|Is Jesus Enough?
by Chip Brogden
"After they had eaten, Jesus asked Simon Peter, 'Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these other things?'" (John 21:15).
If Jesus was all you had, would Jesus be enough for you? Many precious believers are in love with the things of the Lord, but they are not in love with the Lord Himself. Many Christian workers and ministers are in love with the Lord's work. Almost without realizing it, the work of the Lord becomes more important than the Lord of the work. There are prophets and teachers who hold words from God in higher esteem than the God Who speaks the words they attribute as being from Him. People seek these words and teachings. The more they receive, the more they want. Before one word is digested they are craving another. They are seeking "things" - words, prophecies, teachings, visions, dreams - but they are not seeking the Lord Himself. Is Jesus enough?
When the saints gather together most of the activity is focused on "one another". This is important, but it is not the most important thing. Fellowship is good: but is Jesus enough? Gatherings are good: but is Jesus enough? Meetings are good: but is Jesus enough? Special speakers and special music are good: but is Jesus enough?
Even with praise and worship it is possible to sing "about" Jesus and not truly worship Jesus. With preaching and teaching it is possible to talk "about" Jesus and not truly meet Jesus in what is shared. In prayer it is possible to talk "about" our needs and never actually commune with Jesus Himself.
Among Christians I have discovered something. There is Jesus, and then there are all the things ABOUT Jesus that are NOT Jesus. Jesus Himself occupies only a small portion of what is said and done in Christian circles. Most of what is said and done is merely ABOUT Jesus, but it is NOT Jesus. I have learned that stress, strife, disillusionment, dissatisfaction, bitterness, anger, hurt, misunderstanding, and confusion comes from everything said and done by religious people ABOUT the Lord, and IN THE NAME of the Lord, that does not, in fact, have anything to do with Jesus Himself.
How much of your focus is directed to the things of God, and not to God Himself? How much of your discussion centers on things about Jesus, and not Jesus Himself? Just look around. This brother is focused on end-time events, and that sister is devoted to inner healing. This brother is primarily concerned with prophetic things, while another sister is keenly interested in spiritual warfare. That brother is deeply involved with theological discussions, while that sister is in love with Christian music. One movement emphasizes this particular thing, and another group stands for another thing.
There may be diversities of gifts and callings. There may be various and sundry things to be involved with. There may be many topics to study and discuss. Many things compete for our time, attention, affection, energy, and money. But there is only one Lord Jesus. Just as some people cannot see the forest for the trees, I believe most sinners cannot see Jesus for the Christians. And I believe most Christians cannot see Jesus for the "church". Is Jesus enough?
Whenever I am ministering to pastors, whatever they think their calling is, I always have them turn to Mark 3:14:
"And he ordained twelve, that they should BE WITH HIM, and that He might send them forth to preach."
You are called to be with Jesus. That is your calling. That is the primary thing, the highest ministry. Going forth to preach or do anything else is of secondary importance. We should be with Jesus; after that, He might send us forth to preach. But before Jesus said, "Go into all the world" He said, "Be with Me."
The call of the Lord is not more important than the Lord of the call. The work of the Lord must not replace the Lord of the work. No amount of ministering FOR the Lord will make up for a lack of ministering TO the Lord. And knowing the Word of God does not necessarily mean that we know the God of the Word. Everyone wants to go and do something for God, but few people are willing to stay and do "nothing" for Him. Jesus asked Peter, "Am I enough for You? Do you love Me more than everything else? Do you love Me more than you love the things about Me?" A few weeks later, when Peter stood with John before the religious rulers to explain the healing of a man who had never walked, "...they marveled; and they took knowledge of [Peter and John], that THEY HAD BEEN WITH JESUS" (Acts 4:13b). If we will be with Jesus, then Jesus will be with us.
The reason the New Testament church had power was not because they spoke in tongues, or held meetings in their living rooms, or had a certain system for planting churches. The secret was they had been with Jesus. But some Christians are more in love with methods and ministries than they are in love with the Man. The prophets and teachers in the church of Antioch were gathered together: not to have a house church conference, not to begin a new ministry, not to discuss the latest prophetic word or the newest teaching, not to exchange ideas on how to grow the church, not to fellowship, not to share a meal, not to minister to one another. But "as they ministered TO THE LORD, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said..." (Acts 13:2a).
Paul and his fellow workers had many souls to save, many disciples to make, many churches to plant, many places to visit, many messages to deliver, many letters to write. There were many needs to be met, many doors of opportunity before them. But the work was suspended. Activity ceased. Ministry came to a standstill. Fellowship and food were forgotten. The prophets were there, but the prophets did not prophesy. The teachers were there, but the teachers did not teach. Instead, they ministered to the Lord. The focus shifted from horizontal to vertical. The emphasis was directed away from man and man's needs, and onto the Lord and His Need. They were busy being with Jesus. They were at His feet. So when the Holy Ghost finally spoke, they were ready to go forth. Thus began the first missionary journey of Paul.
When apostles love church planting and mission work more than Jesus, then they are saying that Jesus is not enough. When prophets love their prophecies, dreams, and visions more than they love Jesus, then they are saying that Jesus is not enough. When evangelists love traveling, preaching, and holding meetings more than they love Jesus, then they are saying that Jesus is not enough. When pastors love their church services and building programs more than they love Jesus, then they are saying that Jesus is not enough. When teachers love their teachings more than they love Jesus, then they are saying that Jesus is not enough. When preachers love their preaching more than they love Jesus, then they are saying that Jesus is not enough. When ministers love their ministry more than they love Jesus, then they are saying that Jesus is not enough. When musicians love their music more than they love Jesus, then they are saying that Jesus is not enough. When writers love their writings more than they love Jesus, then they are saying that Jesus is not enough. And when the simplest disciples grow tired of "just" being with Jesus, and begin to long for something bigger, something better, something greater, something more powerful, something other than what they have in Jesus already, then they are saying that Jesus is not enough.
If Jesus was all you had, would Jesus be enough for you? Or do you have to have all the "trappings" of Christianity, all the bells and whistles, all the toys and trinkets? Make no mistake: there is no life in the things that are ABOUT Jesus. There is life only in Jesus Himself.
May I speak candidly? If you are dissatisfied and disappointed with your Christian walk today, it is only because of one thing: Jesus is not enough for you. Somewhere along the line, something else became more important than Jesus. Maybe you have become focused on the things ABOUT Jesus that are NOT Jesus. There is only one solution. You do not need more of the Lord, because He has already given Himself completely to you already. You just need less of everything else.
Remember what it was like to hear His Voice, to be so filled with passion and love for Him, that you wanted nothing more than to sit at His feet, and hear His Word. Remember when you were so infatuated with Him that you did not want to do anything else. Remember what it was like to just be with Jesus. Go back to when Jesus first called you to be with Him. Go back to the time when all you had was Him. Go back to the time before you were planting churches, speaking prophetic words, preaching to the unsaved, pastoring the congregation, teaching the people, or leading worship. Go back to the time when there was no work, no ministry, no vision, no special calling - except Jesus calling you to be with Him. Remember when you said, "He's all I need!"
So what happened?
I pray the Lord will draw us after Himself and make us thoroughly sick and tired of things - especially the things that are ABOUT Him, but are NOT Him.
God so loved the world that He gave His Only Son, Jesus.
Well... is Jesus enough?
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