I feel that there could be some confusion when I say that, “God is enough for you.” As if I expect you to initially imagine no longer needing food, or sleep, or companionship. But Him being enough for you isn’t some magic I’m trying to convince you of. I don’t mean that I live on an island, in isolation from everything “not God” (though I have, literally). And do you know why? It’s because there is nothing that isn’t His. It’s simple: He’s just like a good parent – He gives, not always Himself, directly (though He has), in a way you can see, but of Himself in a steady, never off the clock way that you may never understand.
So He’s enough.
Everyone’s path is different. If you hesitate to believe that a man named Jesus was perfect and holy enough to take on and absolve all the sins of mankind, you are not alone. And I don’t mean there are more who don’t believe like you (though there are) but that there has been and will be more who will believe like you. Paul, a man quoted by Christians at least since his death, was reluctant to say the least. In fact, he once held the coats of some other friends while they murdered a Christian for being a Christian. Was he a man of great faith? Not at first. He had what was, interestingly, one of the easiest roads to Jesus of any of us. Jesus appeared to Him, literally blinded him with His light, and sent him directly to another Christian to have his eyes opened and to set him on the path to a life of apostleship. How can you deny a God who shows Himself so clearly? Paul didn’t. But that’s the only part of His life as a Christian that was easy. He endured torture and imprisonment many times before dying, not as an old man. And do you know what he said about that? “That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (II Corinthians)
Do you know why God is better than the pursuit of happiness? Because you can find happiness without God, but you can’t find God without finding happiness. He made it, you know. For you. But His kind is that good kind, that kind that you never feel guilty about afterwards, you know – when the sky is an impossibly clear blue, when you laugh so hard it hurts, when a piece of music digs in deep and doesn’t let go. When a baby laughs, when your skin meets the heat of a fire after a long time out in the cold. And God gave us those things, those things that are always good. He has given you enough, because He has given you THE WORLD to enjoy. And what has He asked? That you enjoy it. That you acknowledge the Giver. That you admit you live in a world with murder and hate, gossip and lies, selfishness and carelessness, rebellion. And that you repent for your part in that, shed it like the evil that it is, accept that the blood of perfect Jesus is all that will make us clean. I daresay you know you’re not clean, that there’s a shame in you that you dearly wish didn’t exist.
But the minute that you admit, fully, that you aren’t God, aren’t your own God, ought not to be the master of your own fate, a burden will lift off of your back like you wouldn’t believe. You were never meant to carry it, anyway. You’d never cast it off alone.
I’m not just talking to you who don’t believe in Jesus, either. The devil believes, remember? The demons, too. But they won’t make it to paradise. “Believing in God” is like believing that trees give off oxygen. Many believe that, take advantage of it, survive therewith. They have knowledge. But knowledge of God is little more than scientific fact. So many have experienced Him that few deny a “force,” and many more name Him. But a surrender to Jesus isn’t calling out His name when something goes your way, or really doesn’t. It’s not an afterthought in a conversation with an acquaintance who also “believes.” It’s not church on Sunday, it’s not being Republican; it’s not being Democrat. It’s not even being Libertarian. It’s not good southern manners or constant condemnation, or constant acceptance. It’s not something you do when you’re six and then go on as if the world is the same.
It is: a radical, continuous death to self, a perpetual surrender to Creator, a shedding of the desire to live for the one you love the most – yourself – a soaking up of God’s own nature, and therefore a desire to give, to spill out, to be kind, to be just, to ooze peace. It’s a crazy love for a God who speaks to you, who takes away what isn’t for your good and trades it for more than you could think to ask for. It’s a peace and joy that surpasses understanding, defies circumstances, that makes the cut no matter what the devil throws at you. I live that every day, and for you to live it too is all I really want – forever and ever. Forever is going to be, literally, the best thing. Don’t you want that?