Monday, July 19, 2010

Simple Question?

There is a small country church near my home that had an interesting question on its sign last week when I drove by. The question was:

Are you living or existing?

How often we feel excited when we wake up and realize it’s finally Friday only to feel discouraged again come Sunday evening. Do you barely make it through the week only surviving for the next episode of your favorite reality show, just to be bored to death with life once the season ends? Maybe you just need to “get away” to handle the woes and disappointments that life has dealt you over the past few months. Upon returning to the daily routine, you feel just as discouraged, if not more, than when you left. We want that feeling of inner peace that we experience on vacation to last forever, but it doesn’t. Retail Therapy feels great until one of two things happens – you look at the image in the dressing room mirror, or you balance your checkbook afterwards, and that feeling is suddenly gone. The things I listed in and of themselves aren’t bad things, but the purpose they serve in our lives is what we must pay attention to. The feeling we gain from each is very temporary.

Isn’t it the “feeling” that we’re searching for in all of these things anyway? Believe me, I have searched high and low, near and far, forwards and backwards to take hold of that feeling and keep it. Every time I have tried, and thought I had grasped it, it slipped through my fingers like grains of sand, no matter how tight my hold. If only I had done just the opposite, let go of those things- stop holding on so tightly, let go of trying, let go of control. That’s what He wants for us. At each turn, my heart was deceived and I merely existed in every instance. I made it through each day by the skin of my teeth and laid my head down each night feeling discouraged and defeated.

What’s the difference in living and existing? Similar words, right? In some contexts yes, but in the context of our spiritual lives, the words are very different. Does your heart have passion for the One who saved you? Is there a sense of purpose within your soul that drives you to get out of bed in the morning? Are your senses intrigued by Him so much that you watch every detail around you waiting to see Him and what He’s doing next? That is the “feeling” that we are really longing for, it’s living. If my joy doesn’t come from within – from the presence of His Spirit, it’s not joy at all. It’s an impersonation of “living”, simply existing. A vine that just exists, has no fruit, no joy, like a bloom that begins to form, but dies before it opens up.

Are you living or existing? The question smacked me right on the forehead and I had to ask myself what the answer was for me. For once I was able to say yes, I am living, not just existing, although that is not always my answer. It’s so easy to slip into mere existence in the blink of an eye if I am not intentional about my life. Without coming to Him, truly seeking His presence, eating from His word daily, I head down the highway to existence before I realize it. That is not what God intends for me.

“…..I came that they might have life and might have it abundantly.” John 10:10

Jesus didn’t say that He came so that we could exist, He came so that we could LIVE, live ABUNDANTLY. Existing never satisfies; it leaves me empty, never discovering the one “thing” I’ve been searching for to produce contentment. Living leaves me hungry, hungry for more of Him, and that is a good thing! To feast upon the One gave His life, brings me life. Jesus came to this Earth with a clear purpose, which gives me purpose.

I pose the same question to you today. Are you living or are you existing?

Lord God, I praise You for sending Jesus to give us life – full, abundant life. He is the answer to the cavernous hole inside of us, nothing else fits and I thank You that such is the case. I thank You that He is all that satisfies. Jesus, I pray that You would draw my friends and family unto yourself that they may experience what it feels like to live instead of exist. Give them courage to let go of the temporary and fall into the arms of the eternal. May they hunger for and feast upon the life that You offer. I pray that the things that deceive us into only existing will begin to take upon a bitter taste to our souls so that we would deny their power in our lives and run directly to You and experience true satisfaction.

Royal Princess Daughter Of The King
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