Finding Strength in the Love of God: Overcoming the Spirit of Inadequacy
The other morning I woke up wrong. I was irritable, sad, and frustrated. I had been up a lot the night before dealing with my one year old, who I can’t get to sleep through the night. Thoughts that flooded my mind: “Not good enough, smart enough, determined enough, creative enough: Not Enough.”
Have you ever found yourself thinking, “I’m just not good enough?” Or maybe it sounds more like, “Why is it so hard for me? No one else seems to struggle like this? Why can’t I just be as good as everyone else I know?!”
My mind races to these thoughts when life gets hard. When I feel out of my depth, or I don’t know what to do --I experience the Spirit of Inadequacy.
Inadequate means lacking, not enough, not up to snuff. The Accuser loves to oppress us with a Spirit of Inadequacy.
I find myself at war between surrendering to a perfect God who is able to radiate His glory through my weakness, and trying to mask my insufficiencies like makeup on my aging face.
The Accuser loves to nag at my mind: “you are not enough, better hide how insufficient you are. Be ashamed of yourself. You should be better. Everyone else has this figured out, why are you so pathetic? You don’t have what it takes. You will NEVER BE ENOUGH.”
The fear he steeps into my heart is like a poisonous venom. It makes me easily offended, and highly critical of myself and those I love most. I become ungracious to myself and that breeds ungraciousness to those around me. I become a person I cannot stand, and yet cannot escape.
The accusing Spirit of Inadequacy hopes to keep us so fixed on our own failings and shortcomings that we completely forget about the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit at work in our life. Satan works to hinder us from healthy relationships that point us to Christ and one of the easiest ways to do that is by making us feel inferior, easily offended, critical, harsh, irritable, or just plain angry: He uses the Spirit of Inadequacy to flood our life with death.
It's in these moments that I need sanctifying solutions. I cannot will-power my way out of this demonic Spirit of Inadequacy and all the accompanying symptoms. I am not good enough or strong enough to be the cure for Satan’s poison. I need the cleansing power of Christ.
It starts with a prayer, “God help me. I don’t want to be like this.” and crescendos into the most beautiful love song my King of kings can sing over me.
“I am strong enough. Bring your lack to me. Bring your rage, your hate, your fear, your hurt, your judgemental criticism, your weakness to me. I can handle it all. Come and drink of my Spirit and be refreshed. Come to the well of living water and quench your cracked, parched soul that burns with lack inside you. Let my Spirit soothe you like a healing balm. Let me cover you with my mighty Spirit and give you rest that heals. Walk with me, and I will cover all the places you are lacking. I will fill in all the cracks. I am not limited or incapable. I am strong enough, holy enough, powerful enough. Lay your burdens on me and take up my peace.”
The Spirit of Inadequacy is rooted in a half truth. I am not enough on my own: this is true. But in Christ, I am and have more than I could ever need or imagine and this gives me the courage to keep pressing on.
The Spirit of Inadequacy works to imprison us through our shame, fear, anger, cynicism, and sin. It undermines all that God’s word says about what Christ accomplished for us. It seeks to nullify his sacrifice and keep us striving to earn God’s love and favor. The truth is, without Christ we are all inadequate. This is why he had to sacrifice his own life.
Inadequacy keeps you focused on your lack, Christ’s grace invites us into an intimate partnership with our Creator God and gives us the courage to grow.