I Want To Be … But I Am Not (Struggling With Sufficiency)
I want to be a God-fearing wife who respects and lovingly submits to her husband. I want to be a mom who shows patience, kindness, and leads her children to be followers of Christ. I want to share the gospel with my neighbors and love others well. I want to spend quality time in the Word, pray, and live a life of purity in a world that is becoming darker and darker.
How do we live a life that pleases the Lord as women and how do we have victory in areas where we struggle?
After many conversations with women, the theme I keep hearing is “I am not enough, I am not adequate, I keep failing.” We all struggle with our sufficiency. And we try to find it in many things. But what we need to understand is that we are not sufficient in our own strength…but God is.
The other day, my kids and I were rushing home from school to fix a quick supper then be at church to serve. As my daughter was fixing the macaroni and cheese, she had the water boiling and was trying to open the bag with the noodles in it. She pulled hard on both sides until it broke open with noodles flying everywhere. We laughed as we all got on our hands and knees, scooping up the noodles that covered the kitchen floor and counter. (I am still finding noodles days later!)
As I thought back to seeing those noodles flying around the kitchen, the Lord reminded me that we make a mess of things doing them in our own strength and power.
I am not sufficient, but He is. I am not capable, but He is. In my weakness, He is made strong.
Second Corinthians 3:5-6 says: “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit, for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.”
The Lord reminds us in these verses that
1. We are not sufficient in ourselves.
The word sufficient means “enough” or “adequate”. Here in 2 Corinthians, Paul is showing that the ministry he had been given was not something he gave himself. In 2 Corinthians 2:17 he said, “for we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ.” We do not have the ability on our own to do what God has called us to do. As women, we will find that our own abilities fall short. Our strength – our sufficiency – lies in who God is and He is able.
2. Our sufficiency is from God.
God is sufficient. He is enough. We can rest in knowing that what God calls us to do, He will give us the ability to do. He enables and qualifies us to carry out whatever role He gives us.
3. We are under the new covenant and life comes through His Spirit.
There is a contrast given between the letter and the Spirit. So many times, we try to clean up the outside like the Pharisees did, and we end up with hearts far from the Lord. We are to be ministers of the new covenant that comes from what Christ did for us. The letter – the Law – points out our sin and our need for a Savior. Once we are saved, life comes through His Spirit.
We will face things that cause us to recognize our insufficiency. The next time you are opening a bag of noodles, remember…You’ll make a mess if you try to live in your own power. You are not sufficient, but He is and if you are His child, He gives you the ability to carry out what He has called you to do.
“As His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue.” (2 Pet 1:3)