| Mearly Existing|
Here lately I have thought on this topic more than I usually do, perhaps it a deeper reflection of my own lethargy. But none the less it's still on my mind.
Moving from mearly existing into living Life, not only living life more abundantly. There are days where we feel like we are simply existing, doing the daily grind. I was just recently tested in this area though, it wasn't a hard test because its pettiness was something I could see through. A good friend of mine presented to me a business called "World Ventures" basically its like DirectBuy except with traveling. You can become a member of this company for the low low price of 365 starting fee and then 65 per month and if you get people to sign up then by george you can make money. Great deal right? ;)
As he showed me the promo video that contained numerous testimonials of how this company changed their lives I looked and saw various people hanging out on the beach, partying at clubs, etc etc. This was the test, my heart has been seeking and searching to Live Life. Here was presented to me a presumable solution to this problem, however my heart is stiring for something else. The Lord has lately been patiently and lovingly reminding me that He is Life and true Life is in Him alone.
We as humans try to fill some kind of void and yearn and seek to live life, our time is short as we are all aware, so many people "try to make the best of it" and waste their precious Life on nonsense.
My real question though for those that have truly entered into this Life that is More Abundant is How? I know by faith but please could you convey or explain what it feels like, taste like, looks like, and sounds like? When does/did Realty meet the pavement? Just some thoughts. :)
| 2011/5/6 8:31||Profile|
| Re: Mearly Existing|
Beautiful post, for u r sooooooo on point.
I am sort of understanding what Jesus meant when he said, he that seeks to save his own life, shall die, but he that seeks to die shall have life.
We must have moments where death is imminent or real in our mortal lives, it apparently produces a different type of cry or utterance before the universe and an Eternal God.
Voids cannot be filled, but we humans will do all we can to keep this flesh pushin and reaching for anything to satisfy it. It is what we have learned, it is what we know, it is all the world can teach us, but the school of christ teaches otherwise.
He will break us, mold us, for he know, he absolutely knows whats best for the soul, he prepares, he qualifies, he anoints through the process of life so that we are equipped with heaven in our heatrs to actually and effectively help those in need, as need arises.
Brokenness has become one of my most used and favorite words for the body of Christ. For anything broken hurts, it hurst with intensity
| 2011/5/6 10:28||Profile|
| Re: Mearly Existing|
Prov 15:15b says but he that is of a merry heart has a continual feast!
That is what it tastes and feels like. A continual feast!
Having fellowship with the Lord in the "righteousness, peace, and joy of the Holy Spirit!" That would be His kingdom.
Praising and worshiping Him with all your might without shame or concern to what men think because the King is all you can see and He is the only one you are concerned with.
It is shouting at the top of your voice,"You are worthy Lord"! Sensing the pleasure of the Lord there and knowing the enemy camp trembles when the saints of God shout to the Lord.
Rejoicing with God over His provision. He rejoices over giving and we rejoice in receiving. He is not stingy. It is His good pleasure to give us the Kingdom!
| 2011/5/8 13:59||Profile|
| Re: Mearly Existing|
I am very reticent to share this on here, this being a public forum, I usually like to maintain objectivity in my posts, and am usually uncomfortable with personal stories, but oh well. I like what you are asking here Matthew, I think it is important. I have been thinking about this post for a few days now.
I am never more alive than when I am doing what it is that Christ has fitted me for. When I am acting as the vessel put in my place and am not operating out of the idolatry of presumption (which happens far more often than I should tolerate, it is by His mercy that I am not consumed), but am serving Christ out of hunger and thirst to do so.
I remember one time in particular, I was in Denver on vacation with family and was sensing a complete loss of happiness as my week had been filled with all the things one does on vacation to find happiness, hiking, visiting, rafting the Colorado River, shopping, etc. We were staying in a high rise down town and I had a compulsion within me to go and share the gospel with someone like I had never felt in my life. So I left the hotel room with my bible in my pocket and started walking the streets of Denver.
Before long I found myself in conversation with a homeless gentleman and a tourist looking for a Rave (not much older than myself at the time.) I thought I was supposed to share with the homeless man, so I gave him some money and started sharing the gospel, but he was not paying much attention, and then the guy looking for the Rave started asking me some questions.
