I’m Not _____ Enough
I’m Not Good Enough
September 9, 2012
It’s something we’ve all said at one point in our lives. We’ve looked around at those around us, and thought, “I’m not good enough….”Yet, in saying that, there’s something we’re missing, a truth that God wants us to download.
In this powerful message, Ed Young unpacks the reality that good is never really good enough. But the abundant life isn’t about being good. It’s about discovering the truth of who God says we are in order to do anything and everything that God says we can do!
Good morning! How are you guys doing? I want to welcome everybody to Fellowship Church today. I also want to welcome our new location. Today is the Grand Opening of our Midtown Campus in Miami. Also, we began a number of new experiences last night. We added five different services last night at our different locations. It’s pretty cool, isn’t it? Please be seated. Everyone please be seated.
Let me begin with just a word of prayer. Father, I have your message to say and I know that you’re gonna use my vocal cords to communicate your truth. Thank you for the result of this time together. In Jesus’ name, amen.
It has been said that we’re only as sick as our secrets. And when you think about it that’s so, so true. Think about the word vulnerability for a second. Think about what it means. Vulnerability, when I throw the word out, most of us think it’s synonymous with weakness. If you’re weak you’re vulnerable. If you’re vulnerable you’re weak. Vulnerability is valuable. That’s right. Vulnerability leads to connectedness.
We think otherwise. We say, “Oh, if I’m vulnerable, if I share my secrets with others, what’s on the loop in my mind, what’s number one on my play list, the inadequacies that I feel, the things that I deal with. If I share all of those inadequacies with others people will reject me. I will have a disconnectedness.”
God is a God of vulnerability. Think about it for a second. God totally and completely vulnerable, sending Jesus to live a sinless life, to die a sacrificial death. I would argue that when Jesus hung on Calvary, paying the price for your sins and mine, that was the most vulnerable act in the universe. Thereby giving us the opportunity to know God through Christ. Only when we’re vulnerable enough to admit the truth from our whole heart, only when we have courage enough to say, You know what? This is my junk. This is my funk. I turn from that and turn to you, God. Then and only then we discover what true vulnerability is all about. So during this series we’re talking about vulnerability.
If you’re like me you’ve got secrets. If you’re like me you’ve got inadequacies. If you’re like me you have some inferiority. Have you ever thought about the inferiority complex? People say that. Or you might say, “I feel so inferior to her. I feel so inferior to him.” We’ve all said that. In certain social situations we might feel inferior, certain places we go we might feel inferior. Certain stores we frequent we might feel inferior, inferior.
When I’m inferior I’m really on the ride of pride. Because I’m focused on myself. I so I would say that when I have an inferiority complex I am as prideful as someone who is King Testosterone or Queen Estrogen. I’m as prideful as someone who’s like in your face. Vulnerability.
What’s going through the recesses of your mind? Vulnerability. What are you afraid to share, to articulate with others? Vulnerability. Your secret is your strength. You’re only, though, as sick as your secret.
Why do we have this feeling of vulnerability? It goes back to rejection. Think about Adam and Eve. You remember, Adam and Eve, the first man and woman. Everything was perfect. God was their blank. They were looking to God for their props, for their esteem. They saw themselves the way God saw them, nothing more, nothing less. They chose to rebel against God.
One day I heard that Adam and Eve’s kids, Cain and Abel, were playing. They crawled up on a wall and they looked and they saw paradise. The saw the most beautiful spot on earth and they were like, whoa! Look at this! So they ran home to their father, Adam, and they said,
“Dad! We saw the most gorgeous place we’ve ever seen in our life! Do you think we could live there one day?”
And Adam dropped his head and said, “We used to, but your mother ate us out of house and home.”
That’s so true. That’s so true. Man and woman, right, dropped the ball. They were rejected from the garden. For the first time they looked to something else to fill in the blank of their lives. We’ve been experiencing rejection ever since. We try to put different things in the blank as opposed to God. We have a blanking crisis. The bailout is Jesus and he works every single time.
T.S. Over the next several sessions we’re going to talk about the blanks. I’m not blank enough. Just fill it in. We all have those blanks. Well, today we are going to look at one that every single person deals with. I would argue, over the ensuing weeks, we’re gonna look at blanks that we ALL deal with.
