Each one of us has an image of what life should be like. Some might picture the best life to be a mansion on a hill and millions of dollars in the bank. Others might define life as a two-story house with a white picket fence and a loving family. Still others might think the ideal life is the party scene with lots of friends.
No matter what our image of life might be, we have all had those moments when we have thought, “Now this is the life!”
Outside those momentary glimpses of the life we desire, how many of us are living the life of our dreams?
I can say that I am content with my life, but there are still areas that I long to change. I still have dreams I want to accomplish, places I want to visit, and events I want to experience. On top of that reality I continue to desire to grow in my relationship with God and become the person He created me to be.
If we focus on those areas of life that don’t live up to our expectations it is easy to become frustrated. To deal with this frustration we might conclude that God never intended for us to experience that part of life or may decide to make an entire life change and walk out on the life we have now in order to create a new one.
The problem is that we cannot create life. At least we cannot create the life that we need. Even if we were able to live that life of our dreams, it would not bring us the satisfaction that our souls crave. The life we crave is the life God created us to live.
Consider what the apostle John wrote about living the life God planned for us to live.
So you must remain faithful to what you have been taught from the beginning. If you do, you will remain in fellowship with the Son and with the Father. And in this fellowship we enjoy the eternal life he promised us. (1 John 2:24-25; NLT)
There are two truths that I want to pull from this paragraph.
- Life flows from obedience. Faithful obedience to Jesus is the pathway of life. This life looks like loving God, loving our neighbor, sacrificial service, generous giving, and standing for truth. By choosing to follow Jesus we discover the life God created us to live. This life is not a product of believing the right things, but it is the response to our choice to obey Jesus. Life isn’t found in simply believing the Bible or attending church. It is found through applying the truth God reveals to us to the way we live.
- Life is found in a relationship with God. Since God is the Life Maker we cannot have true life apart from Him. We experience this true life when we are connected to Jesus. As John points out in John 15, Jesus is the vine, the source of life, and as a branch we can only have life when we are connected to him. John is very clear how this fellowship happens. Fellowship with God is the result of our obedience. We choose whether or not we are going to have fellowship with God by the way we live our lives. If our lives are lived as an extension of our faith then we will have fellowship with our Creator, but if we live in response to our fleshly desires we will find death.
John describes this true life as eternal life. I think we get caught up with equating eternal as a length of time, or more accurately life with no end. For us eternal life is forever or life that keeps continues to be stretched out.
Eternal life is more than just about life without end. Eternal life would not be something to hope for if it was mediocre or poor quality. So in my mind it stands to reason that eternal life is also the best quality of life that we can live.
Since God is our Creator He alone knows the best way for us to live life. He has revealed to us, through the Bible, that the best life is a life lived following Jesus. This is a life that is lived through unyielding faith in God and sacrificial love for people. When those qualities define our lives, that is when we are living the best life that we can possibly live.
Questions to consider:
- What part does God play in your image of the best life?
- How content are you with your current state of life?
- Why is true life only found in Jesus?