I was recently asked to lead worship and speak at a Women’s Event, this became the theme (I Am not Enough, but He is) and I began to prepare. Some of this came from my own experiences, heartaches and learning and as I prayed and studied the Word the following is what came. As I spoke (which was completely out of my comfort zone but embracing God’s new thing for me) I relayed some of the following, I didn’t read my notes word for word and just desperately tried to rely on the Spirit. I know I did not do this perfectly but I believe God spoke to the women there and I know He spoke to me through the entire process preparing and pouring it out. This message is more than I spoke and less in some ways because God gives the listener exactly what He wants them to have. Aren’t you thankful that He does?
I Am Not Enough, but He Is
Enough – the world tells us we are enough, that we don’t need anyone or anything…to succeed, to be happy, to have a fulfilling life. The world values hard work and accomplishment, being “enough”.
But what happens when we buy into this kind of thinking? Or try to live up to this “You are enough” well, the focus becomes all about us, it becomes all about ME.
I am strong, I am great, I am fabulous but in reality, I am really weak, I am not good (the Bible even says I’m not, that no one is) I am not enough, but He certainly is!
One of the things God has shown me and that I have embraced is that my identity is in Christ alone, I don’t worry about messing up or hitting a wrong note, I don’t need to worry if you all don’t like me, I don’t need to worry about what the world thinks of me and I don’t have to worry about all the things – never writing another song, losing everything, even the people I love… Christ Jesus, my Savior, my Redeemer, He is all and everything I need. He is enough and if I never do anything significant – that’s okay! Jesus is enough!
Turn to Luke 10:38-42 esv (vs 42 csb) Oh not this story again!
38 Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. 40 But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” 41 But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, 42 but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”
Vs 42 CSB “but one thing is necessary. Mary has made the right choice, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Notice Martha is caught up in what she is doing. Yes, she is serving the Lord, which seems like a good thing, it is not that the task itself is wrong, that serving the Lord is wrong but her focus is not where it should be. The Greek for “distracted” (periespato) means to be pulled away, or pulled apart, overburdened.
Jesus says, “Martha, Martha” He is so endearing as He addresses her, He loves her and wants her to be in His presence more than her feeding Him a good meal.
She is putting serving Jesus before being in His presence.
Don’t we do this? I know I certainly have! I get burdened, distracted by all the good things I have to do. I have this struggle of serving Jesus over being with Jesus.
I know that I cannot serve Jesus properly without first being in His presence. I can’t serve others without first being in His presence.
The focal verse 2 Corinthians 12:9
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
My grace is sufficient for you
Sufficient = enough or adequate
Sufficient means enough to meet the needs of a situation or a proposed end
His grace is enough to meet your needs!
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness!”
Jesus met Martha there in her weakness and offered an invitation to sit in His presence, to grow closer to Him.
He said “my power is made perfect in weakness”
Jesus’ power is made perfect when we deny ourselves, when we quit striving, when we lay ourselves down at the feet of Christ, when we take the focus off of ourselves and put it on Him.
“therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
The world says boast in yourself, your accomplishments, your successes. You usually don’t see people boasting in their failures, their shortcomings, their weaknesses.
In the following verse, 2 Corinthians 12:10 it says “For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
While preparing I found this quote “Human weakness provides the ideal opportunity for the display of divine power.” We need to be weak, humble so the power of Christ may rest upon us, for divine power to be displayed!
Immediately preceding these verses, Paul talks about his thorn in the flesh, how it torments him and how it keeps him from becoming conceited. This is our human tendency, to boast about ourselves. Paul begs for the thorn to be taken away but Jesus gives this answer “my grace is sufficient” and Paul’s response “ok then, I’ll boast about my weaknesses so that the power of Jesus will rest upon me”
I’m guessing we’ve all suffered some hardships, difficulties beyond what others see when they look at us from the outside. Some of us have lost loved ones, I lost my mom in September and I felt almost completely alone except for Jesus; maybe you’ve got a prodigal child, received a hard diagnosis or a million other things that have stolen your joy, kept you simply going through the motions or made you wonder how you were going to make it through another day.
But what if we embraced our weaknesses? I don’t know if Martha thought of her serving as weakness but that’s where Jesus steps in and says so sweetly, so lovingly “Martha, Martha, come be with me.”
What if your weakness reminded you to get on Your face, cling to Jesus and trust Him more?
What if your weakness reminded you that His grace is sufficient, that He is enough?
What if your weakness brought you closer to Jesus?
Paul writes in Philippians 4:12-13
“I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”
We’ve often seen verse 13 viewed as “we can do anything” but if we look at it in context we see that it says “we can be content in all things because of Him who gives me the strength to do so”
Union with the living, exalted Christ is the secret of being content and it was the source of Paul’s strength.
But how do we get there? Be content? Embrace our weakness? Rest in Jesus’ strength and His power?
By being with Him, abiding with Him.
Let’s go back to Luke 10:39 “And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching.”
The Greek “ēkouen” (listened to his teaching) means that she was continually listening to the Master or that it was her custom to do so.
Verse 42 “One thing is necessary, Mary has made the right choice, (chosen the good portion), which will not be taken away from her.”
It is NECESSARY (needed, essential) for us to choose Jesus and spend time with Him.
Linger in the presence of Jesus – what you learn and gain there will not, cannot be taken away from you.
Are you feeling overwhelmed – spend time in His presence
Feeling unloved – spend time in His presence
Feeling alone – spend time in His presence
Feeling helpless – spend time in His presence
Feeling broken – spend time in His presence
Feeling numb – spend time in His presence
Spend time with Jesus, unrushed, undistracted, make Him a priority over everything else.
I have Martha tendencies, I am prone to empty pursuits, distracted by to-do lists, expectations and striving. I struggle to sit still long enough to let the truth take root in my heart. I’ll pick up my stupid phone or watch tv or do so many other things when Jesus is right here wanting time with me. I so want to be like Mary, to sit at the feet of Jesus, to be in His presence, to listen to His teaching. I am so thankful for a Savior that loves Martha and Mary, that pours out His grace on both of them and gives us this example in His Word that we can relate to, see ourselves in and find the cure for our weary hearts.
How do we put this into practice? How did Mary get to this place?
John 12:1-3 Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany where Lazarus was, the one Jesus had raised from the dead. 2 So they gave a dinner for him there; Martha was serving them, and Lazarus was one of those reclining at the table with him. 3 Then Mary took a pound of perfume, pure and expensive nard, anointed Jesus’s feet, and wiped his feet with her hair. So the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.
Mary’s act of devotion was costly…it was a sacrifice. She used her hair to wipe his feet, an act of humility.
This is how we get there, sacrifice and humility.
Sacrificing our “time”, things we think are important, even good things to choose Jesus first.
Being humble, let’s quit pretending we’re ok, let’s take off the masks and not care what anyone else thinks about us. Let’s lay down our pride, see our need, our weakness.
What can you lay down, lay aside for more time in Jesus’ presence? And are we ready to get real and humble ourselves before Him?
He is calling….He is saying “Christy, Christy” come be with me.
Let’s choose the better thing…Jesus and sit in His presence. What we gain will not be taken away.