No One Wants the Life Jesus Promised

church-820339_640Jesus 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, hiking-boots-455754_640my 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 whereever He wants to lead us.

Today, of all days, is the best one for asking Him – what does this look like in my life, Lord? I want to go where you go. Take me with you.

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7 Comments

    The Conversation

  1. Some days, it’s hard to even want the life Jesus promises. When I hit a hard spot, I slip back into mediocre. The Holy Spirit transforms our minds and hearts when we surrender to Him. It takes lots of courage!

  2. Carla says:

    I just gotta say, I love you, Lori! I hear your heart beat desperately seeking MORE, and mine answers. My life before I surrendered completely was a constant search for approval from the world. Does my hair look better than everyone else’s? Are my clothes just so? Is my house looking it’s best? Are my children so well behaved people hold me up as the model mother? And I was so depressed I begged my family to just let me take my life so I could end the misery.

    The life Jesus called me to once I quit worrying about what the world thought about me is a 180. Though my outside body is trashed and I go around in sweats now, the inside of me is more alive than I ever imagined. We too have had the ‘I want the Acts Church’ talks, but when push comes to shove, what we want is the hoopla but with all the conveniences of living in the world. I am a work in progress, and sometimes I AM like Frodo slogging up Mount Doom, but each day my driving purpose is to encourage someone, impart a little wisdom, and together we will find Truth. I can’t remember now how I stumbled upon your Deeper In Jesus In Rhode Island, but I am certainly glad I did!

    God bless, have a wonderful Resurrection Sunday!

  3. Megan Vance says:

    Lori,
    You are right, no one wants suffering. But we do want the fruit of the Holy Spirit which gives us love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness and self control. I think as we realize that we cannot do it inside of ourselves it gives incentive to let Him have control of our life, instead of staying in the mess we are without Him. Hope you are feeling great soon.
    Love,
    Megan

  4. Joyce says:

    Right on again, Lori. While we all pray “Lord, let me see Your power in my life”, we should also be praying, “Lord, prepare me to drink the cup that you drank.”

  5. Cheryl Sharp says:

    Lori,
    I have been following you for years and you consistently write exactly what is in my heart! I am forever forwarding your posts. Keep writing what our precious Jesus tells you to write and we will keep reading!