I read yesterday where some people in areas not previously affected by the pandemic are asking seriously, Are we doing enough? Are we washing our hands enough? Are we using hand sanitizer enough? Are we social distancing enough? Are we sanitizing enough?
In other words, we know we are doing the right things, but are we doing them carefully enough, well enough? How much is enough to keep safe?
When it is a health hazard, it is—or should be—everyone’s concern.
But this question strikes us with an even deeper meaning for our spiritual lives. When it is about fulfilling our pledge to God, I keep asking, Am I doing enough? I may be doing the right things, but am doing enough? Am I giving my best, or am I relaxing on what is comfortable and convenient? What is the Lord expecting of me?
Am I giving enough?
Perhaps the simplest, most direct answer is: God wants commitment without compromise.
Let’s go to Psalm 116 and read what David says about his own personal offering of himself. First, see how much he appreciates what God has done for him.
Ps. 116:5–9 5Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; Yes, our God is merciful. 6The Lord preserves the simple; I was brought low, and He saved me. 7Return to your rest, O my soul, For the Lord has dealt bountifully with you. 8For You have delivered my soul from death, My eyes from tears, And my feet from falling. 9I will walk before the Lord In the land of the living.
David realized he was in debt to God for his very life! Verse 8 again:
8For You have delivered my soul from death, My eyes from tears, And my feet from falling.
What could he give God that would be ENOUGH in return for such a deliverance? He answers the question:
Ps. 116:12–15 12What shall I render to the Lord For all His benefits toward me? 13I will take up the cup of salvation, And call upon the name of the Lord. 14I will pay my vows to the Lord now in the presence of all His people.
Pay your vows—and you vowed YOUR ALL! Commitment without compromise.
Then he says what God really wants to see:
15Precious in the sight of the Lord Is the death of His saints.
Death is “precious” when death is an enemy? (1 Cor. 15:26). Never!
But there is more than one kind of “death” in Scripture. This one is the death of his saints, and that death is “precious.” What is it? It is each one’s death to sin, the death of his self-will, the death that is a total giving up of himself to God. Does this tell us anything about how much is enough?
Think about what Paul said in Romans 15, after speaking of the comfort we get from the Scriptures.
Rom. 15:13 13Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
How much hope is enough?
J. B. Phillips translates this abounding phrase: “that your whole life and outlook may be radiant with hope.” The “radiance” is the abounding, overflowing joy we have in a hope that is absolutely sure.
Again as Paul wrote to the Philippians, Paul pictures our love for God as an ever growing, ever increasing commitment. Not just enough, but more and more!
Phil. 1:9–11 9And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment,
Abounding “more and more”… we haven’t reached the “enough” level yet!
And what will this abounding love do for us? How will it change us?
10that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ,
Paul says it will affect our standards, what we approve or disapprove. We will be satisfied only with “things that are excellent”—the very BEST. This is the standard required by the law of God.
And when our obedience to God is first, we will be, verse 11:
11…filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
Paul says it again to the Thessalonians.
1 Thess. 3:12 12And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all, just as we do to you,
Not enough yet. They were doing well, but he wanted to see them “increase and abound” more and more, “in love to one another and to all.”
He said it again in the next chapter, adding emphasis: “we urge and exhort.”
1 Thess. 4:1–12 1Finally then, brethren, we urge and exhort in the Lord Jesus that you should abound more and more, just as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God;
Not enough yet to meet the standard. They needed to “abound more and more.”
When is this push for “more and more” most vital? We cannot conclude without this passage from Hebrews 10.
Heb. 10:24–25 24And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.
We see the “Day approaching” as none before us have ever seen. How intent we should be in stirring one another up “to love and good works…and so much the more.” Am I watching ENOUGH? Am I alert ENOUGH? Am I being careful ENOUGH?
This is no time to relax or become complacent. Have we done all we can to stir one another and ourselves? We can always do more. The Scriptures are filled with these “stirring” challenges – for clean hands that are “stronger and stronger”; for faith that “grows exceedingly”; for a path toward the Kingdom that shines “brighter and brighter unto the perfect day.”
What does Hebrews say again?
“Let us therefore fear lest a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of [us] should seem to come short of it”—because we didn’t do enough.
How much is enough? Nothing short of our very best, our all.
The Kingdom will be worth it—a million times over!