In our Wednesday night class last week, we women talked about all the ways we feel overwhelmed. We come from all walks of life, but a common thread of our answers was that, in some way or another, most of us were overwhelmed by the demands of work or family–or the demand of balancing work AND family. There was also a theme of feeling inadequate…like we were not “up” to our tasks, like we did not have “enough.” We didn’t have the talent…or maybe the money…or perhaps the organizational skills…or the patience…or the time…to do all the things we had to do.
In light of that discussion, we read a really crazy verse from the Bible:
“His divine power has given us EVERYTHING WE NEED FOR A GODLY LIFE through our knowledge of Him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” 2 Peter 1:3
A similarly unbelievable verse is found in 2 Corinthians 9:8…
“And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, HAVING ALL THAT YOU NEED, you will abound in every good work.”
I emphasize the “all that you need” part because both verses challenge our faith and our current experience of life. After we read them, we had to ask ourselves, “Do I really believe this?”
And even more importantly, “If I believe this is true, then why do I so often feel that I DON’T have everything I need?”
For the next five weeks in class, we are going to explore that conflict. My dear friend, Courtney Steed, has written a Bible study called, “Everything You Need,” in which she uses Scripture and good ol’ fashioned logic to help Christian women grasp the wonderful idea that with Christ, we do have “everything we need.”
One thing I love about Courtney’s study is that is is SO practical. It’s not simply, “Of course you have everything you need because you have God’s Spirit in you.” That’s true, and it’s a big deal…but often our needs seem more tangible than that. As Courtney says,
“So much of what I feel I need is not in a cloud above my head. What I need is not kindness, it’s a enough of money to pay the mortgage. It’s not just patience (though I need that tremendously), it’s time to go to the grocery store. Its not just gentleness, it’s time to myself. I need a nap, relief from my pain, for my relationships to be easier, my house to be clean and my kids to behave.”
This study, then, is going to be very relevant and practical for our day to day lives. Last week, the main thing we discussed to set the stage for this week was the idea of Supply and Demand. All of us have “Demands” that need to be met…from the demand for sleep, the demands of a job, the demands of a mother, the demands of relationships, health demands, time demands…it goes on and on. We are only able to meet those Demands with our Supply, our resources. This week we are going to talk more in detail about our Supply, but the one point we made last week was that our Supply always comes from God. It’s all from Him, and that idea that we have it naturally in us, that we just have to dig down deep or pull ourselves up by our bootstraps or whatever is more of an American idea than it is a Christian idea. In fact, Jesus Himself tells us,
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5
So that’s Truth #1 from our study so far: Our Supply comes from God.
Truth #2 is this: Our Demand is determined by God.
God doesn’t guarantee us that we have “everything we need” to do whatever it is we want to do. We don’t have “everything we need” to meet our own goals, but to glorify Him. To me, this is a freeing concept. So much of my Demand is self-imposed. It is a list that I give myself, out of feelings of guilt or obligation. In the next five weeks, we are going to learn how to determine God’s Demand for us, as opposed to Society’s Demands, or Others’ Demands, or even Our Own Demands. I can’t tell you how liberating this idea has been in my life. Since I’ve embraced these ideas, I have had so much more peace and feelings of adequacy when it comes to my tasks. I still have a ways to go, but my soul definitely rests easier now, and I have much less stress in my life. That’s why I’m so excited to share this study with our women’s class!
I can’t wait to walk through the ideas in this study with the women at church. This week, we are going to look at our Supply and what all it includes. I think you will be surprised–you have more than you think!