Jesus said, ‘if anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink, and having drunk you will never thirst again”. He said, “I have come to give you abundant life”. So how come so many of us humans feel frustrated, lonely, unloved, unknown, unaccepted, angry or even empty? Why are we living a life devoid of true inner joy or peace? Why do we feel that our life is deeply unfulfilled and unsatisfying?
There are three basic steps we need to take ….. but just a minute! A question.
Is it even reasonable to be talking about fulfilled, satisfied lives at this point when we are all trying to survive a life-threatening pandemic which has already taken 1 million lives and is leading to social unrest, global economic challenges and political uncertainties?
I would respond that it most certainly is, and if not now – when? We need answers that work for today, not just for a better imaginary tomorrow.
We need to find a way to satisfy, by God’s grace, three key human needs.
We need to be known and accepted; to be immersed in unconditional love; and be living for a purpose which is much bigger than ourselves.
What to do?
Most people will at some time have had to face the sense of being unloved and the feeling of lack, of emptiness deep within, of purposelessness. They may embark on a journey of discovery, seeking to fill the emptiness within through adventure, adrenaline rush, turning to sex, booze, drugs, or seeking answers in the mystical East, or power religions such as occult practices, and so on. Some commit their time and energy into their career, seeking personal development and always climbing the ladder. Often the ladder is found to be leaning on the wrong wall. No-one ever said with their dying breath “if only I had spent more time in the office’. So many lives are shipwrecked on the rocks of failure, disappointment, disillusion, or having to face reality, in this journey. Life, we discover, bombards us with glorious promises that cannot possibly be fulfilled.
1. Recognise that we are known, accepted and loved by God.
Press further into his love. Take time to experience, to wallow, in that love which is vaster than any ocean. Your name is written on the palm of his hand. He knows you thoroughly. He knows your highs and lows, your pain and your joy. He hasn’t been absent for any of it. He loves you and will never cease to love you. Through Jesus you are made acceptable to him. So, be real with him.
2. There is a horizontal aspect to the gospel.
Even though Adam walked with God, he needed a human for company and a fulfilled life. You and I also need human expressions of God’s acceptance and love. We need at least one person with whom we can relinquish pretence and be real without fear of judgement. You are invited and called to enter into the fellowship of the ‘called-out ones’, the Ekklesia of God. It is made up of sinful failures who, like you, have also been forgiven, made new and accepted, and they will welcome you in. You may have made a mess of things, you may have been spoken against, despised, but if your eyes and heart remain fixed on Jesus you are in the right position. Acceptable. And if the local church doesn’t find you acceptable, don’t worry; they are just messed-up sinful believers who are trying to work out how to get things right. Find a community somewhere else. At the moment that might even be an online community of Jesus-followers.
3. Live for a purpose much bigger than yourself.
Acknowledge that you are not the centre of the universe after all. That position is already taken! So, take your eyes off yourself as being centre-stage and look at Jesus afresh. Hear his words: ‘Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and other necessities will be provided for as well’. Refocus your life and your prayer-life. Call upon the Father in Jesus name until that Kingdom, that overwhelming outpouring of his government and righteousness which destroys wickedness and sets captives free, falls upon your neighbours, your locality, your region. Seek the outpoured Holy Spirit who reveals Jesus even to the far-off as well as the near. Commit your life to doing nothing less than this.
To be known, accepted, unconditionally loved, playing your part in the purposes of God – you might not become famous amongst men, but heaven will be shouting over you with joy. This is the path to a life which satisfies. Everything else is passing. This, this is eternal life.
Father, help me to live my life according to your design for me. I know you want me to be fulfilled in the right way, not the wrong, living life now. Please keep me and finish the work that you have started in me, helping me to make it across the finishing line. In Jesus name. Amen
I bless you in Jesus’ name right now, that the Holy Spirit might fill you afresh, revealing more of God’s love for you and the amazing grace of the Lord Jesus towards you. I bless you that every step you make might be met by the running Father who is so quick to welcome you and embrace you, even in a Covid world.
I bless you in Jesus’ name that you might be satisfied, fulfilled, as you re-balance your inner life with clarity and purpose.
In Jesus’ name I bless you that his Shalom might cover you.
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© Roy Godwin 2020