I’ve shared with those close to me how this summer I’ve really battled with inadequacy. I often feel like my plate is so full and I am trying to help so many people with so many things that something is going to come up that I’m not going to know how to handle–especially with working in a church this summer. I just KNEW in my heart that things were going to happen and I was not going to know what to do or what to say and I absolutely hate feeling unprepared. The beautiful thing is, God knew exactly where I was at in my head at the start of the summer. He set out a path of challenges for me so that by the end of the summer I would be here talking to you about how this entire summer I learned about just how adequate I truly am.
Inadequacy is not just a battle we face spiritually. It can be felt anywhere. In a household, with any familial role. In a career, with any particular job. And of course, in life, with any spiritual battle. It can also be felt on a more personal level. We feel inadequate within ourselves to meet the expectations of others. We feel like we don’t measure up. We don’t feel pretty enough. We don’t feel strong enough. We don’t feel smart enough. We don’t feel happy enough. We don’t feel loved enough. We don’t feel like we can handle the situation in front of us. We feel inadequate.
I just want you to know, that if any of those things just described you, you are not alone.
These past few days my church family and I have been reading in Luke, and I have begun to notice a pattern of things across chapters in Luke that all come back to inadequacy. I think this pretty much summarizes what I’ve learned on the subject this summer. I hope that if you also battle with inadequacy in any area of your life, this would be an encouragement to you as well.
Luke chapter 8 starts off with the Parable of the Sower. The seed that falls on good soil and yields a crop stands for those with “a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.” In the midst of and around this beautiful parable we see several things.
First, and this is easy to miss as it is touched on in only one verse: the women who were with Jesus that day were giving out of what they had.
Luke 8:3 says “These women were helping to support them out of their own means.” That’s literally all it says on the subject, but to me that says so much.
The women this verse is referring to had been cured of evil spirits and diseases, and they were traveling around with Jesus and the disciples to share the good news of the Kingdom (Luke 8:1-2). Notice the wording. “Out of their own means.” They used what they had and what they had been given to support the cause of Christ.
Think about it. If these women, who literally had been possessed by demons and spirits and diseases, could find something they already had to use for the furthering of the Kingdom of God, then how much more can we trust that God has already given us today all we need to further His kingdom?
God has given each of us a gift and a calling with which to use our gifts, and He has provided us with more than we could possibly need to accomplish His mission. We are adequate for the mission because we are adequate in Him.
Second thing. God has prepared the way before us.
“But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is the one about whom it is written: ‘I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.'” Luke 7:26-27
Jesus is explaining here that God sent John the Baptist before Jesus to prepare the way for Jesus. And God sent Jesus to prepare the way for us. We can rest assured that we are prepared for whatever comes our way because He has come before us (and also comes alongside us)! And being prepared also makes us adequate. We are adequate for the mission because we are adequate in Him.
Third thing. God does not call us to something he does not equip us for.
Luke 9:1-2: “When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and heal the sick.”
Notice the order of events. Jesus didn’t send them out and THEN equip them. It’s the other way around. Jesus gave the disciples power and authority and THEN he sent them out into the world.
The disciples were adequate for the job because Jesus made them adequate. He gave them the tools and the power they needed for the mission he called them too. HE made them adequate. We can rest assured that He’s not going to send us out into the mission field without the right tools either. He will equip us as well. He will make us adequate. We are adequate for the mission because we are adequate in Him.
Final thing. The parable of the sower is a story of perseverance. Luke 8:15 says that “The seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.”
Pretty powerful closing to that verse. Those who hear the word and retain it and by PERSEVERING produce a crop. Notice the parable doesn’t say that the seed who fall on good soil have it easy. They’re just starting off in a good place. They still have to work just as hard, if not harder, to grow and yield a crop. They have to fight. They have to persevere. BUT there is hope for them, because they have been rooted amongst good soil, which makes them adequate from the start for the journey towards a good crop. How much more adequate are we if we are rooted in Christ?
I’ll say it one more time. We are adequate for the mission because we are adequate in Him.
Forget about what everyone else thinks. Does it really matter?? The Creator of the Universe loves you and has equipped you with more than you could ever want or need. You are adequate, because He is adequate.
I needed this reminder today. Maybe you did, too.
current applicable song: Build My Life, Passion
Let’s build our lives on Him today, just like the good soil in the parable of the sower.
“Worthy of every song we could ever sing
Worthy of all the praise we could ever bring
Worthy of every breath we could ever breathe
We live for you
Jesus, the name above every other name
Jesus, the only one who could ever save
Worthy of every breathe we could ever breathe
We live for you
We live for you
Holy there is no one like you
There is none beside you
Open up my eyes in wonder
Show me who you are
And fill me with your heart
And lead me in your love
To those around me
I will build my life, upon your love
It is a firm foundation
I will put my trust, in You alone
And I will not be shaken”