Let me ask you something. Is knowing Jesus all that you will ever need?
One more time.
Is Jesus enough? If He’s it… are you good?
I know we all want to say “yes”. I want to say yes. Sometimes I’ll last a day or two in contentment. Then I remember all of things I have programmed myself to feel entitled to. Before I know it, my thoughts run away with themselves and my true motivations show themselves.
My thoughts about Jesus often go like this:
Jesus is my stronghold. I trust Him to keep me safe.
Jesus makes me content in my singleness. I know He has the right husband for me, and I will wait on Him.
I don’t worry about my future, because I know that Jesus has the best job lined up for me.
Jesus has been so faithful to provide the greatest friendships for me.
So I’ve spent some time in prayer, sure, what do I get out of this deal? A job, a friend, a husband, and a safe life. Oh, and yeah I guess Jesus was the guy that gave me all of those things. So yeah, He’s great.
And how sick is it that these thoughts don’t even sound out of place? Too many of us live our lives with a “Jesus +” mentality. We act as if Jesus was a part of this world, not ruler of it. We love Him because He makes our lives on Earth fuller.
But what if all you ever got from a relationship with Jesus was Jesus Himself?
If you never go on a date with Mr. Right.
Never get married.
Never hold your newborn child.
Never travel where you dreamed of.
Never work a day of that job you’ve always wanted.
Never restore that relationship that you lost.
Never make that team.
Never get accepted into that school.
If all you ever have is Jesus.
Is that enough for you?
In the midst of our “vending machine” prayers lives, most of us forget that Jesus taught us how we should pray. Knowing how desperately our selfish hearts would rule our prayer-lives, He laid out the only prayer we ever need, short and simple.
And yet, why is it that I can never seem to get through the Lord’s Prayer without finding myself disagreeing with most of it? Every time I pray it, it seems to go a little too much like this:
Hey God. Here in Matthew, Jesus teaches us how to pray, and I’m so thankful for your provision in my life, so I’m gonna give it a go. Ok, here we go..
FATHER IN HEAVEN, HALLOWED BE YOUR NAME.
Alright, so far all about you God. That’s cool. Hallowed. Holy. I agree! Yeah, you are holy! You’re definitely set apart from me. I mean, I’m not God. I know that.
YOUR KINGDOM COME, YOUR WILL BE DONE…
Ok, so not my will. Not what I have asked of You. Your will.
But… your will is so good! You’ve always provided for me, given me what is best for me. I have great friends and a great family and I go to a great school. Your will is good! Absolutely, Your will be done. I trust that you have the best in mind for me.
…ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN.
Hey, cool! Yeah, I can get on board with that. I mean, Heaven is the best place ever, right?
GIVE US TODAY OUR DAILY BREAD….
Oh, yes Lord! I need your provisions daily. And I trust you with them. Thank you for providing for me today.
…. AND FORGIVE US OUR…
Hold up. Wait. That’s it?
Give us bread?
That’s all you’re promising us?
Bread? Not even bread with cinnamon and sugar and perhaps a boyfriend on top?
What about… when all of my girlfriends get married? Or when I finish college and don’t have a job? What about all of those times that I’ve prayed for my future family? Why are you only promising me food to get by today?
Haven’t I been faithful?
Haven’t I served you?
FORGIVE US OUR DEBTS, AS WE FORGIVE OUR DEBTORS.
So all you’re giving me is bread, and now I have to forgive people.
Ok, Ok. I trust You. What else?
… That’s it?
I’m sorry God, I don’t get it. What does this prayer leave me with?
Food for today.
The ability to forgive.
A world that looks like Heaven,
Things to go Your way….
And… *WHAM* …. By the end of the prayer I’m not only disagreeing with God but I’m telling Him that I’m entitled to more. I’m reciting the words of Matthew, but my heart is chanting a song to myself.
Father in Heaven, you’re definitely different from me. I mean, you’re God.
I want things to go your way because you always seem to have my best in mind.
Give me what I need today, and I trust you with all of my desires.
Thank you for forgiving me.
And just like that, the prayer is about me. Just like that, I am praying to God and asking Him for more. Just like that, I am telling Him that He is not enough.
Friends, this can’t be.
We know that this world has an expiration date. We know that everything possession on this Earth will fade. We know that, apart from God, we are dust.
And yet we have the audacity to look God in the face, praise Him, and then… ask Him for stuff?
Why have we made this normal?
Do you love Jesus, or do you love the blessings that come with Him? Examine your heart, friends. If all else were stripped away: family, friends, career, education, home, health. If all of that were gone, and all that you had was Jesus…
Could you still say, “It is well”?