Illus: Vanna White, you’ve heard of Vanna White, right? She’s like the game show host girl, right? The game show host beauty. She hails from South Carolina. That’s where my wife was born. So I want Lisa to come up and press the button and we’re gonna see what we’re gonna talk about today. Because we’re gonna spin the dial and Lisa, my lovely wife of 30 years, is gonna press the button and wherever the dial lands, that’s what I’m gonna talk about. Are you ready? Let’s give her some encouragement! Here we go….
I’m not good enough. Have you ever said that? I have. Is that the #1 song on your playlist? It’s been right up there on my playlist. I’m not good enough. I’m not good enough. I’m not good enough. You walk through the halls of your school – I’m not good enough. You walk on the soccer field – I’m not good enough. You walk on the platform to preach – I’m not good enough. You see a patient – I’m not good enough. You work on something – I’m not good enough. I’m not good enough. I’m not good enough. I’m not good enough. I’m not good enough. Good isn’t good enough. Let me say it again. Good isn’t good enough, but God is God enough.
Good isn’t good enough but God is God enough. And that’s what we’re gonna find out today. This is gonna be a very uplifting and very, very empowering series of messages. I’m not good enough. We play that game.
So what do we do when we play that game? We pay games around the game. So we say I’m not good enough and if we really were vulnerable we would share that with others. “You know, I feel like I’m not good enough.” But most of the time we don’t share that, we play games. Maybe you play a game that I play called the Lame Game.
The Lame Game is a performance trap. OK, I’m gonna be good enough so I will perform and I’ll hit this level. I will do A-B-C, 1-2-3, and if I’m a good boy or a good girl… if I score the touchdown or have the acclaim or a certain amount of followers on Twitter or if I make a certain amount of money or have the corner office… THEN I’ll be good enough! Am I the only one that thinks that? I’ll be good enough. I can perform my way in!
Then those here who are Christians we do the same thing in the Christian life. I know what, God. I’ll just read a chapter of the Bible a day. A chapter a day keeps the devil away. A chapter a day keeps the devil away. So I’ll read that and OK, I’m also praying, God every day, like 5-10 minutes. Some of you might be going, “I’m praying 30 minutes a day and I will perform my way and God will say, ‘Wow Ed! You’re a good guy! You performed! And that was a really good message. You didn’t have any weird tangents in that message and it was really articulate and people responded and you know some people clapped. And hey, you were speaking this past weekend in Arkansas and you got a standing ovation.’ Wow, I feel good because I’m good enough! I guess that moment…”
Good. Isn’t. Good. Enough. God is God enough. You’ll never get to that point in your life, I’ll never get to the point in my life where good is good enough. It’s a performance trap. It’s lame. You’ll limp through life. “Presha busta pipe!” It should take the pressure off. I don’t have to perform! I don’t! There’s nothing I could do right now to cause God to love me any more or any less. Nothing! Nothing.
I talked to a guy the other day who attends Fellowship Church. He goes, “Ed, I’ve got a problem. I’ve got an identity crisis and an energy problem. I don’t know who I am and I’m too tired to figure out who I am.” And sometimes we’re like that, aren’t we? We play the Lame Game. What’s God’s answer to the Lame Game? Justification. Justification.
The Bible says in Romans 5:1, “Therefore since we have been justified through faith…” It’s like we haven’t even sinned. We’re justified through faith. A faith decision. We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. So if you’re trying to prove your worth through performance it’s a trap, it’s a treadmill going nowhere. Stop being treadmilitant. Get off the treadmill and say, “God, I realize I’m justified!” That’s a cool thing.
Another game we play is the Name Game. The Name Game, Name Game. A lot of students are playing the Name Game right now. A lot of adults are playing the Name Game right now. If I can impress certain names then I will be good enough. I’m not good enough. I’m not good enough. I’m not good enough. So I’ll hang out with the right name, the right last name. Am I the only one?
Illus: I went back to a high school reunion a couple of years ago. And Lisa and I are walking around, I’m looking at name tags and I’m like… <laughter>… “I was trying to impress you? I was trying to get what??!!” It’s crazy! We got in the car and drove home afterward and we’re like, man, can you believe it? Names.
We do the same thing as adults. “Oh if I can hang out with this person with this name or, yeah, that’ll do it for me!” The Name Game again is a formula for frustration. We’ve got to play for an audience of one. That’s God. An audience of one. The Name Game is not gonna work. Once you get in the club, the club changes, the club moves and it’s just not gonna happen for anyone here. So, you’re wasting your time, I’m wasting my time, in the Name Game. What’s God’s answer? Reconciliation.
