Are we living fully when we have hectic lives, running here and there?
Everyone seems to be so busy nowadays, but what are they busy doing? If you were to ask them, you’d probably discover that most of what they do, lacks any real meaning at all.
What is it a that gives meaning to our lives?
This is one of the big questions in life. We should all come to a point in life where we ask, is this it? If you haven’t come to this point yet, you will.
God created us to be in communion with Him and when we are separated from Him through sin, we feel a deep sense of longing in our souls. God is always drawing us back into fellowship with Him.
“Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me.” (Psalm 42:7)
In the bible, the author of the book of Ecclesiastes thought to be Solomon, said that “he observed everything under the sun, and really it is all meaningless – like chasing the wind.” (Chapter 1:14)
He said history merely repeats itself. In his life he had power, wealth and access to all of life’s fine pleasures. He said, “Anything I wanted, I would take, I denied myself no pleasure. I even found great pleasure in hard work, a reward for all my labours.
But, as I looked at everything I had worked so hard to accomplish, it was all so meaningless – like chasing the wind. There was nothing really worthwhile anywhere.” (Ecclesiastes 2:10-12, NLT)
After experiencing a full measure of life “under the sun”, he declared it all to be futile and unsatisfying. Do you ever feel like this? Have you tried many ways to find satisfaction and fulfillment through life’s pursuits and pleasures, only to feel empty and disappointed again and again?
The author concluded that God’s purpose for man is to fear him and obey his commands.“Only as he lives “above the sun” – with his focus on God – does life become meaningful and fulfilling. Ultimate satisfaction comes not from the good things of life but from the Giver of life.” (The Daily Walk Bible, NLT. The Book of Ecclesiastes.)
How To Live Your Life Fully
Before writing any blog, I always do a little research on the topic. I found a few nice sites that gave some good advice about living fully. Here’s what I found:
- Be positive
- Set goals
- Reach your potential
- Live with enthusiasm
- Be joyful
- Have self-confidence
- Be honest – have integrity
- Make a difference
- Take action
- Have a grateful heart
- Be healthy
- Be kind
- Be polite to others
- Slow down
- Be quiet
- Make a fresh start – forget the past
- Be true to yourself
- Stop complaining
- Be committed to your growth
- Know your values
- Have good moral standards
- Stop putting life on hold
- Stop saying “I don’t know”
- Do things you love
- Forgive others
- Let go of unhealthy relationships
- Build healthy relationships
- Meet new people
- Don’t settle
- Keep learning
- Take holidays
- Don’t be critical of others
- Don’t judge others
- Don’t compare yourself with others
- Enjoy each moment
- Love God
- Love yourself
- Love others
- Love life
Living fully requires effort and everything on the list above will help you on your journey. You have to cultivate a new way of living and develop positive habits for a fuller life. Perhaps you could take a moment now to reflect on your lifestyle today?
- What do you need to change?
- What do you need to do to improve your life?
- Are you wasting your life doing meaningless things?
Are you living purposefully or are you just seeking out daily pleasures to satisfy your anxious, restless soul? My mother used to always say, some people just want to be entertained.
She was right, people who live with no purpose, just want to fill in the time and look for pleasures to distract them from their own lack of purpose.
The key points for me on the list above are to love God, love myself, and to love others, but I wish to know more about this love and to go deeper to find the answers.
I agree with the author of the book of Ecclesiastes, that everything is meaningless without God. Living fully is found in God and in God alone. We must make a commitment to get to know Our Creator.
How can we live fully and be truly satisfied in this lifetime?
The only way to live fully is through your spirit, for God is spirit. Chasing after the things of the world will never satisfy your hungry soul because your soul is longing for the things of God and not the things of this world.
The author of the book of Ecclesiastes is right, pursuing these things, such as power, wealth, achievements and pleasures only lead to disappointment and dissatisfaction, but if you pursue God himself, you will find the treasures of heaven waiting for you.
It is God who we all desire, but we don’t know how to know Him, and our unbelief is a hindrance to us. A wise person will pursue God relentlessly.
God is passionately in love with us. We’ve just been too busy chasing the wind to notice.
“Oh, that we might know the Lord! Let us press on to know him.”
A.W. Tozer’s book, The Pursuit of God is a good source to explain the depths of this journey from longing to communion with Our Almighty God.
I will use much of his teachings to take you on this journey towards fullness In Christ. To live fully is to know God intimately and to live in relationship with Him at all times.
Many Christians are living complacent lives. They think because they have found God that they somehow no longer need to seek him, but Tozer states that “to have found God and still to pursue Him is a paradox of love scorned indeed by the too easily satisfied religious person, but justified in happy experience by the children of the burning heart.”
The pursuit of God is for the thirsty soul. In order for it to happen, there must be an acute desire present. A lack of holy desire and complacency in the churches today is a deadly foe.
People are not hungry for God, they don’t have the longing in their hearts and the churches have even trained people to be satisfied with little.
But the hungry soul who sits in the church pew feeling dissatisfied will go to a quiet place and seek out an experience of God themselves. Thankfully, many of the mystics have gone before us and paved the way.
Tozer goes on the say in chapter one of his book that if we are to see Christ manifest, we need to have this longing and desire to seek after him. In our fast-paced society, no one is willing to wait for anything anymore.
They almost demand Jesus to do and act as they please, but Christ is waiting for a thirsty soul who wants to meet with Him and commune with Him, but sadly as Tozer puts it, Christ often waits so long, so very long, in vain.