About four hours later, there was hardly anyone on the streets anymore except for the most hardcore partiers, and this tourist was still asking me questions. To this day I do not remember much of what we talked about, but I can assure you, that man will go to his grave 100% accountable to God and the clarion call of Christ. While I do not remember the words, I do remember having never felt so alive in my life, the experience was...electric to say the least. I remember telling him things I had never even known before. The word of God was like a free flowing river from my mouth drenching every flame of excuse he kindled. When all was said and done, all that remained for him was to choose which path he would take. I prayed for him, which he gladly received and we parted ways around 2:30 in the A.M. We bisected ways with him in deep consternation, and deprived of his licentious fun for the evening. I left happier than I had ever been, radiant with joy and exhilaration at having been privileged to have been used by Jesus.
This is abundant life...responding to the call of Christ by faith. As faith is responding to God with affirmation (Galatians 3:5.) Faith is not drudging up willpower to live abundantly it is merely response. When we respond to his clear voice, life is the result. Everything else seems pale, blurry, and subterranean in comparison. This makes sense since all of creation is the result of his speaking. In a way, you could say that creation occurs again whenever we respond to his voice and do not harden our hearts. I think when we are not experiencing that abundant electric life, it is because there is probably a wedge of rebellion driven between our heart and Jesus'. (I am sure there are other reasons worth mentioning, but I suspect this is the primary culprit.)
Reality does meet the pavement. And it is more real than what we can touch. This is the physics of the kingdom of heaven. It is that reality which extends from that which is eternal, into that which is temporal. I can think of nothing more vivid.
I do not want to leave you with the impression that I answered deeply theological or apologetically driven questions in nature...it was far different than that. It was answers crafted more to the questions extending from the heart, rather than hindrances of the mind, and I am pretty sure the cross was the center of it all.
I have been around a lot of believers in my life who generally promote a disposition by proxy where their spirituality is calibrated by being somber. There are certainly times of deep sobriety we experience, Christ himself was a man of sorrows, and elders are to be men of gravity true! But I tell you, service to Christ, as he intended is not to be compared with sucking lemons. There is nothing sour about abundant life. It is bursting, redolent, and teeming with the life and joy of Christ.
I suspect that these times and moments are windows into eternity. Slight glimpses into what we can expect from endless life in the presence of the Pattern Son. It begins here as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the day star arises in our hearts! 2 Peter 1:19.
...now I need to get back to homework! I always appreciate your posts Matthew.
| 2011/5/11 0:55||Profile|
| Re: Mearly Existing|
This is a good question that will fundamentally alter your theology once you enter it. Perhaps the core of the abundant life is freedom from self. Freedom from guilt and shame. Freedom from having to figure things out or decide how to give answer to someone. Freedom from having to know the future but having it revealed by the Holy Spirit as He sees fit. It is true joy finding another brother that is walking therein and the fellowship that results. It is being able to set out not knowing where you are going but knowing that He already knows the who, where, when and why. It is the Word coming alive even when you are reading that specific passage as the Spirit brings to mind related passages and shows the beauty of their inner workings. It is being able to speak the Truth in Love and knowing you are secure in Him even though your audience may utterly reject you. It is being content as a silent witness trusting that the leading of the Spirit will bear the good fruit in His time. It is being able to come to nothing but knowing that His timing and provision are perfect.
I hope that helps.
Peace on you Matthew.
| 2011/5/11 1:18||Profile|
| Re: Mearly Existing|
Thank you all for responding it is greatly appreciated, thank you for sharing your stories and encouraging words. I am stil trying to dive into the Abundant Life in Christ Jesus. I know now that entering this Life is being Satisfied in Christ by Grace through Faith.
Ultimately Jesus is the Abundant Life and entering it is simply Entering into the Person of Jesus Christ, through the Holy Spirit and His guidance into a life of self denial.
| 2011/5/12 2:25||Profile|
| Re: Mearly Existing|
Quote:Thanks for the example you gave of the guy offering you a business deal. I'm glad you saw through it. I've got to say I don't think the graveyard shift helps one's daily perception of 'living life abundantly', because it's really not very good for your body or your mind, but, it's God's provision for you right now, and I'm sure you're grateful.
