Is God Enough?

One of the many hikes I took on my recent vacation. (This view is near Mt. Baker in Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest)
One of the many hikes I took on my recent vacation. (This view is near Mt. Baker in Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest)

Recently, I returned from a family vacation to Washington state. We had a wonderful time and I got to do one of my favorite things, hiking.  For this Florida boy, being up in some real mountains was quite a treat. Views that go on for miles. Epic wildlife encounters. Crisp, cool air and wildflower blooms. I spent my entire time there soaking it all in and making lifelong memories.

It’s strange, but when I’m out for a hike, I just don’t seem to get tired. I’m always so excited to see what’s over the next ridgeline or relish in the aroma of the fir trees or dip my toes in an icy cold river. There’s so much motivation to see and experience new things that I can hike all day and never grow weary.

Motivation is like that. With the right motivation and circumstances, we’ll do just about anything. With that in mind, I challenge you to examine your motivation for being a follower of Christ. As a Christian, Jesus should be at the heart of our faith and religious belief, but is he really?  Take church services as an example. What if we were to strip away all the comforts and superficial motivations for being there?  Would you still attend?

  • What if there were no tailored ministries to fit your needs?
  • What if there were no children’s classes?
  • What if there were no cushioned pews or air conditioning or lights?
  • What if the sound system didn’t work or no fellowship meals were served?

Would we still gather in the name of Jesus?

Would He be enough?

The modern church, in its haste to gain more attendees and make religion palatable to unbelievers, has in some ways become exactly like the world. There’s an entertainment factor that has become more apparent as preachers and evangelists are encouraged to be more charismatic and elderships are pressured to continually add more programs to keep the flock happy.

I want to encourage all Christians everywhere to take a close look at the motivations for your faith.  Do you need a dynamic speaker, a modern song service, and personal ministry opportunities to attend worship?  Do you need a comfortable and expensive building with a cafe’ and movie theater seating in order to feel close to God?  Or……is God enough?

“And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”

(Philippians 4:19)

-Joe

Advertisements

16 thoughts on “Is God Enough?

  1. SOOOoo000oo true! Thanks for writing this. Thinking of Paul and Silas here. Thinking of my morning time with God if I didn’t have my quiet patio with my pot of hot tea. Or my health. Or my family. So many fundamental blessings that I take for granted that tempts me to feel how “spiritually mature” I am. HA! (also, bob and I love hiking in the mountains also–great times putting your feet in snow in July.)

    1. Joe Butler

      I know the early Christians were faced with intense persecution, but I would love to be able to worship with likeminded Christians like they did. None of these modern conveniences were around and it was just people with a deep love for God having to find ways to meet together and rejoice over their blessings.

  2. Thank you Joe. Way to make us all think of the comforts we have and take for granted. I know for me ,as I am old, I have worshipped in every single way growing up. I used to live going to tent meeting that actually were in tents with no air conditioning, lights , pews. We all, children including, we’re in same place. We weren’t there for entertainment, we were there to learn from God’s word.
    We have all become to comfortable with worship. It bothers us if people get up out of worship, babies cry, children are too loud or the projector not working g correctly…. use the song book. People think we are there to be entertained and think if they aren’t getting anything out of the service it is ie the ” CHURCHES ” fault. We need to ask ourselves what are we putting In to it?

    1. Joe Butler

      That’s awesome that you’ve had the experience of worshipping in an environment that may not be as comfortable. Like you said, it helps you appreciate how good we really do have it. I’ve even thought of trying to organize a beach worship service some Sunday night but have not done so because many won’t show up because it’s not in a comfortable environment. It hurts to see some just use worship as a social hour or others who can never pull themselves away from their phone long enough to pay attention to God’ word. Some will even change congregations at the drop of a hat just because there’s not a singles ministry or children’s church. It would love to just try stripping everything else away except honest Christians wanting to worship God and see how amazing it would be.

  3. I too, grew up with tent meetings and primitive meeting places. A/c and padded pews don’t bring me closer to God, but being out in his wonderful creation whether mountains, beaches or just a walk at the farm fills my heart with thanksgiving and joy.

    1. Joe Butler

      It’s nice that we have the comfortable places of worship, but I too find an intimate closeness to God while outdoors. That’s why I love hiking so much. God really did make a beautiful world for us to inhabit and it shows me how much he loves us and wants the best for us.

  4. “Would you still attend?”

    Such a powerful and important question. I know I have been guilty of examining other believers’ motivations without pausing to consider my own. For myself, I know that God and the gift of His son are enough, but is this what I convey? Thank you for these convicting words.

    1. Joe Butler

      I had to face this myself many years ago when I realized I was going because it’s what I had always done. I grew up and realized it can’t just be my parents relationship with God. I needed to have my own relationship with Him and it needed to come from my heart. Now that I’m in that mindset, I love being at worship and I look forward to it all week.

  5. The True Light!

    “The modern church, in its haste to gain more attendees and make religion palatable to unbelievers, has in some ways become exactly like the world. There’s an entertainment factor that has become more apparent as preachers and evangelists are encouraged to be more charismatic and elderships are pressured to continually add more programs to keep the flock happy.”

    ===Amen and Amen, brother!===

    Steve

  6. Thank you for this challenge. I grew up attending a church with no electricity or indoor plumbing. (I blog about it sometimes at http://www.spicyspiritsister.com.) I was surprised when I got “into the world” that so much priority was placed in material and physical comforts. I’ve since worshiped with believers in Zimbabwe, El Salvador, Mexico, and Haiti and am challenged anew by their commitment to God in the most unfavorable conditions. We would all do well to examine our hearts with your questions. Blessings to you.

    1. Joe Butler

      Thank you for stopping by and commenting on the post. I have never had the opportunity to worship overseas or in real tough conditions but I’ve heard many stories such as yours that give me great encouragement for the church worldwide. We here in America have paid too much attention, in my opinion, to frivolous things and have gotten away from gathering just for the sake of worship. I have been at the same congregation now for about 23 years, but in that time I’ve seen people come and go as they look for a church that will make “them” happy. I just wanted to encourage Christians to remember who it is we worship and remember that He will always be all we ever need.

  7. For the past 10+ years my husband and I have attended a rather humble church in comparison to many of the mega churches in our community. Comfortable enough, yes, but Bible centered with a passionate young (probably about your age) pastor who makes us uncomfortable often enough about our walk with Jesus. I had not really thought about this topic although I can see your point. Thanks for the reminder! We love to tent camp and find there is nothing quite like being in God’s country to appreciate His goodness and love! !

  8. I get used to the comforts as well. I do find the message delivered in a charismatic format to be important, only because if I am listening to a monotone message my mind wanders. Should it? No, I should be just as interested in a messaged delivered without any tonal inflections, or excitement, after all it is about Him. Reality, If one is truly excited about sharing Jesus, they should show it with excitement in their voice. I find the message itself and it’s delivery style makes a difference with how I accept that message. http://www.faithinspirationtruth.wordpress.com

    1. Joe Butler

      Thank you Teri for your comments. It’s amazing how there are so many distractions in our world that can keep our minds from meditating on God. Some of them are good and many are bad, but God is a jealous God and doesn’t want us sharing our love with other things. He deserves all we can give him.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s