Colossians 1:21-22, “Once you were alienated from God…” That’s right, we’re all born with a blank, right? A spirit of rejection. “… and you were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior.” It’s a sin-etic condition that we all have. No one taught me how to reject God or sin, I just know how to do it. “But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish, free from accusation.” So when you hear the tapes: I’m not good enough. I’m not good enough. I’m not good enough. I’m not good enough going on in your mind, that’s the enemy in your mind and in my mind. If we argued with the enemy we would go,
“Man, you’re right! I’m not good enough!” and I’ve said that before. Wow. You’re right. I’m not good enough. But don’t waste your time arguing with the enemy, just point the enemy to God. Because God is gonna say,
“Oh, Ed? Yes, he’s good enough! Because when I see Ed I see Jesus.” Are you feelin’ me? Just direct him to God. Because if you’re a follower of Christ, when God looks at you he sees the righteousness of Christ, something we don’t deserve. We will never be good enough to merit what God did. Because good isn’t good enough. Our goodness always falls short. God made up the distance by sending Jesus to reconcile us to God through what he did in the most vulnerable act in history.
We play the Lame Game, the Name Game, and another one, the Blame Game. We blame. Blame our parents, blame the weather, blame our geography, blame genetics. The Blame Game. We blame, we blame, we blame. Adam and Eve, when they sinned, Eve blamed the serpent. Adam blamed Eve. And basically the serpent didn’t have a leg to stand on. So everyone’s blaming. That was pretty funny. Thank you!
1 John 2:2, what’s God’s answer? Propitiation. Hard word to say, it’s a theological term. Propitiation. What’s propitiation? God’s wrath has been satisfied. I don’t have to punish myself when I mess up. I don’t have to punish others. I will punish myself and then I’ll put those same standards on others. God says, “Presha busta pipe!” What are you doing? What are you doing?
1 John 2:2, “He is the propitiation for our sins.” God’s wrath has been satisfied. I don’t have to prop my wrath on others. I don’t have to prop my wrath on myself. It’s been satisfied. Jesus took the punishment for your sins and mine in the ultimate act of vulnerability. So he’s the propitiation for our sins and not for ours only but also for the sins of the world.
Illus: That reminds me of what happened to me several months ago. I saw this elephant. This elephant was supposedly tamed. There was an elephant trainer with this elephant. There were some stanchions around the elephant and this elephant was tied with a little rope around one of its hind legs. And I’m thinking to myself, man, if that elephant knew that I want as an elephant it could take out that rope and just break out like that! But obviously the elephant didn’t know. Well I made the foolish elephant of saying to the trainer,
“Hey, can I have my picture taken with the elephant?” I wanna put it on Instagram, you know, and connect it to Twitter and all that. Because I’ve never had my picture taken with an elephant, I’ve never touched an elephant before. And he goes,
“Yeah, come on. Come on.” So I crossed over the stanchions and I’m standing there and this thing, of course, is massive. It’s an elephant! So he said, “Just stand to the right of her and her trunk will kind of drape over your shoulder and just be still and then we’ll get the picture.” So I handed the trainer my phone, told him about Instagram, whatever, blah-blah-blah. So I’m just standing there, talking like this. All of a sudden this elephant, I don’t know what happened, just bumped me! Knocked me off my feet, into the air. I’m sprawled on the concrete. I’m thinking this thing is gonna stomp me now! Praise God she didn’t but she let me know, “Hey, I’m an elephant!” It was scary. Ripped my jeans, scratched my back. I’m telling ya, the power of these animals, it’s crazy power. I’ve never been hit that hard in my life. Just Boom! Like that.
The elephant was standing there in these little stanchions because the elephant had a whack perception of her power. I’m sure as a little baby elephant she had been kept there and she could be corralled when she was small. Now she’s a big honkin’ elephant but she doesn’t realize that she’s truly an elephant. Her perception is whacked. So she has a little rope she’s tethered to, but all she would have to if she realized the truth is pshhh! <trumpeting sound>
Could it be that you’re that way? Could it be that I’m that way? Tied up with a little rope, my perception of truth is whack. Yeah, I can’t break that. I can’t break that “good isn’t good enough” mentality. I can’t break all the games I’ve been playing. What? You don’t realize who you are! So often I don’t realize who I am because… I’m not good enough. I’m not good enough. I’m not good enough… is going over and over and over in my mind. Who are you?
I’ll tell you who we are. Who are you? I’ll tell ya who we are. We’re saints.
