Is Jesus Really Enough?

Your love never fails, it never gives up, it never runs out on me
On and on and on and on it goes
It overwhelms and satisfies my soul
I never ever have to be afraid
One thing remains

These are lyrics to a worship song called “One Thing Remains.” We sang it in church a couple weeks ago and one line in particular stood out to me: It overwhelms and satisfies my soul. It reminds me of my favorite verses in Philippians 3:7-9 which speak of the “surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus” in which everything else by comparison is rubbish. The love of God… is it true that it overwhelms and satisfies my soul?

And what if that were true? What if His love not only satisfied my soul, but overwhelmed it to a point of overflowing? There would be such contentment in my heart and soul that all other longings and unfulfilled desires would dissipate. I would be so filled up by the love of God that I would no longer seek what I can get from my earthly relationships, but rather what I can give. All sorrow, pain, and sadness would shrink in the shadow of the love of God for me. In all areas of life I would be operating from a place of contentedness, not desperate longings for things other than God.

We sing this song and others like it with such passion on Sunday mornings, but often live a life that screams “God isn’t enough for me. I need X, Y, or Z to be content, happy, and fulfilled.” In my conversations with others, I hear many longings for marriage, for children, for better friends, for a better husband, for a change in life circumstances, for more money, for “whatever it is” to be over with. There is a sense in which if we just had that one thing, THEN I would be overflowing and full in my heart. Can we be honest for a second? If we are waiting on anything other than God to have a full heart, then we have created an idol. God is no longer our God and no longer the one who fills our soul. He is no longer the One in whom we have placed our hope. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be married or wanting a season of life to be over, but as soon as we need that to happen to be completely fulfilled, it is an idol.

So where do we go from here? May I first suggest that we stop being satisfied with singing songs in church, quoting Scripture and then living like none of it is true. It doesn’t matter what we say we believe or what we sing; our actions will show the true beliefs of our heart. If you feel as if you could never be happy unless you are married, have children, etc, then be honest with yourself, God, and others. Admit that you’re setting your hope on something else and don’t actually believe that God alone is enough for you. Let’s start by being honest about what we actually believe because we can actually move forward from there. If you aren’t being honest, you are deceiving yourself and creating a roadblock for any spiritual growth. Any progress you try to make spiritually won’t last if you are building on a foundation that isn’t actually there.

So why do we have such a hard time being honest with ourselves in the first place? I think we desperately want to have it all together and be “the good Christian” with all the right answers. Maybe it’s because we care way too much about what others think of us or maybe it’s because we think that’s how we can please God. Either way, this causes us to lack a sense of raw honesty about where we are at and what we actually think about God and who we are as believers. There is something in most of us that hesitates to say, “I know the Bible says that everything is a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Jesus, but I don’t actually believe that right now.” But if we want to see true growth and freedom from idols in our life, I believe it will start with that kind of honesty.

In my own life, being honest looks like accepting my heart’s tendency to find its fulfillment in things other than Jesus. Once I perceive that I am no longer believing Jesus to be enough for me, I can identify the idols I’ve created. An idol is usually the one thing I want and think will make me “feel better” or “be ok.” Once I identify the idol, it is time to get rid of it. I confess to God and at least one other person my sin of creating an idol and putting it before Him and pray that in His power and through Jesus’ work on the cross that He would remove it and help me to let it go. This has included letting go of dreams, goals, and expectations I had for my life (which, by the way, is extremely difficult and often painful). All things I thought I needed IN ADDITION to the love of God in my life. After days, weeks, and sometimes months, of working to uproot the idol from my heart I am ready for God to come back in as the rightful desire of my soul. But again, this is not always an easy process.

