If you go back to the garden, the Devil used the first twisting of identity to get Eve to eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. This hater of man went to Eve and challenged her understanding of what God really said; When he suggested that there was more that she could attain to please God by eating this fruit and coming into full knowledge. In one conversation he not only attacked the image of God and his goodness, but injects a lie into Eve that will follow her children for a lifetime: the lie that just as she is, she is not enough.
The enemy isn’t creative. He has been using the same tried and true tactic ever since.
Many of our fears, shame, and control can be boiled down to this lie. I have struggled with the lie that I am not enough as a mom, wife, friend, daughter, disciple, you name it, I have felt insufficient in it at one time or another. And the fruit of the lie is shame, fear and control, which are all doors for other lies to enter.
The enemy can also use the sibling of this lie: "I am too much". I imagine that Eve heard this in the devil’s line of questioning. She is too trusting, too naïve, too innocent to understand the things of God. Nowadays we play down the areas where we are happy or experiencing success for the sake of humility and not offending others. Too much favor, too many Holy Spirit encounters, too much talent, too much beauty, too outgoing, too introverted, too good a marriage or too nice a home. Shame, fear and control can attach themselves to these to try and steal the joy of a gift from God. And the devil loves it.
Because how do you hurt a powerful God? You aim for His kids.
In college I wrote a screenplay about the early life of King David. In my peer edit groups, my fellow students would complain that David was a boring choir boy and that Saul was more likable because he was flawed and therefore more relatable. Offended, I wrote them off because, what did they know? Unsaved Philistines.
But as I have grown in my walk with the Lord and in maturity, I agree with them. There is something so very real and human about King Saul’s struggle. Had he overcome, he could have been truly great.
When Saul is chosen, he is the tallest man in Israel. He looks like a king. Saul’s anointing is confirmed through prophecy and words of knowledge. He himself even begins to prophesy. Something he would do many times, even after he had rejected David and pursued him to kill him. By contrast, David is forgotten and anointed as the least of his family. He doesn’t look like a king. Why did David succeed where Saul failed?
On the day that Saul is to be presented before all of Israel, he doesn’t show up. In fact, the prophet Samuel had to ask the Lord where to find the new king. They finally found Saul hiding with the baggage. With all of Israel ready to accept him as king, he was held up by a lie and doubt about himself. He believed the lie that he wasn’t enough. And you watch this lie inform many of the decisions and even overcompensations he makes. When David hears Goliath telling him he is nothing, or later from his mentor, Saul, He responds with what His God will do. He knew he was enough, because his God is more than enough. Saul’s lack of identity made him a politician, David’s possession of one made him a king.
Reminds me of a story…
She was a tender hearted, Charismatic church lady. I had just reached the nursery to pick up my new baby boy after a service where my handsome ministry man had been sharing about Jesus. I can never tell if it is ok to brag on my husband? I think he’s the most anointed guy I know. And he’s all mine.
Church lady: “Oh, look at you, you are so beautiful.”
Clearly a woman of discernment. Although honestly, I didn’t believe her. You know that place after having a baby when you’re more marshmallow and paranoia than human? Caught somewhere between “Why do I still look pregnant?”, and “Oh my God is the baby still breathing?” That was me.
Church lady: “And your husband did so well today. He just shares the heart of God in such an amazing way……can you believe he chose you?”
Suddenly I was staring like a deer at oncoming traffic and my mind was whipped unbidden to a scene from the year before. I had been diligently cleaning the house with my brand new vacuum (obviously the beginning of our marriage) when I got around towards the side of the couch. The closer that Hoover got to the wall, the more debris it seemed to gather, starting to sound like a mini machine gun. I turned off the vacuum, and gave it a closer inspection. You know what that anointed gift from God had done? He had been peeling his toenails and dropping them behind the couch for months!
When I had recovered from my mini stroke… I just looked at this precious Church Lady and replied, in the sweetest Southern belle voice I could muster, “I pinch myself daily!”.
Now this was funny, and is part of the inspiration into why I began this blog; demystifying ministry wives, one foot in mouth at a time. But this lie, the lie that says I, Ashley Shuck, am not enough, started in my childhood, influenced by broken people around me to make it feel like truth. This lie persisted and has been the secret stab that has pained me during much of my marriage to my anointed toe nail litterer. Why me? I didn’t grow up in church. I didn’t go to seminary. I am still learning how to be a good follower of Jesus and sometimes I feel like a fraud.
Not being enough has tried to attach itself to every dream of my heart and relationship in my life. And I know I am not the only one that battles this lie.
You are a tuning fork within your family, your work, your community. And you’re not alone. And you’re not weird. No, I take that back. You’re totally weird. And THANK GOD so am I. Every time we feel wronged and we release forgiveness. Every time we are with the wounded and we release joy. Every time chaos feels like it’s winning but we maintain our peace. Every time that lie tries to tell us who we are and we turn to the word of God. Look at us. We look like Him.
We are enough.