Let’s talk about an app session right now. Three aspects of this app session.
#1 – You’re a saint. What? Yeah. I didn’t stutter. You’re a saint. Recognize your sainthood. Recognize your sainthood. Now some of the Catholics here, how many of you grew up catholic or have gone to the catholic church? Good, awesome. OK. Now the Catholics, if you live like this life that’s good when you die, when you clock out, after you clock out if they decide you’re gonna be a saint they’ll canonize you. They’ll call you Saint Whatever. Problem: That’s not Biblical. My Bible tells me that every single person, check this out, every single person who is a follower of Christ is a saint! Is that nuts or what?
“Ed, prove it to me, man!” OK, I’m just reading the Bible. Ephesians 1:1, “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God to the SAINTS (say it with me)… SAINTS (that’s Christians) in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus.”
So you’re either a saint or an “ain’t.” You’re not like, “Oh, I’m almost a…” No, no, no. If you have made the faith decision, if the righteousness of Christ has been imputed into your life, you’re a saint. Well isn’t that cool? I’m a saint! We don’t realize who we are! <trumpeting> I’m an elephant…. I’m a saint.
Now if you’re an “ain’t,” many of you maybe are ain’ts here and in different locations, I believe today you’ll become a saint. I’m talking about that.
Illus: Just moments before the first service, driving here, I’m a little bit late. My phone rings, pick it up. It’s a friend of mine who’s totally far away from God, totally disconnected. He’s involved in drugs, alcohol, crazy stuff, trying to fill the blanks in with all sorts of things. He’d been to Fellowship I think two times in his life. So I was texting him, I do that now and then, inviting him to our church. He goes,
“Ed, man, it’s good to hear your voice. You won’t believe what’s happened!” I go,
“What?” He goes,
“You know, I always thought that God was in nature so I worked out outside all the time, ride bikes, and run. I just came to a point in my life recently where I gave my life to Christ! It’s crazy! I don’t have the desire to party, to get high any more, it’s like, wow!” I said,
“Roger, that is fantastic! Let me tell you something, man. The most important thing for you to do is get involved in the only thing Jesus ever built, the local church. Granted, I’m partial. I think Fellowship Church is the best church in the world but there are some other churches out there.” And he goes,
“Oh no, no, no. Man, I am in Fellowship!” So next Sunday Roger will be in the house! How cool is that? And I don’t know how he came to that decision. I know he watches on television some, online, and he had been to church a couple of times but man, he’s a saint now!
Saint Roger! Saint Ed! Saint Lisa! What’s your name? Saint Stacy! Saint Chris! Wow, let’s start calling each other saints. I like that. Saints! So we recognize our sainthood. I’m telling ya this is a positive series. This is empowering to me because I’m tired of saying, “Good isn’t good enough. Good isn’t good enough.” I struggle with that. Everybody does.
The second part of this app, rely on your resources. Rely on your resources. Ephesians 1:3, “Praise be to God and Father our Lord Jesus Christ who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with (say this phrase with me) every spiritual blessing in Christ.” One more time. Every spiritual blessing in Christ.
How many here need more patience? How many here need more wisdom? How many here need more faith? All of us are liars. Every single person. I just lied in front of you. I don’t need more! I don’t need more of that, you don’t either! I don’t need any more patience, wisdom, or faith. You don’t either! What?
Well I just read to you what the Bible says about your resources and mine. We have everything we need! We have all the patience we need. We have all the wisdom we need. And we have all of the faith we need. All we’ve got to do, by faith, is access that each and every day! We’ve got it all! We’ve got it all. We’ve got every blessing if we’re a follower of Christ. If we’re a saint. Now if we’re an ain’t that’s a whole notha situation. But if you’re a saint we don’t need anything else. We got it! Why? We got Jesus! He’s in your life and mine!
The third part of this app. I think I’m blowing some of your minds. It blew my mind, too, as I was studying for this. I was like, Wow! I’m a saint! I don’t have to worry! I need more… no I’ve got patience. ‘Cause I’ve got Jesus. I either access that or not, that’s my choice.
OK, here’s another one. Rest on your relationship, the last part of this app, #3. Rest on your relationship. We’re adopted, the Bible says, into the family of God once we receive Christ. We’re adopted. We’re not talking about foster care, we’re talking about adoption. Back in Biblical times you could disown a biological child. You could not disown an adopted one. We’re adopted into God’s family.
