I love Easter. I love Cadbury eggs, pastel colors and spring. I’m about to bust out the white pants people! But I also love it because I believe it’s the greatest love story ever. I love it because I am reminded that Jesus had a mission statement for his life which he was deeply committed to – as indicated by every intentional part of his life and death. Stop for a moment and think about what you would guess it to be… Jesus said this:
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.”
– John 10:10
Does this surprise you? Does it surprise you that Jesus’s mission statement has everything to do with the fullness of our lives?! His purpose in life was fueled by his love for us, and by his obedience to God. His desire was that we would live life to the fullest measure. Not some mediocre, half-hearted rat race we survive or “get through;” but a full, rich, eternally significant, meaningful and impactful experience. As a parent, I’m starting to “get it” a little better than I used to. I have a DEEP desire that my children would live exceptional lives. I would do just about anything to ensure that they successfully trudge through whatever it takes to live life at its fullest measure – even if that includes some bumps and bruises along the way. If that’s what it takes for them to experience depth, purpose, passion and meaning, then so be it. It would make me ache, if my kids blew me off because they didn’t trust my intentions.
Many people believe that when they trust in God that they sign up for a life with limitations; that they will have to submit to a barrage of rules and regulations they are held captive by – and that God is, well, distant and kind of boring.
In total honesty, I was one of those people at one time in my life. I was introduced to God and told about Jesus at a super young age. And then I went to college. In retrospect I would say that there was something undeveloped in my beliefs regarding who God was. In essence, I didn’t trust him to deliver life to it’s fullest. After indulging in reckless pursuits of fleeting fun, I eventually realized instead of freedom, I was ensnared by painful consequences of selfish investments. Without God I was short-sighted and self-willed. With God I experience life, peace and true freedom.
The truth is that life at its fullest measure is ONLY available when we trust him, because this is where the eternal stuff is introduced.
We have an enemy people – it’s a foolish thing to ignore; and his mission statement has also been made clear: to steal, kill and destroy. Satan knows that he cannot defeat God. Satan knows that God is sovereign; and so instead of attempting to overthrow, he steals, kills and destroys that which grieves God the most; he now targets us – because God loves us. The best way to wound God is by keeping us from him. And one way that is done is by presenting us with substitutions for the real thing in order that we miss out on the fullness we were meant for. Substitutions for love, adventure, meaning, purpose, happiness, etc. All the things our hearts most deeply desire. By giving us tastes of false versions of the real thing, we are kept at bay from engaging in real hope, real truth, real peace, and real adventure. We are kept from living life at its fullest measure, which is made possible in relationship with the One who wired us for great things from the very beginning.
Everyone has his own specific vocation or mission in life; everyone must carry out a concrete assignment that demands fulfillment. Therein he cannot be replaced, nor can his life be repeated, thus, everyone’s task is unique as his specific opportunity to implement it. – Viktor E. Frankl
I think the most devastating reality we could face would be that we missed out on the great mission and purpose and full life that God has in mind for us; that we would sacrifice the eternal for the moment, and that we would be content with the substitution over the real thing.
On this Easter day I encourage you to consider this promise for life at its fullest. If you’re in a place where you’re investigating truth, where you are searching for answers and longing to understand a little more about this Jesus guy that captivates conversation on days like today, I propose this; ask him to reveal himself to you – he delights in this and I assure you he will say yes. And then watch while your life transforms in its fullness.