Some say that it’s the lie of the enemy that we, as Christians, aren’t good enough. But while it’s an accusation that packs quite a sting, it’s not a lie at all. In fact, it’s exactly what the Bible says about us. The real lie is self-sufficiency, that we can be enough in ourselves and apart from God. Then the Lord becomes a nice accessory to an already-full life instead of our only hope. This week, God reminded me that He is Jehovah Jireh, the God Who provides, for a reason. He taught me a new way to pray, confirmed it with a song, and then gave me a big fat chance to use it.
A Sermon and a Realization
Last Sunday, God was trying to get somebody’s attention. I’m still not sure exactly who the sermon was directed to or why, but in the 45-minute talk that my pastor gave, one thing was clear. We had all better check ourselves to make sure that we’re right with the Lord. On the way home from church and in the process of doing that – I do some of my best praying and even better HEARING while driving – it occurred to me that I was sincerely doing the best I could at that moment. If there was anything else I needed, if I was short in any area, I was simply not going to be able to provide it for myself. God would have to do it for me.
After all, I thought. God has given me everything I have (1 Corinthians 4:7, James 1:17). In and of myself, there is no good thing (Romans 3:10), and apart from Him, I can do nothing (John 15:4-5). It’s true of all of us. In fact, when we are serving Him with our whole hearts, truly endeavoring to give Him our time, talent, resources, and worship, there WILL come a point when there is nothing more we can do to be “good enough.” That is the exact moment we realize that it’s not ABOUT us. It’s about Him: Jehovah Jireh, “The Lord Will Provide” (Genesis 22:14).
A New Way to Pray
Then I had another thought. I should pray for provision.
“Dear God, please give me everything I need to be pleasing to you. I’m doing my best, but you picked the foolish things of this world to put to shame the wise, the weak things to put to shame the mighty, and the base things to bring to nothing the things that are so that no flesh will glory in Your presence” (1 Corinthians 1:27-29). I was never meant to be enough in myself. Lord, please give me your provision.”
I spent the rest of the day praying off and on for “provision” whenever I thought of it. That evening after Sunday night service, I came home and checked the private Facebook group associated with this blog. Earlier that day, I had posted a “Sunday Song Day” post asking for people to comment with their newest favorite song to worship the Lord. Until that moment, though, no one had responded. Then I saw the first and only comment besides my own. A sister in Christ had posted the song “Jireh” by Elevation Worship. I just KNEW the song was for me. (Later, the sister told me that she had meant to comment a different song, but she couldn’t remember the title. “Jireh” just kept “popping out” at her, so she posted it.) Here are a few of the lyrics.
“Jireh, You are enough“Jireh” by Elevation Worship
Jireh, You are enough (so I will be)
I will be content in every circumstance
Jireh, You are enough (He is always enough)…”
I felt incredibly blessed that God would teach me something new and confirm it in a way that let me know that He was behind it. But I would soon remember that God doesn’t go around giving lessons about things without also providing a chance to put it to the test.
Then Somebody Told Me I’m Not Enough
Just a few short days later, someone I respect a great deal came to tell me that I am lacking in an area. This person wasn’t trying to hurt me. In fact, he sincerely believed he was trying to help. He said there was “something holding me back” from being all he believed God would have me to be, and he was concerned.
The sting was real. Pain, anger, and frustration washed over me. I thought of all of my responsibilities and the times when I give what I’m supposed to give of my time, do what I’m supposed to do, and be in my heart what God would have me to be. Past that, I searched myself for a way to provide the desire and the abilities necessary in that one area, but — like a little 4 cylinder Ford Escort trying to merge into freeway traffic — I just don’t have it in me.
The more I thought about it, the more the enemy brought his taunts and jeers. See, the enemy wants us to feel bad about ourselves. He wants us to get tired of striving, weary in well-doing, and so discouraged by our meager capacity in light of what our great God deserves that we will give up the fight. He will tell us that no matter what we do, we will never be good enough for God (and he will be right).
But God saw this conversation coming a mile away. He might have even been the one in charge of it. In any case, He totally set me up. I had this blog already almost written, so there was only one thing for me to do from there. I had to pray for provision.
God Will Provide
“…God will provide Himself a lamb…”Genesis 22:8
God provided a ram in the thicket so that Abraham did not have to sacrifice his son, Isaac (Genesis 22:13). “And Abraham called the name of the place, The-Lord-Will-Provide (Jehovah Jireh); as it is said to this day, ‘In the Mount of the Lord it shall be provided'” (Genesis 22:14). This is a foreshadowing of when He provided His Son Jesus as a Lamb for the Passover sacrifice (1 Corinthians 5:7). It’s the blood of Jesus that covers our sin and allows us to stand before a sinless, holy God.
As for us, He tells us that He chose us (Ephesians 1:4), He loves us (1 John 4:19), and He will provide for us (Philippians 4:19) when we don’t have it in us to do it for ourselves. Yes, we have a responsibility to die to self and live for God, but we must never get to the place where we feel we have to measure up. After all, our righteousness is filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). It is only the precious blood of Jesus that makes us “enough,” and God has given it to us freely.
So until Jesus comes or calls us Home, we will fight the world, the flesh, and the devil — and sometimes we will lose. We will also be faced with times when God wants to push us in ways that hurt. When that happens and the enemy of our souls comes to you with accusations that you aren’t good enough, simply agree with him. Pray for provision, and Jehovah Jireh will give you everything you need.
“I’m already lovedJireh” by Elevation Worship
I’m already chosen
I know who I am
I know what You’ve spoken
I’m already loved
More than I could imagine
And that is enough, oh-oh”
Interested in more articles about prayer? Check out Hope For Lost Loved Ones: God’s Mercy in Trials, a new way to pray for lost loved ones. Or, Make God’s Will My Will: A New Way to Pray. In that one, I tell the story of a “God wink” involving a prayer and a piece of coconut cake. Please subscribe in the upper right corner (or at the bottom on a phone). Also, check out my YouTube Channel. There, I read my blogs out loud and have a playlist of hymns from my church. Far from boring, they are fast, sassy, and anointed. I hope you will be blessed listening!