Is Jesus Enough?

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  • April 11, 2009
itsawonderfullife

“After they had eaten, Jesus asked Simon Peter, ‘Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these other things?’” (John 21:15).

If Jesus was all you had, would Jesus be enough for you? Many precious believers are in love with the things of the Lord, but they are not in love with the Lord Himself. Many Christian workers and ministers are in love with the Lord’s work. Almost without realizing it, the work of the Lord becomes more important than the Lord of the work.

There are prophets and teachers who hold words from God in higher esteem than the God Who speaks the words they attribute as being from Him. People seek these words and teachings. The more they receive, the more they want. Before one word is digested they are craving another. They are seeking “things” – words, prophecies, teachings, visions, dreams – but they are not seeking the Lord Himself.

Is Jesus enough?

When the saints gather together most of the activity is focused on “one another”. This is important, but it is not the most important thing. Fellowship is good: but is Jesus enough? Gatherings are good: but is Jesus enough? Meetings are good: but is Jesus enough? Special speakers and special music are good: but is Jesus enough?

Even with praise and worship it is possible to sing “about” Jesus and not truly worship Jesus. With preaching and teaching it is possible to talk “about” Jesus and not truly meet Jesus in what is shared. In prayer it is possible to talk “about” our needs and never actually commune with Jesus Himself.

Among Christians I have discovered something. There is Jesus, and then there are all the things ABOUT Jesus that are NOT Jesus. Jesus Himself occupies only a small portion of what is said and done in Christian circles. Most of what is said and done is merely ABOUT Jesus, but it is NOT Jesus.

I have learned that stress, strife, disillusionment, dissatisfaction, bitterness, anger, hurt, misunderstanding, and confusion comes from everything said and done by religious people ABOUT the Lord, and IN THE NAME of the Lord, that does not, in fact, have anything to do with Jesus Himself.

How much of your focus is directed to the things of God, and not to God Himself? How much of your discussion centers on things about Jesus, and not Jesus Himself?

Just look around. This brother is focused on end-time events, and that sister is devoted to inner healing. This brother is primarily concerned with prophetic things, while another sister is keenly interested in spiritual warfare. That brother is deeply involved with theological discussions, while that sister is in love with Christian music. One movement emphasizes this particular thing, and another group stands for another thing.

There may be diversities of gifts and callings. There may be various and sundry things to be involved with. There may be many topics to study and discuss. Many things compete for our time, attention, affection, energy, and money.

But there is only one Lord Jesus.

Just as some people cannot see the forest for the trees, I believe most sinners cannot see Jesus for the Christians. And I believe most Christians cannot see Jesus for the “church”.

Is Jesus enough?

Whenever I am ministering to pastors, whatever they think their calling is, I always have them turn to Mark 3:14:

“And he ordained twelve, that they should BE WITH HIM, and that He might send them forth to preach.”

You are called to be with Jesus. That is your calling. That is the primary thing, the highest ministry. Going forth to preach or do anything else is of secondary importance. We should be with Jesus; after that, He might send us forth to preach. But before Jesus said, “Go into all the world” He said, “Be with Me.”

The call of the Lord is not more important than the Lord of the call. The work of the Lord must not replace the Lord of the work. No amount of ministering FOR the Lord will make up for a lack of ministering TO the Lord. And knowing the Word of God does not necessarily mean that we know the God of the Word.

Everyone wants to go and do something for God, but few people are willing to stay and do “nothing” for Him.

Jesus asked Peter, “Am I enough for You? Do you love Me more than everything else? Do you love Me more than you love the things about Me?”

A few weeks later, when Peter stood with John before the religious rulers to explain the healing of a man who had never walked, “…they marveled; and they took knowledge of [Peter and John], that THEY HAD BEEN WITH JESUS” (Acts 4:13b).

If we will be with Jesus, then Jesus will be with us.

