April 1, 2011
This is life?
There was a Roman Catholic Priest and a Baptist Pastor who were good friends and they used to play golf together. On this particular day the Priest was driving the golf cart. As he was driving down the path a rabbit dashed out of the bushes and ran right in front of the golf cart. The priest tried everything to avoid the rabbit. But, unfortunately he hit the rabbit with the golf cart. The priest was very upset by this. He tried to think of something he could do. But, there lay the rabbit very much dead. The priest reached into his golf bag and pulled out a little vial of holy water. He knelt down by the rabbit. Poured some holy water on the rabbit and said a prayer of committal. The Baptist pastor who’d been watching all this reached into his golf bag and pulled out a little vial of his own. He went over to the rabbit, knelt down, and poured a little of the liquid on the rabbit. Almost instantly the rabbit jumped up and dashed off into the bushes.
The Roman Catholic Priest was very impressed by this. In amazement he said, “I didn’t know that you Baptists had such powerful holy water.” “What holy water?” said the Baptist pastor. “That was hair restorer.”
Jesus said, “I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly.” (John 10:10b)
Abundant life is what God intends life to be. The kind of life that makes us want to jump out of bed in the morning to go out and experience all that God has for us. Life full of joy, delight, vitality, purpose, meaning, and that satisfies the deepest longings of our hearts. And yet, in the rush of our daily lives, as work becomes a test of endurance, when life at home is toxic, hope seems non-existent, resolution is impossible, the finish line is out of reach, as we go to bed tired and wake up exhausted, we often feel less of God’s abundance and more like road kill.
We can either travel by rowboat or by sailboat. Rowboats depend on human effort to go forward. Sailboats use the power of the wind. When the sails are raised the wind moves the boat. Spiritually speaking, it is much better to be a sailboat. When we live by faith the undying power of the wind (God the Holy Spirit) moves the “boat.” (John 3:8; Acts 1:8)
What I’ve been learning about life and my relationship with God is that what I seek and crave in life can only be found as I open myself up to God. John the Baptist explained that the only way to receive what God offers us is that, “He [Jesus] must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30). Jesus taught, “For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake shall find it” (Matthew 16:25).
Paul compared our physical lives to seeds. Seeds are the product of death. The beautiful flowers of spring that decay and fall to the ground as rotting fruit. But, from that death comes the life of a new plant. Paul writes that, spiritually, we are like that new plant. Through death comes life. The greatest demonstration of this is Jesus dying on the cross that we might have life in Him. (1 Corinthians 15:36-49)
It may sound strange, but abundant life is the product of death. When we are willing to die to our efforts at life (rowing along by our own effort) and to trust God fully with our lives (open up our sails) God Himself gives us what we need to move through life. That indwelling presence of God really is the bottom line of what we need for life.
Prayer is essential - dialogue and openness to God. Consecration is essential - setting ourselves apart for God by reaffirming our trust and commitment to Jesus as our Savior and Lord. Worship is essential - individually and corporately we need to exalt God. Time with God is essential - reading God’s word and listening as He speaks to us. Serving God is essential - obedience to His plan and calling for your life.May we willingly surrender our lives to Him that His abundant life would indeed be our life.