Now I’m gonna read to you Ephesians 1:4-5, and we’re gonna talk about the tension between the sovereignty of God and the free will of man. No one knows the sovereignty of God, where the sovereignty ends and where free will begins, or where free will ends and sovereignty begins. No one knows. We cannot wrap our finite, pea-brains around it. God is God. His ways are higher than our ways. But here’s what God says. Look at this. “For he chose is in him before the creation of the world.” I’m picked on God’s team! I’m the first-round draft choice! I don’t deserve it! It takes me 10 years to run the 40. I can’t even bench-press my weight. Maybe I can crank out a pull-up or two, my vertical jump is like, what, 13 inches! I’m the first-round draft choice! Wow! And God chose me before the creation of the world. To be holy and blameless in his sight. I’m blameless. So again, if the enemy goes, “You’re not good enough. You’re not good enough. Ed, you’re not good enough. Who are you to preach? You’re not good enough. Who are you? Who are you to say… who are you?” We say,
“Whoa, whoa, whoa. I’m not gonna argue with you. Because you’re right, I’m not good enough but talk to God about it.” And God’s gonna say,
“He has/She has the righteousness of Christ. They are blameless and holy.”
“He predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ in accordance to his pleasure and will.”
Wow. Powerful stuff. <trumpeting sound> Do you have a whack view of truth or do you know who you are?
There’s a guy in the Bible named Mephibosheth, back in the Old Testament. Stay with me. Mephibosheth (put your thinking caps on) was the son of Jonathan. Jonathan was the son of King Saul, I’m talking about Psycho Saul. King Saul was the man, highly jealous of David. You know David, the giant killer. He tried to kill David. Strangely, Jonathan and David were best friends. They made a blood covenant together, slit their arms, exchanged blood, and a blood covenant basically said, “David, everything I have is yours.” And David said, “Jonathan everything that you have is mine.” This goes on for generations and generations, the blood covenant.
Well, King Saul dies. Jonathan dies. There’s a new king in town, David. David takes the throne and the first thing he does in his administration is he goes,
“Hey, is there anyone left in King Saul’s household?” Everybody goes,
“Oh no, no.” Because they knew David was gonna open up a can, right? An old servant named Ziba said,
“Yes. Yes, there is, King. Jonathan’s son, Mephibosheth. You know the one that was dropped by a nanny, the one who is crippled? He survived. They have taken him away and he’s cloistered away in a hideout because he knows what’s coming.” David said,
“Get Mephibosheth.” Now think about Mephibosheth for a second. Crippled, physically challenged, can’t walk, can’t play with the other kids. He’s in this hideout and he knows one day <boom-boom-boom> the knock will come on the door. He knows that David’s gonna get him and kill him. And sure enough, he sees the Bentley and Rolls chariots coming down his street. He knows it’s curtains.
“Hey! Is Mephibosheth here?”
“I’m Mephibosheth.” So they pick Mephibosheth up and bring him to David. He’s lying there on the floor. David’s looking at him and Mephibosheth says,
“David, I’m a dead dog. I’m a dead dog! I’m nothing.” And David looks at him and he says, “Mephibosheth, you are like my son now. You are gonna sit at my table. You can tap into my resources (and David was a multibillionaire), you will live at the palace. Not because of just you, I mean I like you and all that, but because of the covenant I cut with your father, Jonathan. Because your grandfather was the King.”
You wanna talk about someone who was lame? You wanna talk about someone who had the wrong name? You wanna talk about someone who had every reason to fall into blame? Mephibosheth! The next morning he woke up, silk sheets, servants all around him. they wheel him down to breakfast. He’s sitting there. You can’t tell his legs are lame because of the linen tablecloths. He’s looking around and he sees David and he says,
“King, will you pass me the grits?” I threw that part in. And as David reached for the marmalade or whatever he saw that scar on his arm signifying the blood covenant. Mephibosheth knew, wow, I’m here because of the blood covenant. Not because of what I’ve done but because of who I am, what’s been done for me.
We’re Mephibosheth! We’ve fallen! We’ve sinned. We’re lame! And we play that Lame Game, don’t we? Limping through life. We’ve got the wrong name but once we’re adopted, man we’re saints! Really my name is Ed Christian, and that’s what your name is. Blame? Christ has taken the blame on the cross, as he spilled his blood in the most vulnerable act in the history of the world.
Good isn’t good enough. But God is God enough.
<Ed leads in closing prayer.>