There are days where we feel like we are simply existing, doing the daily grind.
In general, the daily grind is normal. It is character forming, according to Oswald Chambers, and therefore to be embraced with grace and joy at God's daily dealings. I've heard that women cope with monotonous repetition better than men, but is this true?
My most 'abundant life' experiences were when my life was in the most turmoil, and it was impossible to know how I would survive the day, let alone think about tomorrow. The thing which I realised I'd never experienced previously, which really showed where my 'theology' had been 'at' until then, was that the Lord with WITH me, IN the turmoil, instantly available at my any cry or prayer. I had dreams, visions, and deep spiritual encouragement from worshipping and praying in the Spirit, yet on the surface the pressing situation which was crushing my head and wearing me out physically, continued to evolve and resolve only very slowly (I mean, over years). God's solution was to heal me, rather than remove me from the fray. Go figure! That's 'life abundant' - on His terms. During that protracted time, He got me to give Him everything - more than I knew I hadn't given Him before - and transformed my 'faith' from a kind of one-leap-to-another, into something 'being' and 'knowing'.
Perhaps you would be blessed to start reading My Utmost for His Highest every day. (It's online at myutmost.org.) I really didn't understand it at first (or at second for that matter), but eventually, when I'd tuned it a bit, I began to see that his analyses set sound spiritual priorities, and trusting those helped me settle in my heart that the wrestlings of the way, were normal, at least, if not entirely orchestrated by God for my benefit.
I hope this post doesn't seem like a cop-out. I haven't solved your problem. But it seems clear to an observer that you're all the time earnestly desiring a deeper knowlege of God, and we are sure He hears your heart's cries.
| 2011/5/12 7:51|
| Re: |
I would like to share some more from my experience on this, I remember going to a conference with thousands upon thousands of other Christians, it was a beautiful thing to see so many people. The room was electric and emotions were ultimately stirred but such a large group of people coming to worship and pray. In this atmosphere it was hard not to be excited and on fire for the Lord.
As I came home from the 7 day conference I began with my batteries charged and ready to do some real work for the kingdom but something snapped me back to reality. I talked to a dear elder brother in the Lord who I would call my Paul in life. He has been a spiritual grandfather to me and his words pierced my heart very deeply. I went to the conference hoping for its electric feeling and charge to "jump-start" my zeal for the Lord. However as I came back he said "the conference is a fine thing to go to but why travel all that way when you can do the same thing in your private prayer closet at home.
When I heard this I knew it was from a man of God who I respected deeply and knew his words came from experience rather than head knowledge. I began to seek to the Lord and ask Did I just taste emotional electricity or Did your glory envelope me? It was when he spoke those words I found intimacy and abundant life cannont be found at a 7 day conference but must be sought after from an ernest heart. I found there is no such thing as a short cut into reality but reality occurs as the Father does open heart surgery upon our heart and pulls and places reality in our hearts through His Grace.
Now that I went down that bunny trail I no longer seek to find an emotional experience but to Find the One True God. I prayed a prayer that some may disagree with and it was "Lord I don't want to pray in tongues anymore if it is only coming from purely emotional reaction to a tradition I was taught, but it be purely and freely speaking and worshipping You in reality." Ultimately there is certainly a lot more seeking to Christianity than some let on. :)
| 2011/5/12 8:24||Profile|
| Re: Mearly Existing|
Thanks for sharing.
In light of the conference you describe, you might enjoy (if you haven't already), AJ Gordon's talking book here on SI called 'When Christ Came to Church'. You have to listen thoroughly to realise how much of a pantomime each main service was usually.
There is a website dedicated to the churches of those days, called West Gallery Churches, where you can listen to the frills that were added to even a normal psalm tune. The ordinary congregation was the audience.
I've mentioned this book in a few posts, because I was really struck by the many weeks of prayer the author had to spend seeking God over a number of seasons. You might be encouraged to realise what a trained preacher had to do when God began to draw him closer in the way He did.
| 2011/5/12 16:13|
| Re: |
Awesome! Thank you for that wonderful post, Areadymind.
| 2011/5/12 20:29|