There are very few of life’s questions that can’t be answered by following Jesus’ most simple advice. Especially the one thing everybody wants to know: How to “have life and have it abundantly.” (Jno 10:10)
What does that mean? Do you think you already have it? How can it become reality for you?
Jesus said, “Come unto Me.” (Matt 11:28)
Here’s how to respond, and what happens when you do.
1. Be stupid enough
Committing your will and your desires to an invisible God with invisible attributes, invisible power, and who creates and governs invisible things, but Who says to you, “Come unto Me,” probably seems stupid.
But look what’s promised to those who do: “…and I will give you rest.”
Not, “I will let you relax,” but “I will resurrect you from mediocrity and perfect you with My Own Spirit for exuberant living.”
2. Let Jesus become everything to you
“Abide in Me…” In other words, be joined personally with Jesus, and internalize His teaching.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” (Jno 15:5-7, emphasis added)
There is no room for self-interest or self-sufficiency in God’s economy if we’re to escape nothingness and come alive in Him.
“Take nothing for your journey, no staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money; and do not have two tunics.” (Luke 9:3)
Let Jesus become everything to you, and know what it means to be at home with him now, in this life, and forever.
3. Feel the exhilaration of reckless abandon
We believe we can give our talents and gifts to God. How do you give away what wasn’t yours to begin with?
The only thing that I can give God — the only thing that truly belongs to me — is my right to myself.
“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” (Rom 12:1)
We belong to God, and He can be trusted. He orchestrates every detail of our lives. Believing that, we can abandon ourselves to any circumstance He ordains.
4. Thinking like Jesus becomes second nature
“[T]ake every thought captive to obey Christ.” (2 Cor 10:5b)
God won’t do this for us. It’s an act of our will.
Commend every thought, concern, and desire in life to Christ. It’s all or nothing.
We have no right to engineer our own circumstances. Abiding in Christ means being perfectly at home with Him, as the apostle Paul was, “in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger… through honor and dishonor, through slander and praise… treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as punished, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything.” (2 Cor 6:1-11)
…all without conscious thought.
5. All the omnipotent power of the grace of God becomes yours
God puts new life in us but we have to work it out; force it to the surface of our daily lives. Form habits; build character. None of this comes naturally. It’s work.
What frustrates our spiritual life is that we dream big. We strive to discover some dynamic calling that God has kept hidden from us. Bull. That’s ‘Big Dream Theology.’
Never confuse doing something big with doing something that matters: “Jesus… taking a towel… began to wash the disciples’ feet…” (Jno 13:1-17)
Thrilling moments on the mountaintop are paved with drudgery, forming habits and building character needed for the summit.
Life is lived in the “valley of death,” where He and His power goes with us daily. (Psa 23:4)
Drudgery is the pre-ordained circumstances in which we prove our love for God through obedience in the smallest details. That’s when the whole eternal power of the grace of God through Jesus Christ become ours.
“Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psa 37:4) Or “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will reveal to you the true desires He placed in your heart, hidden from your wanting fleshly mind.”
That’s what you really want!