A Note from Jo…On Inadequacy
My mother used to write a regular article called “Moments with Meryl” in The Intercessor. They were really good, practical articles about life with teenage children and how she applied the Total Truth of Christ in you, as you, as daily problems and challenges came up in her life. The conversations she had with herself (which were really talking through soul and spirit reality in the nitty gritty of life) were entertaining and very helpful. I am now grown and raising my own children. I have read back through some of these “Moments with Meryl” from a different perspective. I identify with a lot of the conversations she had with herself as she lived out this Total Truth, which I am grateful to say has since become my own precious Total Truth. This has given me a desire to share some “moments” in the magazine.
So here I am starting out writing this new article and already I’m thinking to myself things like: “Who am I kidding? I can’t write very well; I’m not good at it; I don’t have anything interesting to say.” Look at all those “I’s”! If you are new to reading the material in this magazine, or maybe haven’t quite caught what is being shared in each article, let me tell you: thinking I am an alone I is Satan’s trick—his lie—to make me forget I am just a vessel and my human spirit is joined to Christ’s Spirit since my New Birth (He that is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.” 1 Cor. 6:17). So there is no just Jo to write this article. There is no “me” to be a good writer, or a bad writer. (“Apart from Me you can do NOTHING.” John 5:15.) If Christ wants to say something by me, he will say it exactly if, when, and how He wants to. So long as I trust it is Him doing the writing, IT IS HIM! Phew!
In thinking about what to write and those first few thoughts (not sin), I am reminded how subtle Satan can be. I caught myself this morning, for instance, thinking I should be more productive, do more with my children, have more interests/hobbies/skills etc. and I realized a large part of that temptation was thanks to social media and TV. It’s like a competition out there to show what a great life you have! Or how successful you are at various things. Maybe it’s just my stage in life, but that’s what it seems like to me. Well, I’m so grateful to know, number 1: social media and TV are not real life! And number 2: real life is a Person, Jesus Christ (“I am the Way, the Truth and the Life,” John 14:6), living His life out through me; and who am I to say what that should look like? As Norman says in Continuous Revival: Jesus was a “common old carpenter.” So I think a work-from-home housewife, mother and part-time homeschooler is pretty alright! Not to mention how blessed I am to have a house and a husband and 3 healthy children.
But the real answer to these subtle temptations is to look within–Who I am joined to in my Spirit center. He is All and in All (Colossians 3:11) and if I have All what more is there?! It is fine for me to have those thoughts and feelings (temptations are not sin—see Yes, I Am chapter 29 for extra reading); but those are my opportunities to see through to the Spirit reality—to say: “This is what I’m feeling; but this is what I KNOW.” Feelings are temporary, always changing, and Spirit is the same yesterday, today and forever (Heb. 13:8). Just because I feel inadequate or like I’m not good at something, that is just a feeling in my soul. It does nothing to change my Spirit operator. Christ is always adequate; Christ is strong when I am weak, Christ is perfect peace and perfect power. He is all those things in and through me. Victory!
Conversely, some people are on the other end of the spectrum—thinking they do a great job and are proud of how well “they” do certain things. It’s OK to be proud of a job well done, BUT, if anyone thinks they are independent of God and have what it takes in themselves to do ANYTHING, that is also Satan’s lie. Remember: “Apart from me you can do nothing”? So neither one is right if left as the final word. Thankfully, Jude tells us that Christ is “able to keep us from stumbling,” so I trust that Christ will make me aware of times when a subtle thought or temptation is not in its proper place and I need to remember Who I really am in the face of thoughts and feelings that run contrary to that truth.
So whichever end of the spectrum you are on—inadequate or adequate—I hope these few lines will help you recognize when you are being tempted to forget your union with Christ and that He is the do-er. To God be the glory!