Even after ridding idols from my heart, I often feel unsure that God will actually be enough for me in their absence. But it doesn’t really matter how I feel; my feelings are rarely based in reality. The Word of God on the other hand, is absolute truth and will never change and never ever fade away. So this is where the faith-walking part comes in: choosing to believe the Word of God above my feelings. What does that look like? For me, this looks like “sick soul care.” This is something I do immediately after discovering an idol in my heart. When my body is sick, I take extra measures to get it back to a healthy place by getting extra rest, taking extra vitamins, and cutting out junk food. In the same way, when I realize my soul has been unhealthy I take extra measures to get it healthy again through extra doses of Bible reading in my day, cutting out forms of media whose message is unbiblical, and more time in prayer to be honest with God about the condition of my heart. And without fail, when I take these extra measures, in a matter of days or weeks, I find myself falling in love with God all over again. My soul, in its healthy state, again begins to proclaim, “Yes, Jesus, you truly are more than enough for me!”

My challenge on this Sunday morning, is that we would no longer sing worship songs that our hearts really don’t believe. Instead of singing the lyrics, pray that God would make them true in your heart. Let’s begin to be honest with ourselves and one another when we are struggling to believe that Jesus is enough so we can deal with the idols in our hearts. Better to be honest about any “sickness” in our soul than act as if we are healthy. Let’s pursue Jesus together from a real honest place so that we might see true victory over the idols in our hearts!

photo credit: sizima via photopin cc


  1. Allie

    I’ve read this over and over again and cried and prayed. I want God to be number one. I just struggle so much with my dreams of being a wife and mother, and to be honest, I don’t want to give those up 😦 I’m struggling to believe that God can meet all my needs when He’s not literally right here, able to give me a hug 😦

    1. Allie- Thank you for your honest comment. It is only in death that true life is found. Death to dreams we think are our only hope is the only way to true life in Jesus. Ask Him for the courage to finally let those dreams die without clinging to them anymore. Only then can you be resurrected to live in the newness of life Jesus brings! And truly, in that new life and union with Christ, He is just as tangible and real as a hug. Praying He will strengthen you today.

  2. Missy

    Thank you, Kelly, for your boldness and honesty. That was refreshing and painful at the same time. You have opened my eyes to the reality of my so-called “Christianity”. I give God so much lip service – like He can’t see my heart. Deep down, I am really afraid to be honest with God, it’s so much easier to tell Him what I think He wants to hear – to act like I don’t desperately long for marriage, sex, money, recognition, etc. Displacing all these idols is the hardest thing I’ve ever tried to do. I’m just going to lock my door, be brutally honest with God and let the chips fall, because His love is greater.

    1. Missy, Thank you for your honesty and courage! Admitting you’ve only been giving God lip service is the first step toward freedom and true worship of God! It’s hard because your flesh is dying. So in a way, it should feel like death, but this is necessary to live fruitful lives. “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone ; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” John 12:24

  3. Anonymous

    Thank you for this post. I struggle with giving my trust and hope into a best friend and relying entirely on him. His friendship has become an idol in my life. I get ill with him a lot because I feel like I care more about the friendship than he does. I just need to remember that God’s promises are eternal and he is unchanging.

  4. Katie Morris

    Kelly, I can’t even begin to tell you how much this post speaks to me. I have saved it and continually re-read it. I am struggling with a relationship in my life, I met a man I had such an amazing connection with, we became best friends, and it turned into more. Some drama has popped up and I’ve found myself clinging to this relationship and putting all my hope into it and looking to it to fulfill me. I’ve become lost in it and spiritually drained. I miss God but couldn’t let go of this relationship! This post made everything clear and laid out what is going on and what I need to do. Thank you thank you thank you!!!!

  5. Anonymous

    Thank you so much for writing this. It was very convicting and spurred my heart to repentance. Thank you again!

    By His Grace.

  6. I like this, Kelly; it’s what Bill Johnson call’s ‘strengthening yourself in the Lord’ in the book he wrote by the same name. I like the way you are honest and vulnerable about the way ‘idols’ tempt us away from God, but even more the way you tell us that “…this is where the faith-walking part comes in: choosing to believe the Word of God above my feelings”! I love your and Jimmy’s music: it has such rhythm, passion, and joy, and is such a witness to Jesus! May God continue to bless, protect, and guide you and your family!

