My Queen and I turn 65 this year and our life is being marked by a growing hunger after God Himself. Our souls are a thirst for the living God and our heart and flesh cannot be satisfied with religion alone. No longer can correct "interpretations" of truth satisfy us by themselves.
In Genesis 5:21-22 it is stated that, "Enoch lived sixty and five years... and Enoch walked with God." So what's with this, "65" thing? By the time you reach 65 you have tasted of soooo much that, "does not satisfy!" Do I dare put my finger on those areas that by themselves do not and cannot satisfy the soul? I'm not just referring to the worldly substitutes but there are many, many religious fill-ins as well. It seems that human nature, even religious human nature; reaches out on every side for something else to depend on, and, not until everything else disappoints and fails us, will we finally put our entire trust in God Alone!
For Sally and I, we just long for the true and genuine and quite frankly that boils down to, "God and God Alone." He must become OUR REALITY. We do not mean by this that we are not to have the peripheral of life and religion but they must never be a substitute or replace the Foundation.
Let's visit God's denominated church on the eve of Christ's 1st coming. The whole organization and its people were a stir that God was going to visit this world and they were all looking for Him. They had read the prophecies and they knew the Scriptures but almost no one recognized Him when he came. We believe the churches are in the same dilemma today. As Timothy says, "Having a FORM of godliness, but denying the POWER thereof." 2 Timothy 3:5. Form means we go through the motions, we have the mental assent, we are even active and involved but are missing the central ingredient, the power that makes the difference and that power is God In Us through his son Jesus Christ.
This Foundation is missing not only in our churches but in our marriages as well. When Sally and I do marriage counseling, each and every troubled marriage has the same thing missing. A missing Foundation that if properly understood and entered into would revitalize every marriage. If we can, by God's grace, convince both parties to pick up this ingredient, the marriage not only survives but also thrives. That ingredient, that missing element, that Foundation is that each party must become, "GOD GOVERNED" every day and lay down their, "MAN MANAGED," lives each and every day of their lives. Almost all these couples belong to the same denomination, believe in the same dogmas and are involved in keeping the same system operating, but they lack the POWER over self while going through the FORM. IS that you? Honestly now, it may not even be intentional, but do you lack the power of the indwelling Christ in your daily life and marriage???
How do you know? Are you and your spouse truly IN LOVE? Do you LOVE those that see things differently than you, that disagree with you, that get under your skin? If not, then all you have is religion and not the power of a transformed heart and character. Because this kind of love needs Divine power. God's power of love that sacrifices itself for the betterment of the relationship without surrendering principle.
Do you possess it? Really now, do you possess this kind of love? A sacrificial love, a love that goes beyond the norm, that's the kind of powerful love that made Jesus our example.
Elijah has often befuddled me. After he challenged King Ahab and told him there would be neither rain nor dew for 3 years, he hid by the Brook Cherith and there was CONTENT to be with God and God alone. Could you? Honestly now, if you were to be sent to live by a brook by yourself with no companionship, no contact with the outside world, no i-Phone, no Internet access, no Facebook, no e-mails, no TV or videos but only you and the living God, could you be CONTENT? Could you be satisfied? Or would you be bored to death after 3 days let alone 3 years?
There was a time in my previous 65 years that I could not have endured such aloneness with God. But no longer, for now, "GOD is ENOUGH" for me. He's taking me through a stripping process that has removed the false comforts of church and government, ministry and reputation, support and helpers, friends and family, correct doctrines and lifestyles and is stabilizing me to rest in HIM ALONE. This stripping process is necessary for all. Abraham went through it, as did Joseph and Paul. Some call it, "The Shaking" others call it, "Brokenness," or, "Total Abandonment," but regardless of what you call it and what age you find it at, it is imperative that you find God and God Alone, for its the peace that passes all understanding.
Take Job for example. His story begins where he is wealthy and powerful; he has many children; he is kind and generous, a model of faith. Then the scene changes abruptly. In the heavenly arena, Satan challenges God, arguing that Job is good and faithful because God has made it so easy for him, that he serves God for His gifts. That Job's comfort is not in God and God alone. So Satan wants to put this man to the test, and God allows him to take away Job's wealth, then his children, and finally his health (Job 1-2).
Job is left with nothing but his pain. Quite a stripping process isn't it? He sits on an ash heap, where he laments, scratches his sores, and longs to understand his stripping process. His three friends ventured to explain why he suffered so much: they say it's because he has gravely sinned, or done something to deserve it. His wife tells him to curse God.
It might all seem so random and unfair to us but God has a MESSAGE in it for all generations. Job shows us that, "GOD is ENOUGH," a trusting in God that goes beyond our current circumstances. Satan wanted something more than God and that's why he wanted to put Job to the test hoping he would fail to trust in God Alone. However, God wanted to show not only Satan but also you and I that our true need is nothing less than God Himself!
God is Enough,
Jim & Sally