The reason the New Testament church had power was not because they spoke in tongues, or held meetings in their living rooms, or had a certain system for planting churches. The secret was they had been with Jesus.

But some Christians are more in love with methods and ministries than they are in love with the Man.

The prophets and teachers in the church of Antioch were gathered together: not to have a house church conference, not to begin a new ministry, not to discuss the latest prophetic word or the newest teaching, not to exchange ideas on how to grow the church, not to fellowship, not to share a meal, not to minister to one another. But “as they ministered TO THE LORD, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said…” (Acts 13:2a).

Paul and his fellow workers had many souls to save, many disciples to make, many churches to plant, many places to visit, many messages to deliver, many letters to write. There were many needs to be met, many doors of opportunity before them.

But the work was suspended. Activity ceased. Ministry came to a standstill. Fellowship and food were forgotten. The prophets were there, but the prophets did not prophesy. The teachers were there, but the teachers did not teach.

Instead, they ministered to the Lord. The focus shifted from horizontal to vertical. The emphasis was directed away from man and man’s needs, and onto the Lord and His Need. They were busy being with Jesus. They were at His feet.

So when the Holy Ghost finally spoke, they were ready to go forth. Thus began the first missionary journey of Paul.

When apostles love church planting and mission work more than Jesus, then they are saying that Jesus is not enough.

When prophets love their prophecies, dreams, and visions more than they love Jesus, then they are saying that Jesus is not enough.

When evangelists love traveling, preaching, and holding meetings more than they love Jesus, then they are saying that Jesus is not enough.

When pastors love their church services and building programs more than they love Jesus, then they are saying that Jesus is not enough.

When teachers love their teachings more than they love Jesus, then they are saying that Jesus is not enough.

When preachers love their preaching more than they love Jesus, then they are saying that Jesus is not enough.

When ministers love their ministry more than they love Jesus, then they are saying that Jesus is not enough.

When musicians love their music more than they love Jesus, then they are saying that Jesus is not enough.

When writers love their writings more than they love Jesus, then they are saying that Jesus is not enough.

And when the simplest disciples grow tired of “just” being with Jesus, and begin to long for something bigger, something better, something greater, something more powerful, something other than what they have in Jesus already, then they are saying that Jesus is not enough.

If Jesus was all you had, would Jesus be enough for you? Or do you have to have all the “trappings” of Christianity, all the bells and whistles, all the toys and trinkets?

Make no mistake: there is no life in the things that are ABOUT Jesus. There is life only in Jesus Himself.

May I speak candidly? If you are dissatisfied and disappointed with your Christian walk today, it is only because of one thing: Jesus is not enough for you. Somewhere along the line, something else became more important than Jesus. Maybe you have become focused on the things ABOUT Jesus that are NOT Jesus.

There is only one solution. You do not need more of the Lord, because He has already given Himself completely to you already. You just need less of everything else.

Remember.

Remember what it was like to hear His Voice, to be so filled with passion and love for Him, that you wanted nothing more than to sit at His feet, and hear His Word.

Remember when you were so infatuated with Him that you did not want to do anything else.

Remember what it was like to just be with Jesus.

Go back to when Jesus first called you to be with Him.

Go back to the time when all you had was Him.

Go back to the time before you were planting churches, speaking prophetic words, preaching to the unsaved, pastoring the congregation, teaching the people, or leading worship.

Go back to the time when there was no work, no ministry, no vision, no special calling – except Jesus calling you to be with Him.

Remember when you said, “He’s all I need!”

So what happened?

I pray the Lord will draw us after Himself and make us thoroughly sick and tired of things – especially the things that are ABOUT Him, but are NOT Him.

God so loved the world that He gave His Only Son, Jesus.

Well… is Jesus enough?

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About Chip Brogden

Chip and his wife, Karla, left the religious system in 1999 to serve those who are following Jesus outside of Organized Religion. Today, The School of Christ reaches more than 135 nations with a simple, consistent, and Christ-centered message.