Living Fully Through Simplicity
Are you one of those Christians who long for more of the sweetness of the love of God? Do you hunger and thirst for righteousness? Well, if this is you and you are secretly longing to experience a deep, loving relationship with God, follow on as I move through the steps you can take.
The way to God is a simple one, but not an easy one. It requires self-discipline. We can’t find God without first coming to Him in prayer. So, the first step to living fully and experiencing the presence of God every day is to learn how to pray.
Even after years of being a Christian and praying in different ways, I find myself asking Jesus to teach me how to pray. The disciples also asked Jesus to teach them how to pray. So, don’t expect prayer to be easy to begin with, it is something that takes time.
Just as it takes time to get to know a friend or spouse, it will take many encounters to get to know God the Father. We must remember that prayer is a relationship and that God is love, so you are coming to taste a love that you may not have known before.
If you make a commitment to a real prayer life, you will experience the sweetness of unconditional love and a peace that surpasses all understanding.
Living Fully Through Prayer
Confess your lack of desire or lack of belief in His goodness. Humble yourself and ask for His mercy and grace. Spend time in sincere prayer recognizing your absence from Him and how you have wandered far off the path to life. Cry out to Him.. “Lord, I need You!”
Really sit there in silence before God (the triune God) and look back on how you have been spending your time and talk to God about these things. You will see how understanding and forgiving He is. He doesn’t care now that you’ve been too busy for Him, rather He will delight in your return, just as the Father delighted in the return of the prodigal son.
God’s arms will be open to receive you when you come back to Him. Share your frustrations with Him about the church that misrepresents Him and that even though you go to church or used to go that you felt bored and unsatisfied by the religious programmes and the lack of love among Christians.
Speak openly before God, but in reverence, as He is holy. You might be surprised to discover that maybe He doesn’t like what he sees in the churches either.
Accept the invitation and Come into His Presence… come into the Holy of Holies. There you will meet with the living God. He is waiting for you.
Living Fully Through The Inner Life
To enter into the inner sanctuary, you need to be still and quiet. The 5 senses (see, smell, touch, taste, hear) will be required during this process. It’s about listening to the still small voice within and by trying to quieten the other senses.
Distractions are the enemy to your prayer life. It takes time to get into the stillness and silence that’s required for an encounter to take place.
It is our responsibility to find these quiet times. Jesus himself was often observed going off to the mountains to pray to His Father. So, if Jesus needed to get quiet, how much more do we?
I am no expert in this practice, I am on the journey with you. I have had many seasons in my life where I’ve had a rich prayer life and wonderful, pleasant encounters with Christ, but only too often the cares of the world would pull me away. We must guard against these distractions and push through until we find this place.
Even now, I’ll be honest, as I feel led to go deeper with God, I feel the resistance within me. The world thinks such devotion is foolish and certainly won’t be cheering me on. But, if you have a longing or desire in your heart to see more of God, you must not care what others think of you.
Do you want to go around in circles for another ten years, only to find yourself right back here? Remember the Israelites went around the mountain for 40 years running from their destiny. How many years did you go around the mountain, avoiding God?
What are the distractions?
- Social Media
- Family commitments
- Too many friends
- The love of money
- Anxiety – worrying about the future
Many people say I don’t have time to waste sitting doing nothing. They don’t see the purpose in it and so continue to strive. But, can you afford to keep striving and feeling anxious and empty in your soul?
God calls us to abide in Him, the complete opposite of what the world tells us to do. He promises to give us rest and says, “for my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:30)
What is your decision? Are you going to choose to live fully today?
Steps To Living Fully With God
Surrender to God and choose to follow His ways. This means doing the sacred acts that Christians do to grow spiritually such as, daily prayer, scripture reading, worship/praise, attend a good church and fellowship with other believers.
Listen to God when He speaks and obey what He says no matter how small or insignificant the action may seem to you. God speaks to us through His word (the bible), in your quiet times (the still small voice), through other believers or from the pastor or preacher.
Practice letting go of things – this means not being overly attached to things or relationships, for God desires first place in your life. Many people say they want to follow Jesus and know God intimately, but cannot detach from their possessions.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
(The Beatitudes, Matt. 5)
“This need to possess comes from the nature of fallen man, and it covets things with a deep and fierce passion.” (Tozer) It is dangerous to live this way, as gradually, over time, it erodes the soul.
The Testing Place – as you practice these ways, eventually you will be tested by God to see if you are really ready to put Him first in your life. He will probably shine light on something or someone that you don’t want to give to Him. You hold this dear in your heart and it is in fact your idol!
How can God trust you with more if He knows your heart is attached to something or someone other than Him? At this point in prayer, we have to humble ourselves and acknowledge that every good thing comes from God and was not meant to be held tightly, as it was never ours to possess in the first place.
This even applies to your children as in the case of Abraham, who was asked by God to offer up his son Isaac on the altar as a living sacrifice. With great anguish Abraham was ready to slay his beloved son, until God spared him and let Isaac live. Abraham had passed the test. God could trust him. He was truly a child of God.
As you push on towards seeing and knowing God more, you will be brought to examine your self life. The self life is where your pride is fixed on defending the self that you’ve created, but as you allow God to work on this old self, the sooner you will find rest and really enjoy the sweetness of being close to God again.
It’s in dying to self that we will find life and this is what God will do in your soul as you surrender to Him. It’s a process that will take time, so be patient and know that you are never alone.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.” (Matt. 5:4)