I’ve had a lot of time recently to reflect on what it means to live life to the fullest. There are 2 main reasons I think it’s hard for many to live life to the fullest.
1. I think it’s hard for many of us to do because we choose to accept a life of condemnation instead of the freedom Christ came to offer us.
There are no shortage of people in most of our lives standing in line to accuse, condemn, and criticize us. It’s part of the “human condition”. Yet Christ came to reveal a life of freedom from condemnation. He once said to a prostitute, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.” (John 8:10)
Yet most of us in our everyday lives choose to accept the condemnation of others and live in that condemnation. Jesus said “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36) This freedom Jesus is speaking of is two-fold. First, it’s freedom from sin. You and I can tap into His power to overcome sin in our lives when we choose to follow Him and surrender our will. Secondly, He is speaking of a life free from the many things that keep us from living life to the fullest. When ignorant people choose to condemn and criticize, you do not have to accept it as truth, for if you are set free… YOU ARE FREE. Live in that freedom. Accept the mercy of the Father. God is not the one who is keeping a record of wrongs. You are. In the grand scheme the words of other people are inconsequential. Only God’s words matter. Our identity is not in mankind, but in Christ Jesus, the Redeemer.
2. The other major roadblock to living a life of freedom and fullness is stress. How many of us are “worrying” our way through life. Worry and stress are tactics designed to keep your eyes focused on the temporal instead of the eternal. Forget living life to the fullest… or even at all, if we cannot see beyond our current circumstances. God desires us to be forward looking people. Looking forward to the “hope we have in Christ Jesus” instead of being bogged down by the here and now. Yes, we have to deal with the here and now, but as quickly as it came, today will be gone and it’ll be tomorrow. God wants to empower us to see the eternal, not be discouraged by the temporary. The job loss, the sickness, the divorce, the relationship problems… they are all temporal. But the hope we have in Christ is FOREVER. It is ETERNAL.
Jesus said in Luke 12:27 “Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 28 But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! 29 And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried. 30 For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31 Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you. 32 “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”
Knowing that God is on our side in this way what do we really have to be worried about? This is what it means to be focused on the eternal instead of the temporal.
When we learn to overcome these two roadblocks, we are on the way to discovering the richness of this life. Learn to shut out the voice of the “accuser of the brethren” and live in the eternal not the temporal. I encourage you to refocus your prayer life for the month of April on these two principles and ask God to show you what real life is.