We Are Enough!

Scripture is full of amazing stories…

Genesis 12-21—Abraham, the Father of Many

  • At age 75 God calls Abraham to go to a land that God will show him and make him a great nation
  • As years pass and while Abraham has no children, God promises as many descendents as stars
  • When Abraham is 99, God makes a covenant with Abraham and his many descendents
  • God promises to give his wife Sarah a child—Sarah is 90 years old and beyond child bearing age
  • When Abraham was 100 and Sarah 90, their son Isaac was born—25 years after the promise

Numbers 13—Twelve Spies go into Canaan

  • 10 said the land is wonderful, but full of giants and impossible for us to take
  • 2 said “Let us go up at once and occupy it, for we are well able to overcome it.”
  • But the people were afraid and chose to follow the 10 to God’s great displeasure

Judges 7-8—Gideon and the Midianites

  • 32,000 soldiers gather in Gideon’s army
  • God says Gideon has too many soldiers and sends away 10,000
  • God says there are still too many and all but 300 left
  • With 300, they didn’t even look like an army, but they defeated the Midianites by God’s power

2 Kings 4—Elisha and the Widow’s Oil

  • A widow with 2 small boys is losing her children to slavery and comes to Elisha for help
  • Elisha asks her, “Tell me, what do you have in the house?” She tells him she only has a jar of oil
  • Elisha tells her to gather many jars and poor oil into them, which she did until all were full
  • Elisha said to sell the oil and pay the debts, then live on the rest

Matthew 14, Mark 6, Luke 9, John 6—Feeding a Large Crowd—5,000 men plus women and children

  • When the disciples say it is late and to send the people away so they can buy food
  • Jesus tells them to give the people something to eat—What do you have? How much bread?
  • The disciples search the crowd and all they have are 5 loaves and 2 fish
  • Jesus blessed what they did have and there was more than enough for everyone—12 baskets left

Matthew 15, Mark 7—Feeding a Large Crowd—4,000 men plus women and children

  • This time Jesus wants to feed the crowd that has been with him for 3 days and asks the disciples
  • They ask Jesus where they can get enough food to feed this large a crowd
  • Jesus asks how much bread they have and they answer 7 loaves and a few small fish
  • Jesus blessed what they did have and there was more than enough for everyone—7 baskets left

John 11—Jesus Raises Lazarus from the Dead

  • Mary and Martha send word to Jesus that Lazarus is very ill, but Jesus waits 2 days before going
  • Jesus said, “This illness does not lead to death; rather it is for God’s glory…” John 11:4
  • When Jesus and the disciples finally arrive, Lazarus is dead
  • Even though he has been in the tomb 4 days, Jesus calls him to come forth and live
  • He came out bound in death cloths, which the people removed

2 Corinthians 12—God’s Strength and Our Weakness

  • Paul has a “thorn in his flesh” which he asks God to remove—3 times he asked
  • God said no… “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.”  2 Cor. 12:9

Clearly God is not bound by our human understanding of what is required to move forward

  • Rarely does God match our expectation
  • It often takes longer and is done with less!
  • Yet when we TRUST God—God is glorified and it is done God’s way

We look around and say we aren’t enough—and humanly that’s true

  • But in God—we are enough!
  • God isn’t dependent on the world system of bigger and better

Start by telling the truth!!  The truth about how we feel, the truth about the situation, the full truth

  • God cannot work unless we are honest and tell the truth about what is going on
  • “…you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” John 8:32
    • I used to think this was just about knowing truth about God and eternity
    • But I have come to recognize that God can only work in truth
    • So, unless we tell the truth, we limit God’s ability to act in any given situation

What does it take for us to live this way?

  • Willingness to wait
  • Courage to follow
  • Noticing and letting God use what is in your hand… What is in your hand?
    • Abraham—he was not asked to do anything special—it was all God
    • Moses and the burning bush—When Moses doubted, God asked “what is in your hand?”
    • Moses said it was a staff and God used his staff to lead the people—Exodus 4:2
    • Widow—Elisha blessed the only thing she had, a jar of oil
    • Feeding of the 5,000 and 4,000—Jesus blesses a few loaves of bread and fish
    • Peter and John heal the beggar—”I have no money, but what I have I give you” Acts 3:6
  • What do you have in your hand?
    • NOT—what do you need? which is our usual question
    • We so easily focus on our need and what we lack that we miss what we have

What do we have? Now? As a community gathered in Spokane?

  • The full presence of God
  • Faithful community
  • Quaker
  • We can Listen and know God and know way forward!

Often we are so aware of our lack that we don’t see what we do have

Pause and take time to look at what you do have

First some reminders…

  • Relax—being a non-anxious presence makes space for people
  • The Kingdom of God is never at risk and as Kingdom people we’re not at risk—even if we die
  • Be real and authentic—God can only work in truth
  • We can’t use a weakness—we can only use a strength so don’t worry about our
  • We come as we are and let God fill in our gaps, because that’s God’s part

We are enough!


Message to Spokane Friends by Lorraine Watson on 4 February 2017

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