Are you missing something?
Feeling worn out trying to please God and save the world? Sit down and read this.
As a Christian, have you ever asked yourself the question, “Am I missing something?”
Yes, we understand the importance of the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, but are we still missing the life God intends for us to have? Are we merely here to just sit and wait for heaven, tell people how to escape hell, try to rid all the sin out our life, and go to Church on Sunday?
These are all wonderful things, but could there be a simple factor we are missing?
My search for a spiritual high
This quest to understand the meaning of the Christian life came about as I was in a season of heavy evangelizing. I explained the gospel to many and witnessed tears of joy, peace, rest for the soul ... and of course, some hateful remarks (but that comes with territory).
What I noticed during this period was I felt this kind of 'spiritual high' that took place only when I preached the gospel. When I was not preaching the gospel I often wondered... now what?
I was on the hunt for the spiritual high of saving souls. It was almost like a drug. Did God only intend for me to enjoy his presence to this magnitude only when I am evangelizing? I felt as if something was missing. This is when a shift began to take place in my mind. That's when I asked God the question, “What am I missing?”
A lesson from the garden of Eden
My question was answered a few months later as I was reflecting on what life must have been like for Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden.
When we look at God's relationship with his people in the garden before sin entered the world, what do we see?
We do not see man striving to enjoy the presence of God by attempting to rid himself of sin, preaching the gospel, going to church, going to conferences, etc. We actually see a different dynamic – we see God enjoying his creation. It was a simple relationship of love and trust.
Look at the example of Adam naming the animals in Genesis 2:19-21. I imagine God waiting patiently, and finding joy as he watches his son come up with names for them all. Adam also learns a valuable lesson, he was much different from the animals, and his mate should look like him. God took the time to just be with his children, enjoy them, and teach them. And I'm sure Adam and Eve purely enjoyed the presence of God, and the life and world he had given them.
I believe that spending time resting in the presence of our creator is what so many Christians, including myself, are often missing out on.
What are you missing out on?
We tend to look at the gospel as Jesus coming to get us out of hell and into heaven, which is true ... but not the whole story. The crux of the gospel is God getting out of heaven and into us.
This simple shift in perspective enables us to see God in a whole new light, and see ourselves as God’s precious children who are loved and completely accepted.
Rather than us striving to enter into his presence, we can begin to live a life understanding that he is with us always, and truly wants to spend every minute of our lives enjoying us, as much as we enjoy him.
So here it is, the simple Gospel truth; even when we are not evangelizing, teaching, preaching, trying to rid ourselves of all the sin in our lives, and attending every church service, God is still with us and loves us completely the same.
We are forever sealed and in his presence, “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory” (Ephesians 1:13-14 NIV).
So what is the goal of the Christian life? It is a life of gratitude, resting, trusting, joy, peace, and getting to know our God all the more. The further we understand how much God loves us and wants to be with us, the farther we naturally gravitate into a deeper relationship with him, feel his love and Spirit, and share his love with the world.
We will begin to naturally walk in the works he has prepared for us in advance (Ephesians 2:10), and grow and mature in in his wonderful love and grace, “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen” (2 Peter 3:18 NIV).