(Happy 4th of July everyone!)
Life to the full.
These words/phrases have been playing on repeat in my life recently. More specifically this verse:
I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
Jesus, promising us a full life….but…… WHAT DOES THAT MEAN!!!!!?
We’ve heard the cliche’s: “live like there’s no tomorrow.” “yolo.” Stuff that basically says, life is too short so you have to give it all you got. But how many of us actually do so, or even understand what it means to live life fully?
One lyric from a Ben Rector song called “Song for the Suburbs” he says:” I want to live until I die.” Obviously we are living…but as I was meditating on that lyric, I feel like Ben is trying to say something along the lines of this: I want to live life to the full. I don’t want to live a cookie-cutter, comfortable lifestyle only to find out it’s just plastic. This “american dream” we are chasing, owning a nice car/home, being at the top of the ladder, being successful, being known…could we be blinded? Could we be running in darkness rather than running in the light? I don’t want to die living a comfortable lifestyle because there I feel like there is something else that is SO much bigger.
I don’t know why I was confused about this verse (John 10:10) and so I prayed. And because life is so ordinary, I asked: how can I live life to the full when I have 3 practicals to study for, I’m needing to go to the grocery store because cereal has been around for too many meals, or I have to clean my bedroom that got hit by a tornado about 3 months ago?
So I was driving one day, and started asking and asking annnnnnd asking what God wanted to speak to me through this. I heard the word “freedom” in my heart. Okayyyy……. so Jesus came for us to have a full life, that doesn’t mean just going crazy for our selfish ambitions, but to be free. Sweet.
But freedom from what? Galatians 5:1: “it is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of SLAVERY.”
From slaves to sin. To being free from sin. To living life fully because we are free from sin…because..Jesus!
You guys, there is no bondage on us. My answer was that simple answer I knew from the day I started my relationship with Christ.
To continue that beautiful chapter in Galatians: “you, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, SERVE one another in LOVE.”
From slaves to sin. To being free from sin. To living life fully because we are free from sin. To being able to serve and love as our definition of living life fully.
The greed, the lust, the gluttony, the shame, the guilt, the impurities, or whatever you are battling with……those things HAVE NO HOLD ON US so we can live a full life. We can serve and love without those burdens on us.
I was at a Younglife camp for a hot second a few days ago. I got the opportunity to listen to the camp speaker speak to hundreds of high school kids. Guess what verse he started with. Yep, John 10:10. God is really funny when He wants to teach me things. Anyways, then I was thinking, “wow, all these kids are hearing this right now. Some have the biggest burdens on their shoulders. Some don’t even know Christ. Some might not even know the fullness of life that is just tapping on their shoulder, waiting for them to taste and see the goodness of FREEDOM.” They are having the opportunity RIGHT now to hear the good news. To feel that freedom. To grasp onto the concept of living life fully….despite the stresses going on in their lives.
Let that sink in. For those who maybe are in the same shoes as those high school kids, freedom is just around the corner.
So friends, it is for freedom that you have been set free to live life to the fullest. It is so much more than crossing off skydiving on our bucket lists or having a memorable weekend that was actually really hard to remember. It is not out of our selfish ambitions, but it is to fully surrender ourselves to the work of the Lord each day. Even at work, even at school, even shopping, even getting your haircut, even at the gym, even in line at a coffee shop….those ordinary moments are extraordinarily purposeful. As Levi Lusko puts it:”There are people you get to talk to every day whom it would take a miracle for a preacher to get in front of. But for you it’s as effortless as sitting in second period or clocking in for an afternoon shift at your job. Lucky!” (Through the Eyes of a Lion). Lucky indeed.
To be honest, this concept is something I will be learning my whole life. I will always be abiding and asking the Lord what that looks like in my life because my ordinary situations in life can be changing. But knowing that it is by Christ that I am set free to live life fully, I don’t have to believe for one second that my fears, my insecurities, or the things of my sinful nature that hold me back from feeling free, withhold me from serving and loving one another. Because they aren’t withholding me, and I can serve and love. Because Jesus equips me to do so. And that is fully living.