We can think of far more life as a leisurely, pleasure-focused existence we will have someday. When we are more spiritually mature. When we are not simply surviving. When we sin less. When we are out of a bad situation. When…
But far more life is not about us. And it is not a level of maturity we will achieve someday. Far more life happens each moment we choose to walk in the Spirit. Consider these examples:
- Every time we do what is right even though our sinful nature is pulling us toward doing wrong we seize far more life.
- Every time we express patience we are responding with far more life.
- Every time we give our worries and fears to God rather than being swallowed by anxiety we release far more life.
- Every time we focus on thanking Him in the midst of a hard situation we reap far more life.
- Every time we forgive someone who hurt us rather than holding on to anger or resentment we unlock far more life.
- Every time we seek God’s direction and adopt His mindset we discover far more life.
Far more life is a simple choice to trust and obey Him. Simple, but not easy.
I came to bring them life, and far more life than before. (John 10:10b, PHILLIPS)
A relationship with Jesus is the only source of far more life. But His promise falls in the middle of a teaching about the spiritual battle we face. Surrounding verses describe our enemy, Satan, and his agents as thieves and wolves who want to kill, steal, and destroy us. Far more life is hard to maintain because we have an enemy working against us! Did you realize you are engaged in spiritual battle every day you live on this earth? Or have you been under siege without even knowing it? God provides all we need to overcome Satan. But He does not miraculously extract us from the battlefield; He expects us to fight.
Put on the full armor of God to protect yourselves from the devil and his evil schemes. (Ephesians 6:11, VOICE)
Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have declared so well before many witnesses. (I Timothy 6:12, NLT)
Even though we have to fight, He doesn’t want us stuck in a deadlock. We can win more battles and enjoy far more life as we follow our Commander, God. As we learn to replace the beliefs that underlie our worry, fear, hopelessness, apathy, and sinful choices with His truth we are strengthened and become victorious more consistently.
Some of the spiritual war we are fighting is around us:
We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one. (I John 5:19, NIV)
Satan has transformed our culture into a minefield of anti-God pursuits: Destroying sexual purity and cheapening sexual intimacy. Seeking wealth, power, and fame. Bullying, disrespecting, and harming other people for personal gain. Failing to care for His creation. Ignoring His priorities and making creation the top priority. And many, many more. Sometimes we can skirt the minefield, but other times we find ourselves surrounded by danger. We can find far more life in Christ from either position.
The spiritual war is also fought in our minds:
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. (I Peter 5:8, NIV)
Satan actively advances anti-God ideas to draw people away from God: Heaven and hell aren’t real. People are good at their core. Each person has the right to decide what is right and wrong for them. We deserve to be spared from pain and difficulty. And many, many more. We walk securely in far more life when we reject Satan’s lies and cling to God’s perspective on this life and eternity.
Since battle is imminent, we are wise to keep our spiritual armor and weapons in the best condition possible. This, too, is far more life. Maintaining a close connection to our commander, God, results in far more life. Making relationships with other spiritual warriors a priority can also provide far more life. Recognizing and working to overcome our weaknesses produces far more life.
While we need to be prepared for daily battle, the intensity will vary. Some moments we will fight hand-to-hand. These are times we wrestle with our sinful nature and fight hard to achieve or maintain righteous actions and thoughts. I have engaged in sin and had to fight my way out rather than being pulled deeper. (Those moments in your life may not feel like victories, but they are!) Other times we will recognize our enemy from a distance and evade his attacks. I have learned to avoid certain situations where I know I will be tempted to sin. I am learning to recognize my “emotional hot buttons” so I can step back when they are close to being hit.
Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. (Revelation 19:6b, NIV)
Far more life is not our future goal; we can experience it today. In moments of victory over sin and Satan, we find far more life. In our moments of defeat, we can also find far more life through God’s forgiveness, comfort, and direction. Each moment we walk with God, whether in training or battle, is far more life. And when the final battle is won, every moment in heaven will be far more life. Praise God!
Are you waiting for far more life? Or do you embrace it in daily moments?
Are you aware of our enemy? Or is the news that you are in a battle surprising?
Where do you see the battle around you? Within you?
Stick close to your Commander this week to find far more life in and between your battles!
Copyright 2019-20, Shari Damaso
Photo Credit: Blake Bottomley