26 Comments

  • Stephanie says:

    This was like a “warm fuzzy blanket” around me. Just great Chip. If you have been out of I.C. or Church for a long while these words are such comfort. Thanks

  • Greg Colbert says:

    Nice to see it written. So few are interested in putting Jesus first, in developing their own relationship with him. However God’s highest priority is to find a body of people willing to become a bride for his son, to rule as in Genesis 1, not out of knowledge via their own choice of scripture, but out of knowing him as their very life.

    The rest is a spin-off, and by the mercy and love of God, many are blessed.

  • Craig Smith says:

    This moved me deeply; stirring my emotions and pricking my heart with conviction. From Revelation 2…”I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first.” Lord Jesus, forgive us for losing sight of YOU, for replacing you with works and projects and ministries and ideas and stuff and…help us to return to YOU and you alone. Amen

  • Tina Baxley says:

    Oh how true this is. When told that women had to wear skirts/dresses, grow their hair and not preach/teach, I was asked this very question of the Lord. Do you love Me more than these. I said yes, not knowing at the time whether He was speaking of the pants, preaching/teaching, or if He was referring to the men who brought me that message.
    Because those men had been preaching for a long time, I just assumed that I was rebelling, since I did not attend church and only dealt with the Lord. My joy left, but worse than that, the Lover of my soul left. I had to repent for putting on a dress, and for following them, when I should have kept following the Lord Himself. He let me see how our righteousness is but filthy rags.
    That was almost two years ago and I am now only just able to face Him again for being fooled.
    Tender He is that He would allow us to crucify Him yet again, while the one in which He existed says truly He is the Son of God. One thing I have learned, is to never let anyone be my Holy Spirit.
    He is now preparing a table before me in the presence of my enemies. That table is a table of love, and forgiveness as I am being reunited with my first love again, after a lengthy time of running through the streets of Solomons song, and asking, have you seen my Lover.
    Thanks for sharing the Lords heart Chip.

  • Rosdiana says:

    I am so thankful for this article. Thanks brother Chip. I recall several years ago I prayed to The Lord saying: “give me Jesus, and He is enough”.

  • Dan Gidman says:

    Luke 10:38-42 Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”

  • Anna Scott says:

    Jesus is Enough. We are called to be with Jesus. This is our calling. Question pertaining to our livelihood – if we don’t work, we don’t eat. I was just wondering if geographically a person could be in the wrong place. I know Jesus promised never to leave or forsake me. I know He is always here. I know Holy Spirit is my counselor and helper. After asking for wisdom and being open to His will, how will I know what is my next step. I know to follow the peace. I am open to change. Since I have had jobs in various fields (social worker, employment interviewer, stock broker, stay at home mom, intern teacher, customer service representative, homeschool teacher of two children, and at home appointment setter) and have not been on the most conventional path but have been one trying to be available to my children and husband and not on the career path. I’ve always had the desire to live in another country and experience another culture. I am drawn to the simple life. I don’t need alot of stuff, it’s like baggage to me that hold me back. I do know that Holy Spirit spoke to me over 20 yrs. ago driving home after my last term before graduating college to travel light through this life and depend on Him, people will fail me. In the natural, I could just read the Word, pray, do temp work and be a free bird. I’ve never been one to imagine living in the same house for 19 years but I have. My life just seems like something is off even though Jesus is Lord and I have learned not to be a people pleaser (except in the situation with my spouse). It’s a daily seeking the kingdom of God and His way of doing things. I am living by faith and trusting for His guidance. My husband is just on a totally different path, how can two walk together if they don’t agree?Suggestions? Jesus is enough. I still think about God blessing the work of my hands. If I don’t work I don’t eat!! Thanks.

