this question, I thought of Mark 9:14-27. A man had a son who had been demon possessed for a long time. The spirit had made him mute and had thrown him into fire and water to try to kill him. This man felt that Jesus could help. After living for so long with the danger to his child, a life without this spirit was probably hard to imagine.
When Jesus questions his belief, the man is completely honest. “I believe; help my unbelief!” This guy has nothing to lose. His life is consumed with keeping his son from being killed and outside of Jesus’ help, he has no hope. He knows his heart isn’t quite there, but if Jesus can cast out this spirit, then he can change a man’s heart. So he cries out, “I want to want this Lord!”
God has no illusions about the state of your heart. all through the Bible there is example after example of how God can change a person’s heart. The psalmist writes in Psalm 119:36 “Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain!” He wants to want to choose God’s laws over his selfish desires, and he asks God to help him do it.
3. Choose the next right thing.
Hebrews calls Jesus the founder of our faith. Satan would have me believe that my sin fills the hole in my life meant for God. Make the next right choice you are faced with. Ask God for help and then make the next choice after that.
I don’t always let Jesus be ‘enough’ for me. I fall and sin and forget who my Father is. He stays the same. God loves me and is ready for me to look to him for help instead of trying to fix it myself. Sure he could lean down and take over, but he is patient and waits for me to ask.
4. Just Let Go
When my middle daughter was first walking, she loved these little plastic bugs her uncle gave her. They were cute bright colors and had wheels so they could roll around. They were the perfect size for her to hold one in each fist. It was adorable.
Her problem was that she wanted to hold them all. She would walk along, so happy with one in each hand and she would spot another one on the floor. As she would bend over to pick it up, she would drop one that she was holding already. It was so comical to see her lean down to get one, drop one she was holding and then stand up, only to spot one on the floor where she had just dropped it.
I can’t let Jesus be enough for me if I won’t let go of my own agenda. Not only am I not capable of managing my own agenda, but I can’t hear God when I won’t let go of my things. She had only to sit down and she could play with a half a dozen of her little toys. Instead she got in a never ending cycle of reaching for the next thing and losing what she had.
God sees the big picture and all the things that you are struggling with. What is keeping you from letting him have control of your life?
Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.