Is Anything Totally Sufficient?
Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary defines the word sufficient as “enough to meet the needs of a situation or a proposed end.” So many men are looking to find something totally sufficient in their lives. We look for it in a relationship with our wife and when we don’t think it is truly sufficient we go outside of that relationship to try and find it. We think we will find it in having children and when we don’t, we find other things to fill our time rather than devoting that time to our families. We look for it in a career and when we don’t find it, we become disenchanted and look for a new job. We look for it in sports and hobbies. In fact some men fool themselves into believing they are self-sufficient. The list goes on and on yet there doesn’t seem to be anything earthly that is totally sufficient or, even if we find something that gives us that impression, over time we find it to be less than sufficient. All of us have heard that saying “looking for love in all the wrong places.” The same holds true for so many of us when it comes to looking for something totally sufficient; we are looking in all the wrong places.
Paul gives us the answer to where we find something totally sufficient when he asks God a question and the Lord responds to Paul stating “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9a) This passage gives us a key ingredient to why men do not find the answer to our question because the world tells us we are not to show weakness. Yet in order for God’s power to be made perfect, it comes through our acknowledgement of our weaknesses. In addition, we acknowledge the only thing that has the power to overcome our weaknesses is God’s grace. Paul goes on to say in the remainder of verse 9 “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” Can you imagine, a man boasting about his weaknesses! By no means is this suggesting we surrender to our weaknesses but just the opposite. It is through our admission of weaknesses that we can fully rely upon God’s grace to meet our needs.
This brings us to the second ingredient of why men do not find the answer to our question. Many men are relying on everything but God to meet their needs. Philippians 4: 19 states “And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” We cannot look at the first half of this verse without the second half; otherwise, it is easily taken out of context. Before we go any further, let’s recognize that many men often confuse wants and needs as being one and the same. Paul is telling us that God will meet all our needs, not wants, and the meeting of those needs is done according to His glorious riches. J. David Hoke described it this way in his sermon entitled You Can’t Out Give God: “He did not tell us that he would meet all of our needs out of his riches. He told us that he would meet our needs according to his riches. There is a vast difference between the two. If Bill Gates were to write you a check for $10,000, he would be giving to you out of his riches. But if he were to give you a signed blank check, he would be giving to you according to his riches. That is how God gives to us. He gives to us according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. We are made joint heirs of the Kingdom. We share in the riches of heaven.” We must recognize that it is through our personal relationship with Jesus Christ and reliance on what He has already done for us that gives us a claim to this promise. It is not because of anything we can do for ourselves but what God did for us through His grace (“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”).
The third and final ingredient we will look at is the failure of many men to rely on God’s word to be sufficient to answer their questions and concerns. 2 Timothy 3: 16 & 17 tells us “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” If we are claiming to be God’s man then we must be students of His word. The answers we seek concerning life and manhood are not mysteries that can only be gained by joining some secret society. God has provided all we need through His holy word. It takes the commitment of time and energy to be a student of God’s word but it is an investment that pays great dividends in understanding just how sufficient God truly is.
I have described three ingredients that I believe answer the question “is anything totally sufficient?” God’s grace is totally sufficient. God’s provision for our needs (both earthly and eternally) through Jesus Christ is totally sufficient. And the third, God’s word, the Holy Bible, is totally sufficient. I hope this article challenges you to think about where you are in your life as it relates to the question is anything totally sufficient. God’s desire is to be that one thing in our lives that is totally sufficient!