The last Sunday that I was at Perimeter Pointe Church, Sam spent a little time unpacking the idea that our BEING and our DOING are entirely different things, but our tendency is to inextricably link them to the point that we lose ourselves in what we do.
I’ve spent the last few months working through a curriculum that’s all about finding your identity in Christ. The whole process has torn down some of the most hideous lies that I’ve told myself for years. I’m still very much in process and, as I’m learning, I will be for the rest of my life. But as I grasp more and more of the truth and attempt to live from a place of humility and utter dependence on Jesus, the more I want to kick open doors for the people around me in hopes that they’ll begin to experience the same freedom.
The thing I’m just beginning to grasp is the difference between walking in the flesh (or in my own strength) and walking by the Spirit (relying on Christ’s strength in me), and it’s changing my life. We were never intended to carry the load. The burden of being enough is too much to bear and we will buckle under the weight of it every time. But Christ’s strength is inexhaustible. His sufficiency is immeasurable. His grace is eternal. His love is unconditional.
One of my favorite songs to sing right now is Christ Is Enough by Hillsong. It speaks so much truth so beautifully. When I’m really honest with myself, though I realize that I believe that, but only to a certain point.
Christ is enough for me…
But is he enough when the money runs out?
Is he enough when my kids are sick?
Is he enough when I’m fighting with my wife?
That’s when I have the choice to walk in the flesh or walk in the Spirit.
My mentor had me write down some scriptures that reinforced this truth for me. I carry them around in a money clip (no intended significance) and I try to read them at least once a day.
I’d like to share some of those with you in hopes that you, too, will remember that Christ is enough, but we’re part of the process. We have to allow him to occupy those spaces that we often rush to fill with lesser, but more tangible things. We have to rest in his sufficiency and embrace our brokenness. Only then will we find the peace that comes from detaching our BEING from our DOING.
I pray that these scriptures give you rest and reaffirm your trust in a Savior that will always be enough.
Philippians 1:6 –
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.
17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.
2 Cor 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.
2 Cor 3:5-6
5 Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God,
6 who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Jonathan and his wife Candi live North of Atlanta with their two boys – Elias and Ellery. In addition to leading worship, he has a passion to see men engage in their ministries and families more deeply through intentional community and the practice of solitude. As a result, he formed the Desert Sessions in 2008 and still leads retreats as frequently as he can. He is the founder of Sycamore Abbey. He hopes, through Sycamore Abbey, to provide a sanctuary that restores vitality in ministry leaders, creating healthy people who make up healthy churches and communities. To learn more, go to sycamoreabbey.com, or follow him on Twitter @jonathansh3lton.