If I were shipwrecked on a deserted island, I’d want to be shipwrecked with Jennie Allen — because sister knows Jesus, knows His Word, knows how to pray & her & I have been flat on our faces before Him, asking Him to show His way for this generation. I’ve laughed late with her kids and ate around her table and Jennie is nothing if she’s not a pitcher poured right out for her husband, her children, her Jesus and her sisters down the streets and across the aisle and around the globe. Jennie understands the daily struggle so many of us face with inadequacy and insecurity. We often find ourselves paralyzed by the belief that we are not good enough, talented enough, or spiritual enough to do what we are supposed to do in life. And today she invites us into a different experience, one in which our souls are content and everything shifts. It’s a grace to welcome Jennie to the farm’s front porch today…
If I were your enemy, this is what I would do:
Make you believe you need permission to lead.
Make you believe you are helpless.
Make you believe you are insignificant.
Make you believe that God wants your decorum and behavior.
And for years these lies have been sufficient to shut down much of the church.
But now many of you are awake. You are in the Word and on your knees. God is moving through you, and you are getting dangerous. You are starting to get free and leading other people to freedom. The old lies are no longer adequate.
So if I were your enemy, I would make you numb and distract you from God’s story.
Technology, social media, Netflix, travel, food and wine, comfort. I would not tempt you with notably bad things, or you would get suspicious.
I would distract you with everyday comforts that slowly feed you a different story and make you forget God.
Then you would dismiss the Spirit leading you, loving you, and comforting you. Then you would start to love comfort more than surrender and obedience and souls.
If that didn’t work, I would attack your identity. I would make you believe you had to prove yourself.
Then you would focus on yourself instead of God.
Friends would become enemies.
Teammates would become competition.
You would isolate yourself and think you are not enough.
You would get depressed and be ungrateful for your story.
You would compare and believe you are better than others.
You would judge people who need God.
You would condemn them rather than love and invite them in.
You would gossip and destroy and tear down other works of God.
Either way you would lose your joy, because your eyes would be fixed on yourself and people instead of on Jesus.
And if that didn’t work, I would intoxicate you with the mission of God rather than God Himself.
Then you would worship a cause instead of Jesus.
You would fight each other to have the most important roles.
You would burn out from striving.
You would think that success is measured by the results you see.
You would build platforms for applause rather than to display God.
Then all your time and effort would be spent on becoming important rather than on knowing Jesus and loving people. The goals would be to gather followers, earn fancy job titles, publish books, build big ministries rather than to seek the souls of men and the glory of God.
And if that didn’t work, I would make you suffer.
Then maybe you would think God is evil rather than good.
Your faith would shrink.
You would get bitter and weary and tired rather than flourish and grow and become more like Christ.
You would try to control your life rather than step into the plans He has for you.
The enemy is telling you that freedom is only found in finally proving to yourself and to the world that…
you are important.
you are in control.
you are liked.
you are happy.
you are enough.
Here is the thing. The enemy promises water, but every time we go to his wells, they are empty.
He gives us a sip of water, enough that we keep believing him. We have believed the lie that our cravings will be satisfied if we are enough and if we have enough. So we chase image, answers, things, people—and we wonder all the while, Why am I still thirsty?
God is clear in the book of Jeremiah about what is happening:
My people have committed two sins:
They have forsaken me,
the spring of living water,
and have dug their own cisterns,
broken cisterns that cannot hold water.
Water. No human can survive three days without it. No other resource is more essential to sustain life. None.
There is water for you. Not just enough to quench your thirst but an unlimited supply that will fill you and then come pouring out of you into a thirsty world.
But the water you need is found in only one Source.
I’ll tell you right up front, there is no secret here. Just one answer to your thirst:
“If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink,” He says in the gospel of John. “Whoever believes in me…streams of living water will flow from within him.”
He alone is the source from which flows all the things we crave and hope to become.
He always delivers.
Because with Him, we have Nothing. to. Prove.
Jennie Allen’s brand new book, Nothing to Prove: Why We Can Stop Trying So Hard invites you into a different experience, one in which our souls are content and epic dreams unfold through our lives. As you wade into the refreshing truth of the more-than-enough life Jesus offers, you’ll experience the joyous freedom that comes to those who are determined to discover what God can do through a soul completely in love with Him.
Jennie is a recovering achiever who is passionate about Jesus. She is the bestselling author of Nothing to Prove, Anything, and Restless, as well as the founder and visionary for the million-strong IF:Gathering, which exists to gather, equip, and unleash the next generation to live out their purpose. Jennie speaks frequently at conferences such as Catalyst and Q. She holds a master’s degree in biblical studies from Dallas Theological Seminary and lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband, Zac, and their four children. Your soul desperately needs to know — it has Nothing to Prove.
[ Our thanks to WaterBrook Multnomah for their partnership in today’s devotion ]