“You are enough.” It’s the anthem of our time, isn’t it? I mean, there isn’t anyone alive who wants to feel inadequate. Quite the opposite, actually. It feels so good to be praised – to be told we’re everything and more. Who doesn’t want to feel ragingly successful, wholly independent and completely capable? Pretty much nobody. And the world is counting on it.
So is Satan.
While it’s certainly not a bad thing to be a high-functioning individual, we need to remain mindful of God’s perfect plan for man. After all, He created man – each and every one of us. He knows our needs, capabilities and limitations. Heck, He knows the numbers of hairs on our head (Luke 12:7). His knowledge is that intimate. Yet, we often question (or conveniently forget) His plans, design and instruction.
Isn’t it so interesting, though, that anyone rarely questions a chef on his knowledge of a recipe he created? We would never doubt that he knows the best ingredients, preparation and cooking methods to create his signature dish. So, why would we ever doubt that God knows how we can live our best lives? We are His creation, each with a one-of-a-kind recipe and “ingredient” list (strengths, talents, appearances) hand-crafted with deep affection and attention to detail. And though we are each unique, God is very clear on two things for all mankind: 1) He wants a personal relationship with us, just as a Father to His child (2 Corinthians 6:18), and 2) He made us with a need for companionship with others, too (Genesis 2:18).
In fact, God was so clear in the importance of these connections for human flourishing that they became Satan’s first priority to dismantle. Remember, the enemy’s goal is to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10), so what better to ruin than the perfect recipe for man’s best life? Satan doesn’t have it, so he doesn’t want anyone else to enjoy it either. So, in his first recorded act, Satan twists words and ignites pride to create distance between man and God (Genesis 3:1). And to this day, he continually pours fuel and fans those flames, hoping we get hotter and hotter on the idea of self. If we’re not careful, we’ll combust.
We simply can’t survive and thrive this way, despite most of the world’s messaging (which, to be clear, profits from our self-obsession). Make no mistake, it’s quite easy to lose an accurate sense of reality when we’re hyper-focused on our own appearance, success or victimhood, distracting us from the truths of God and loving people He’s put in our lives. God’s plan for us includes life to the fullest (John 10:10); not constant striving (Psalm 46:10). With Him, we break strongholds (2 Corinthians 10:4) and without, we are enslaved to the brokenness of this fallen world (Galatians 5:1).
Satan is crafty in the ways he lures us…often without us even realizing what is happening. Assuredly, Adam and Eve were savoring their intimacy with God, feeling so beloved and not experiencing a worry in the world. But with one crunch of an apple, the juice of sin dripped down the chin of mankind. And with it, came a sticky mess of separation from God and immediate personal shame. They didn’t even see it coming. Eve only wondered what she was missing; what God was keeping from her. Turns out, He was protecting her (and us) from everything that isn’t perfect.
When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. (Genesis 3:6-8)
How quickly it all happened! The temptation, follow-through, realization, shame and then the hiding away from God. It snowballed fast, and I’ll bet Satan was laughing in delight.
Thankfully, God is love, and not only that, but immeasurable love. When His people hid, He sought them out. When He saw their inadequate covering, He clothed them (verse 21). And He does the same for us through Jesus. (Also note that God wasn’t surprised by ANY of what happened. This scene in Genesis is a foreshadowing of His redemption plan through Christ!)
For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost (Luke 19:10)
So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. (Galatians 3:26-27)
From the very beginning, God’s desire has been to commune with us, and He has provided the way for us to share intimacy and eternity with Him. God loves man. He loves you.
But because we are human, we are fallible, distracted, tempted and often led astray. God was so intentional in His protection of man that he quickly provided a helper. “It is not good for man to be alone” were the words spoked by God Himself (Genesis 2:18).
What’s most interesting to me is that He created a warrior of a helper. The original Hebrew word for helper was “ezer” (used 21 times in the Old Testament) always referring to military strength or rescue. God knew there was strength in numbers, and He tells us specifically to share life with others. It is for our good!
Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment.(Proverbs 18:1)
A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken. (Ecclesiastes 4:12)
So, yes, you are enough in the sense that you are worthy, beloved and have purpose. Please, friends, don’t confuse that with the notion that you are enough alone. It’s a lie straight from the pit of hell. It’s a false pretense meant to separate you from protection; a tactic to increase your vulnerability, so Satan can move in and fill your head with ideas to swirl around and obsess over. Man was never meant to be alone. We are only enough together with God and others. And there, we’re met with grace, love and protection.
Lord, thank You that You breathed life into me, just as You did the first man. Thank You that You love me like You do, and that because of Your great love, You offer guidance for my best life. Help me to follow Your wisdom and draw me closer to You and to healthy community. Please put people in my life to point to me to You and open my eyes to any deceptions I may not see on my own. Fill my heart with the hope of victory in You! Amen.