By Aaron Brown, Crosswalk.com
Is God enough? This is not a trick question, but rather one we have to ask sometimes. Ask ourselves, ask others. On one hand, how can we ever have enough of God? He’s perfect: omnipotent, omnipresent, and loves us unconditionally. That sounds like someone who deserves all of our time. Then on the other hand, if God were enough, why do we find ourselves doubting Him time and time again? We turn our back on Him, prioritizing people or things as more important. Instead of running to His arms, we run away. The issue with our belief that God is enough results from forgetfulness. We lose sight of what God has done for us and stop trusting in His promises. Thankfully, there is a solution. Here’s how to fix our mindset when we forget that God is enough.
Why We Forget That God Is Enough
There are numerous occasions in the Bible where God’s people turn their backs on Him. Believers give into fear, doubt, people-pleasing, and other sins. The reasons vary, but none are ever justifiable. Still, in both the Old and New Testaments we are given examples of this behavior. Reading these stories today, we can easily look back with hindsight and wonder why they didn’t consistently believe. All of their stories worked out either in life or in salvation. God kept every one of His promises, so why would they ever doubt Him?
A better question is, why do we read their stories, question why they doubted, and still doubt ourselves? There seems to be something about being human that leads us to question if God is enough. Even if yesterday we said He was, today we could find ourselves doubting.
A great example can be found in the Old Testament in the Book of Exodus. After God freed the Israelites from captivity in Egypt, they had plenty of reason to be grateful and offer praise. They just left a terrible situation and their future as a nation appeared more optimistic. However, life was simply not perfect and in the midst of suffering God stopped being enough for them. More accurately, they stopped seeing God as enough.
“The entire Israelite community grumbled against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. The Israelites said to them, ‘If only we had died by the Lord’s hand in the land of Egypt, when we sat by pots of meat and ate all the bread we wanted. Instead, you brought us into this wilderness to make this whole assembly die of hunger!’” (Exodus 16:2-3).
What their testimony reveals to us is that suffering is the reason we forget God is enough. In the midst of suffering, we are prone to question our circumstances, others, ourselves, and definitely God. That’s what the Israelites did. They grumbled about their circumstances, complained to Moses and Aaron, and longed to be back in Egypt. They lost sight of God.
We are no different from the Jews. We too enter our own forgetfulness when we suffer. Circumstances lead us to forget about God’s provision, people make us doubt God’s love. Suffering has a way of sharpening our focus, but not usually on God, and not usually on positivity.
Suffering, of course, does not have to deter us from God, at least not forever. Just as we garner from the Israelites an understanding of why we forget that God is enough, Scripture informs us as to why God is enough.
What the Bible Tells Us about God and His Fulfillment
“Ask, and it will be given to you. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and the door[a] will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Matthew 7:7-8)
“Therefore I tell you, everything you pray and ask for—believe that you have received it and it will be yours.” (Mark 11:24)
Not one promise that God gave His people went unfulfilled. No matter what season they were in, God kept His Word. The Israelites doubted God after their release from Egypt, but they found their way back to Him again. And in time, they found their way to the Promised Land, just as He promised.
This story among others informs us that God is trustworthy. While people may disappoint and circumstances change, God has an indelible characteristic. We can trust Him. Thus, when Jesus tells His disciples, and us, that we can pray in the Father’s Name, and whatever we ask we shall receive, we can believe Him. Again, God is to be trusted.
His promises were fulfilled then and they can be now. In fact, they will be.
The journey of Christian won’t be without suffering. Jesus even suffered and He knew no sin. Though this is true, we can try our best to be like the Israelites on their best days: devoted, committed, and trusting. We can fix our mindset when we forget He is enough – here are 3 steps to do so:
Photo Credit: ©Unsplash/Kevin Wolf
“I will remember the Lord’s works; yes, I will remember your ancient wonders.” (Psalm 77:11)
When we forget that God is enough, the most important step we can take next is to remember. Forgetfulness occurs when we let go of information. Remembrance makes that information relevant again. Therefore, as we read Scripture and learn about God’s promises, remembering what was spoken will keep His Word fresh in our minds. We need that when tempted by sin or consumed with fear.
In school, we take time to learn information. After learning, we study repeatedly so that we commit things to memory. If we treat God’s Word in the same way, we will not only learn temporarily, but will glean information we can hold onto for a lifetime.
God designed us with the ability to forget. This is helpful for letting go of unimportant information and bad experiences. However, we sometimes forget things that are beneficial and important. He has also designed us with the ability to remember. What we remember reflects a level of importance and value. If we can extend this to God’s Word we will better handle everything that comes our way. His promises will bring comfort in suffering, and His wisdom will bring guidance in place of confusion. And His joy will make the good moments even brighter.
“Immediately the father of the boy cried out, ‘I do believe; help my unbelief!’” (Mark 9:24)
Faith doesn’t always come naturally for us, but that doesn’t mean we cannot connect with God. Whenever we begin feeling like He is not enough, we can pray for Him to change that. Asking God for firmer faith will prevent us from straying away toward sin.
What do we do when we have a human relationship and problems occur or we begin to doubt? We communicate. This should be our approach with God as well. He is indeed enough, but if we forget we can ask Him for reminders. We can meditate on His Word and ask that we feel that truth.
Feeling like God is not enough is simply an emotional disposition, not the truth. If we pray, we can work toward a more positive frame of mind.
“Flee sexual immorality! Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the person who is sexually immoral sins against his own body.” (1 Corinthians 6:18)
Sin separates us from God. Therefore, we should strive to flee from such behaviors. One reason we fool ourselves into thinking God is not enough is because we have a placeholder where He should be. We try to fill a God-sized void with something worldly. Our attempts are always in vain. We want more, but don’t know where to go.
Unsurprisingly, God is the only place we can go. However, if we cling to sin, we will forget this over and over again. Sin tempts us with cheap thrills, fun, and control. Sin definitely treats us differently from God, but the outcome is always the same. Emptiness.
God will be enough when we stop trying to replace Him and commit.
Our forgetfulness will never end. That quality is ingrained in our humanity. And much like we forget the lessons taught in school without practice, we will forget God’s promises if we don’t work to remember. God is enough, but there will be a day again when we ask that same question. Is God enough? We’ll ask the question much like we did the first time. However, the more we know about His Word, His promises, His love, the sooner we can return to truth. God is enough.
Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/emiliozv
Aaron Brown is a freelance writer, dance teacher, and visual artist. He currently contributes articles to GodUpdates, GodTube, iBelieve, and Crosswalk. Aaron also supports clients through the freelance platform Upwork.