  • OJEDOKUN OLADIMEJI says:

    JESUS IS ENOUGH. WHEN GOD GAVE US CHRIST HE GAVE HIS BEST AND WHEN HE GAVE THE HOLY SPIRIT, HE GAVE HIS ALL. WHAT IS THERE LEFT FOR GOD TO GIVE TO HUMANITY WHEN HE HAD EARLIER EMPTIED HEAVEN OF HIS ALL. THIS TRUTH HOWEVER IS RESERVED FOR THE SIMPLE AT HEART. MAY THE LORD OPEN OUR EYES TO THE SIMPLICITY OF THE TRUTH.

  • mariek wols says:

    Thanks Chip for another thought provoking article.
    It sure triggered afew guestions in my own life and
    the body of Christ. It is easy to fall into that
    trap.Works for the church and ministry can easily
    become more important without realizing. Years ago
    I had a vision of the Lord who could not get in His own church. It sure can be about the Lord
    without touching His heart.Very frightening is the scripture Lord we prophesied in your name depart of me I never knew you. Very sobering to us as Christians.

  • rosemary mariani says:

    I want to thank for this article .It help me that
    see that you get thing not the person again . of Jesus about 2 months ago Lord told same in pray Iwant Jesus more then anything bless you for write thing help us grow in Lord

  • Crystal in Kentucky, USA says:

    Today’s Infinite Supply from this article brought me to tears. For me, Yah-Shua (Jesus) has always been enough, and yet I fight guilt when other people tell me what should be added to my life.

    I realized not long ago that most religious activities were more like talking about the swimming pool than actually going swimming. This article and the Scriptures within it are confirmation that my analogy is right on target.

    Even as a writer, I am so happy to see it pointed out that if I love my writings more than I love Jesus, I am saying He is not enough. I must also remember that if I love the praises of people (which leads me to people pleasing), I am saying Jesus is not enough. God forbid! I do love Yah-Shua (meaning Yah is my salvation and that my salvation is found ONLY in Him) and that is simply enough. Thank you, Chip, for this encouraging wisdom and strength.

  • Svet says:

    What do you do when your best friend does not want yo talk to you and you want to repent and tell him that you love him and want to change, so things can work for the best? Conceder that my friend is also a Christian.

    • John David says:

      Dear Svet,
      As regard your question, I believe it has to start from the place of prayer; “If it is not worth praying for, then its not worth arguing about” Said Chip.
      I believed there is something your friend has seen in you that is causing him to make such decision and all you can do is to turn to the Lord in prayer and allow Him to do as He pleases.

      Once again, this is not time to argue with your friend on who is right or wrong but it is a time the Lord in His own mercy is drawing you more nearer to Himself.. Just like Abram separated from Lot before the Lord could communicate with him again. Lot was a Christian but what God intended to do with Abraham cannot be fulfilled unless Abraham separate from Lot. So also He’s doing this time. To Lot, Soddom and Gormmorah is enough but, to Abraham, God is enough.
      The Lord may later unite you again in the Spirit but first let Him accomplished His works in you.

      May the Lord lead you on how to go about this.Amen

      “The sherperd first before the Sheep”

  • Blenda Hatcher says:

    Thank you for the simple truth concerning the things of our father and Jesus our Lord. Thank you again because the Word has been made so complicated and busy by man. No wonder the world runs from us. Thank you

  • Dave says:

    Hi Brother –

    of course I get where you are coming from – think however that its a bit simplistic to say only the about jesus stuff causes problems.

    Because we are all damaged goods in one way or another we dont get all our problems blasted away in one big event – e.g. the Jesus is enougth event.

    Our (own peculiar)humanity is going to cause us grief as well as the religious stuff.

    Of course its good to get over being religious – God wants things real and He is seeking those that will worship Him in spirit and truth ( all the time or in ever growing ways)- which for me at this time means I have hope that He is the source of this reality that He is leading me to. The journey is still ongoing.

