No One Wants the Life Jesus Promised – Not Even Me

Jesus came to give us life to the full but no one really wants that.

Think about it. Jesus had life to the full and so did His followers. There was companionship, laughter, and joy. There were miracles, healings, and the dead raised from the grave. Cowards found courage. The cold-hearted learned to love and apostles sometimes transported from one place to another in an instant.

But there was also rejection, suffering, and the pain of hard choices. Apostles were driven from cities, caught in storms at sea, and stoned. They were separated from loved ones and confronted by unfriendly spirits. There were beatings, imprisonment, and crucifixions. Death preceded every resurrection.

This was a full life. This was not the small living many of us experience today. These were great stories unfolding from deep lives willing to open themselves up to the full life of Christ.

I once heard a group of sincere, godly women proclaim that they want the life they’ve read in Acts. I agreed with them at the time but when I drew apart with God, He called me on it. Do you really want this Acts existence or are you only scanning the apostolic trailer, the highlights reel, the headlines of what it means to follow Me?

True disciples follow Jesus into the valley of death, into the prison cell of suffering, and into the shipwreck of the self, denied. You dream of the Acts life but those who follow Me bury their dreams in the dirt like mustard seeds and there they wait in the dark while I do My work within them.

Yes, the life that springs forth from them is like a mighty tree that bears fruit in its time. But first, there is darkness, damp earth, and death.

Jesus drank deeply from the full cup of God’s plan for Him and it cost Him everything. The day between the crucifixion and the resurrection is a yearly reminder the we must be buried with Him to rise with Him. Most of us are willing to settle for only a tiny percent of the full life Jesus came to bring. Think about that.

I’ve seen a trailer for a movie called Lucy. In it, Morgan Freeman describes the main character who is undergoing a chemically-induced transformation so she’s able to use an increasing amount of her brain. Most of us only use about 10%. Not Lucy. In the trailer, Freeman’s character says this about her: At 24%, she can control the cells in her body. At 40%, she can control matter. At 62%, she can control other people. What happens when she reaches 100%? No one knows.

Jesus calls us to the full life. An Acts life. And if we could hear Him inviting us deeper into this life, I think we would hear Him say something similar to Morgan Freeman’s Lucy speech. Most of you Christians are only experiencing 10% of the full life. If you follow Me, at 24% you can control your thoughts and attitudes. At 40%, you can be content in any circumstance. At 62%, you stop trying to control people and experience the freedom to love them sacrificially. What happens at 100%? Follow me. I’ll show you. I’m there.

Follow Him where? Into death. Death of self. Because death precedes every resurrection.

Do I want life to the full? I want to want it. I’m praying for the courage to receive it.

I don’t want to remain stuck in the small story of my small mind, my stunted soul, my lesser life. I want to follow Jesus into His great story; my mind transformed, my soul expanded, my life lived to the full.

What about you? Do you want to remain trapped in your small story? Operating from a lesser calling? Or are you willing to follow Him to live the true fullness of the Jesus life?

I think we should worry less about being small-minded and concern ourselves with avoiding the smallness of soul that keeps us from following Jesus wherever He wants to lead us.

This week, this holiest of weeks, ask Jesus – what does this look like in my life, Lord? I want to go where you go. Take me with you.

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9 Comments

    The Conversation

  1. Donna Richmond says:

    Amen to

  2. Julie Kaspick says:

    Excellent!

  3. Karen Garnett says:

    Interesting concept

  4. Another dart to the heart. I whisper ‘thank you’ as I head off to ponder the implications for my life in Christ at 24%, 40%, 62%.

  5. Tim Shoemaker says:

    Great post, Lori! So much to think about.

  6. Jim Klock says:

    Well said. And….ouch.

  7. Sandy Eisele says:

    Lori,

    Praise God, He is proven to be faithful and true to His word; all things are made new starting with our new life in Christ and it never stops. It appears for the individual to start with the new heart. He truly is worthy of our praise and our all being laid on the alter of our life. We have been given beyond anything we could possibly imagine. Remember the sin stained imagination and desires of our heart and mind, have been made new, through His life!

  8. Bethany says:

    Amen. The church continues to look down on people who have been called to suffer for His Name’s sake. It’s easy to quote the scripture…

    “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.” Romans 12:1

    …and believe that it’s been attained without much or any suffering. Yet many of the Lord’s chosen people live it out on a daily basis, without end in sight. Yet still praising His Name. Believing that we are blessed to become dead to this world and joining the Suffering Son in the next. Decades in I still have to remind myself that there is a purpose in this long journey between faithless Egypt and the Promised Land of the faithful. Suffering is not done by the dead, but the living do suffer. I don’t belittle prayers for healing, deliverance etc. But when we see that it continues in spite of our prayers we need to align ourselves with the will of God, and let go of our own will to live to this world.