  7. lomaxl08

    Kelly, thanks for this post. I saw your husband’s post on facebook about your blog, and, upon browsing through your previous posts, I just want to thank you for your writings, which I can see are all firmly rooted in the Word. I have always appreciated your husband’s lyrics because they are so Biblical, and it is a blessing that you are both using the platforms you have to point people to Christ! Also, thank you for not simply writing about subjects that are “palatable.”

    “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” ~2 Timothy 3:16-17

    In Christ,

  8. It is amazing, to be ministrated by these words… We should know that what we sing must be what we believe and preach… Thank you for being a bless!

  9. Amy

    Thank you SO MUCH for sharing this. IT was everything that i needed to hear.

  10. Thank you so much for sharing.
    I absolutely love this text as well, I always spell it as my favorite quotation. I believe everything, including my college degree is counted as loss considering the knowledge of Christ.
    But yes, I often think about marriage and getting rid of my parents and wonder if I’ll be fulfilled and joyful when that happens, but nah… that ain’t true, when I’m married and under the authority of my husband IT WILL BE SOMETHING ELSE because it is like this with sin. The problem is not with the issue in itself, the sin is never an end in itself, there is always a deeper root that needs to be taken care of. It is serious stuff!
    Anyways, I loved the solution you gave, dear sister, when you are spiritually unhealthy: TAKE MEASURES!
    God super duper mega bless you! In Christ, Tiffany from Brazil

  11. Kimmy M.

    Kelly, thank you so much for writing this post. It’s *exactly* what I need right now – to illustrate just how unhealthy my soul-state is, I saw this post come up on my Google Reader a few days ago…. and put off reading it until this morning because I was afraid it was going to be “too convicting”. Well, praise God that He doesn’t give up on even the most stubborn of souls – His conviction has come through loud and clear in my Bible reading the last few mornings, and when I came and read the article just now, I knew He was pointing out that I need to get to the root of the problem, not just try to get rid of the symptoms. I love the analogy of “sick soul care”! That really puts it in perspective, and makes clear why things do not get better if I persist on acting as if everything is normal – I mean, if I’m physically sick but I keep going to bed way too late, drinking tons of caffeine, eating sugar, etc. OF COURSE I’m not going to get better! I don’t know why I thought it worked any differently in the spiritual realm.

    So, again, thank you so much, dear sister in Christ!!

  12. Kyle Barnard

    Awesome stuff πŸ™‚
    I don’t normally reply to stuff like blogs, but this reall stood to me just in the heading because it’s been on my heart so much lately as well. Jesus is Enough, but is he really? Is he enough when a mother looses her daughter and yet has to keep on living a life sold out for christ according to Gods standard and will for us? Is he enough when a person is being martyred for his sake day and night? (read about richard wurmbrand)
    These are Tough and dramatic questions! And im sure God wants none of this to happen to us! But we live in a fallen world with free will. But when you think like that, it certainly helps you prepare your heart for any test πŸ™‚

    I actually just finished recording a song called ‘Jesus is Enough’ for my EP. And it talks about this very issue in regards to the prosperity Gospel. That’s why the blog stood out to me! πŸ™‚
    Thanks Kelly.
    God bless

    1. Kyle Barnard

      Please have mercy on my spelling errors! It’s late where I am! Ha.

  13. Kristin

    So full of truth. I had these same thoughts this past Sunday morning while singing a song that says that He is everything I need, that I am desperate for Him..but in the middle of singing that line, I realized that I’m not DESPERATE for Him right now and I long to be. So, like you said, I have to cut things out and take care of my soul so that I CAN be desperate for Jesus once again!

  14. Anonymous

    I really enjoyed your analogy of “sick soul care”. Thank you for taking the time to share.

  15. Anonymous

    yesterday during worship at church I thought about something you have written about. How we sing these songs to God and don’t really mean them..we sing I SURRENDER ALL and yet have no intention of surrendering to God..we sing THIS IS MY DESIRE TO HONOUR YOU AND LORD WITH ALL MY HEART I WORSHIP YOU and yet we worship everything else but God!I pray that the music we sing should inspire us to change and we start to do something rather than sing meaninglessly!!God bless you

  16. Vennie

    Thank you for the truth and encouraging words! πŸ™‚

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