    • Chip Brogden says:

      Jesus said everything can be summed up into “Love God and love your neighbor.” One could argue that’s a bit simplistic too, but the truth is, simple works. There is no merit in making something more complicated than it has to be. Jesus is Enough.

  • Joy says:

    I cherish how the Lord is using you to make us choose who we will serve…how we will serve…and when we will serve him…
    His word through you is clear and direct…it leaves no “wiggle room”. It sends me straight to him, knowing that I am transparent yet loved enough that he would call me to see and hear and know that I am loved. All else pales before him…yes my brother, HE IS ENOUGH…
    Your sister, Joy

  • Valerie says:

    Oh to get this and walk in it. I agree with Dave who said “Our(own peculiar)humanity is going to cause us grief as well as the religious stuff.” When times are hard and the season is dry, my desires gravitate toward the “stuff”. By the grace of God, I am recognizing the idols easier these days- seeking to turn, but the emptiness lures me back. I only have one more thing to say: Come Lord Jesus!

  • Wendy says:

    The Lord is “planting” this in the hearts of leaders, believers and youth – a tremendous cross-section of the church. O, that His message to “Go…” because He is enough, because His Bride is ready to take His Hand, to cast behind her all the glitz and glamour the church has appropriated as her “right”. Jesus, You are enough for me. Help me keep my eyes off man and totally focused on You.

  • Elizabeth says:

    Yes, Jesus is enough.

  • cheryl says:

    I was sharing this article with a group and they pointed out that scripture ‘was taken out of context’ I was not surprised at this; as they were a group that I knew were not going to embrace this message anyway. but I looked the verse up: John 21:15 in various versions and could not find what you have. ….do you love me more than these other things? so, this is were the wall went up and I could not go any further with them. Which version did you use for that particular scripture? thanks so much.

    • Chip Brogden says:

      Hi Cheryl,

      This verse is a paraphrase based on George Lamsa’s translation that reads “these things”. When I looked up the original Greek word in this verse for “these” I discovered it was translated “these” 38 times and “these things” 21 times. There are only two possible meanings for “these” here. Either Jesus means “these things” or “these people”. If you think He asking if Peter loves Him more than “these [people]” then is He asking Peter if Peter loves Jesus more than the other disciples love Jesus, or is He asking if Peter loves Jesus more than Peter loves Peter’s fellow disciples? Both sound strange to me, given the context. In any event, I couldn’t find an example of that Greek word being translated as “these people” anywhere in the New Testament. It was either “these” or “these things.” So I think “these things” helps to clarify for us the question Peter was asked. He had left Jerusalem and gone back to his fishing, and Jesus wanted to know, do you love Me more than your fishing business, your boats, and your nets? And if the answer is “Yes Lord” then the response is, “Follow ME!”

      Your experience with this group is a good example of how religious people take the simplest of truths and stumble over them. Rest assured that I didn’t write this article based on a single interpretation of a single word. Changing the verse from “these” to “these things” or even “these people” has little relevance at all to what the article is asking all of us: what and who do you love the most, and are you willing to follow Jesus even at the expense of everything you hold dear?

  • Joe Griffo says:

    Jesus is everything. I have to read this article more often because it is so easily for me to drift into nonsense…thanks

  • Anastasie says:

    Dear Chip,
    My sister Clare sent this message to me in a period when I was akingmyself many questions about my relationship with Jesus. Am I really the light of the world and since my conversion nothing change around me ? Am I the salt in my home, at work, wherever I go ? Am I showing the character of Christ ? I read your message 2 or 3 times already and I will continue till I give sincere answer to the question I Jesus enough ?

    anastasie

  • steve sam says:

    i am blessed and will love recieve your mails

  • Nick Llanes says:

    We have a saying here in the Philippines (Yes, you’ve reached THIS FAR!): when something stirkes us deeply it’s “patama”. Dude, this is so “patama”. I needed this. Praise be to Christ for bringing me here and praise be to God for working in you, man! :)

    Cheers!

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