“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.
I came that they may have life and have it abundantly”.
– John 10:10 –
This quote from Jesus has pretty much summed up what God has been saying to me for the last few months. Since arriving in Vancouver it has been impressed on me time and time again just how pivotal it is to truly seek life. Not just living, but life full and abundant. Not surprisingly, though, the way in which I’ve experienced this full and abundant life has not been through freedom to do my own thing. In fact, by choosing my own ways I often get myself into far more trouble! The times in which I have taken the power and the freedom to choose my own way have truly been when the devil has taken his best opportunity to attack me and present me with all kinds of creative ways to sin.
It is in these times (and the consequent messes I have gotten myself into) that I have come to understand that life abundant cannot be a life in which I fill all my time with earthly stuff that I like or want or desire to be. Further, abundant life is not life that is characterised by my own control or power or circumstance. In the end that can only get you so far. Control is a nice facade to put on, a placebo of sorts, but it sours quickly once you realise just how much you can’t do a single thing about. Paradoxically, life abundant comes in surrender and letting go of control. It is easy to say in theory, especially when that trust is placed in God, but so much trickier to apply. Or is it?
I was talking with our training principal not too long ago and I sighed and said, ‘Ugh this Jesus business is so tricky!’ She came straight back and said ‘No it’s not. You just make it tricky when you choose to compromise’ (Or something pretty close to that). Although it cut me pretty deep it was dead true. I know that I am called to a life where God is the first and foremost, and to choose my own will and own way over the life that Jesus wants to lead me into is to choose to reject that life abundant for my own way. Those choices are big ones and little ones, but they all stack up. Whenever I choose another episode instead of time in the word; whenever I choose staying up talking to friends instead of time in prayer; whenever I choose to fill my body, a vessel made in God’s image, with junk food instead of healthy food, or feed my mind with Facebook instead of holiness I am rejecting life abundant for life my way.
There is a beautiful song by ‘The Singing Company’, which is a Salvation Army band, called “I Choose Life”. (Kudos to Kayla and Andy for playing it to me). It goes a little something like this:
It’s been stuck in my head for weeks now, and for a very good reason! The call to choose life is so real and so strong, and there can be no mistake. Before me there is either life, or death; blessing or curses. So what is there, then, to choose? I choose life! Why? Because to choose anything else is to choose death, is to choose to walk away from the the very one who made life itself! In Holiness doctrine this is called consecration: the fullest giving of yourself over to God, throwing off sin and selfish desire, that He might sanctify you make you set apart for His purposes.
Grace and Peace.