“I am with you” (Lessons Learned from Church Camp, part 2)

To catch the first part of this blog post, click here.

I spent the past week at church camp. There were lots of highlights (including a killer dodge ball tournament and a hilarious belly flop contest)! But my favorite part was the teaching delivered by the camp pastor, David Stone. His messages seemed to come right out of the pages of Lies Young Women Believe.

I was especially challenged by a message based on the book of Haggai that focused on the lie that “God is not enough.” I am going to borrow parts of David’s sermon to open a discussion about that lie right here on the blog. I want to encourage you to use your Bible to look at the Truth I’ll be applying here first hand. Let’s dig in.

Haggai is a short little book (just two chapters) that talks about God’s call upon the Jews to rebuild His temple. God assigned the Jews to finish the temple in Jerusalem when they returned from exile. But 15 years after they returned from captivity, they still hadn’t finished the job. In fact, they were more concerned about building their own homes than they were about doing what God asked.

God used the prophet, Haggai, to challenge His people to finish their work on the temple.

Haggai 1:5-6 says, “Now this is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Give careful thought to your ways. You have planted much, but have harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. Your put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it.”

Then the Lord commands his people to go up into the mountains to gather timbers to build the temple. Verse 1:12 tells us that the people obeyed. And then the Lord uses Haggai to give His people a promise.

“Then Haggai, the Lord’s messenger, gave this message of the Lord to the people: ‘I am with you,’ declares the Lord’” (Haggai 1:13).

He doesn’t promise that suddenly their crops will be bountiful, their tummies will be full and their bodies will be warm. He simply promises that He will be with them.

He promises the same thing to us.

Isaiah 41:10 says, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

In Matthew 28:19-20 Jesus gives the great commission and he repeats the same promise. “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. And teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.

The question is, is that enough? Is God’s promise that He is with you enough to satisfy you? Is God truly enough?

For most of the girls we talked to for this book, the answer was clearly “no.”  This is the very first lie Nancy and Dannah address in Lies Young Women Believe.

“Right out of the gate, the vast majority of our focus group respondents admitted that they agreed with the statement, ‘God is not enough.’ We have to admit that we were a little shocked that so many consciously believed this lie” (Lies Young Women Believe, 44).

Girls told us things like:

“If only my parents could stay together, that would be enough.”
“If only I would be valedictorian, that would be enough.”
“If only I got onto the track team, that would be enough.”
“If only I had more friends, that would be enough.”
“If only I were beautiful, that would be enough.”

The list goes on and on. Almost 90% of the girls we talked to admitted that they felt like they needed more than God to be satisfied. Specifically, they felt like they could not live without their friends. The problem with this line of thought is that it is hollow. Nothing less than God can ever fill the part of our heart that was created for God.

Let’s go back to what we read in Haggai. The Jews were striving to find satisfaction in their work and their homes, but it did not work. The same is true for us. Are you trying to find satisfaction in sports, friends, work, service, etc. but somehow it feels like putting coins in a purse with holes?

God doesn’t promise that our lives will always be easy, but He does promise to be with us. He truly is enough to satisfy.

“God is enough; He will meet your needs and wants to be your closest confidante. His Word promises: ‘My God will meet all your needs according to your glorious riches in Christ Jesus’ (Philippians 4:19). He is the one who can heal your heart when it is broken. He is the one who can encourage, guide and protect you. He is the one who can make you feel safe when others fail you. He is the one who can make you feel valued no matter what you can or cannot do” (Lies Young Women Believe, 46).

I am wondering where you are looking for satisfaction?

Do you feel like if you can just get a boyfriend, then you will be satisfied? God promises that He will be with you.

Do you feel like if your family situation changes, then you will be satisfied? God promises that He will be with you.

Do you feel like if you can be a star volleyball player, first chair musician, or straight A student, then you will be satisfied? God promises that He will be with you.

Do you feel like if you can just be good enough, smart enough, thin enough, or pretty enough, then you will be satisfied? God promises to be with you.

We sang a song in church this morning that contained the line “just to know you are near is enough.” As we sang I thought about this blog and of each of you who will be reading it. To rest in God’s promise to be with me is my prayer for my own life. It is my prayer for your life as well. But even as we wrestle to accept the promises God offers, He remains the same and he is with us.

About Author

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Erin is passionate about pointing young women toward God's Truth. She is the author of several books and a frequent speaker and blogger to women of all ages. Erin lives on a small farm in the midwest with her husband and kids. When she's not writing, you can find her herding goats, chickens, and children.

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