The fear of not being provided for (not having enough)
I am going to just talk to you this week. This season leading up to Easter has broken in me in many ways. Preacher wisdom would say, “Kevin, it is your fault for preaching on the greatest fears of life and doubling down with a class on forgiveness at the same time.” In other words, due to my poor selection of topics I have led me to this place. I am not really buying the preacher wisdom entirely, but I will say this: talking about fear and the tentacles of it, stirs the soul at a pretty deep place.
This week’s topic: t the fear of not being provided for or not having enough.
Many ways we could go here, right? We could talk about our perception of what is enough, and talk about the line between want and needs. We could talk about this world of marketing that wants us at all times to feel like we are in a deficit and that we need more things. We could go to a lot of places, but this week, I just want to talk about how I have experienced this fear.
Fear that comes from the Enemy- aka the ruler of this world according to John 14:30 – and is destructive and bases little to none of his accusations in fact. Well, the charges start with a truth of sorts and sound like this:
Devil: Kevin, you have this life with your wife, kids, a house and a job. But that is about as far as facts go.
From there, the fear the Devil uses sounds something like this:
Devil: You have some stuff, but is it really enough?
Devil: Kevin, you have gotten fooled into to believing what you are doing is enough and that it provides you with enough.
Devil: Look at your friends and also the people that are on Facebook. They have more than you do. Why can’t you have that type of stuff and those things?
Devil: You should have those things. Why don’t you have those things…long pause here for me to think and reflect —
Me: WHY I don’t have these things.
Devil: Well, if you had chosen a different job and a different path, you could have those things.
Me now talking to myself because I have taken the bait of the Devil: You messed it all up, Kevin. You should have done this or that. And if you had, well (another dramatic pause)…. it would have been different.
Me: But you didn’t, so you need to do something now.
Me: Get mad.
Me: Try harder.
Me: Escape through some vice that always leaves you unsatisfied but feels right in the moment.
Me: Compromise the things that mean to most to you to chase down the things that we just established that you need.?!.!?
(See how these last steps leads to all sorts of sin and sideways-ness)
I am sure your internal battles look different, but I know it still happens. Part of chasing after God and wanting to do as He wants you to do means that you will wrestle in this way in some form or fashion that fits your current reality.
My days leading towards Easter have been filled with this type of wrestling. Wrestling with not only this fear and this battle as I just articulated but with other struggles.
I feel tired.
I feel restless.
I feel worn down.
And that is where I am today.
I read this verse this morning, and I have been sitting with it and letting it speak to me.
Jesus says in John 14:14,
“When you ask for anything in my name, I will do it.”
I read this verse this morning, and I just stopped. Before I dove into the passage this morning, there were two pages of frustrated questions, assertions, and cries in my journal and then I read this. I stopped.
I am wrestling with these two things:
1. What should I ask for – what do I really want and what do I need? How do I tell the difference?
2. And how to apply this hinge that all of the Christian life swings on — asking for things in Jesus name is not just using Jesus’ name as a magic word but instead it is about aligning our hearts and prayers with Jesus’ name – His person, His ways and His will.
Do you see that? That is the kicker. For me, the answer to my greatest questions lies not in determining what I need and want and the line. The real dilemma is this: Is my life aligned, submitted and surrendered to Jesus?
Am I in submitted to Jesus in a way that is shaping my days and all of my ways? Or am I more surrendered to my own whims and wants?
Furthermore, this week, the passage we are looking at in the sermon to address this fear of not being provided for or having enough is found in John 6:35.
Jesus said this to people that were both physically and emotionally and spiritually hungry:
“I am the bread of life.”
Jesus is saying, “I am what you need most and I am here. You can come to my table, and I have enough to provide for your deepest needs.”
That is where God has me this week. I write with the hope and desire that it helps.
I write knowing that as N.T. Niles once said:
Christianity is one beggar telling another beggar where he found bread.
Come to the table and eat.
Strength and courage,