Drifting along, trying to find purpose amidst a bevy of choices can be discouraging. Trying one thing after another, but finding no real satisfaction? Life was not meant to be tolerated, but lived to its fullest. Ever wonder what’s missing?
Having a full life begins with the realization that your driving force isn’t working. From an early age it seems like our lives are shaped by our desires and our needs. Some spend their entire life trying to get all that they crave. Some even succeed, but find their happiness is shallow.
The Apostle Paul was one who had everything and much zeal for righteousness too. Paul was a highly educated Roman Jew who thought he was on the road to righteousness. By his own admission, Paul had it made. He was of the elite among his people. He was mistaken…
Here’s a good accounting in his own words of his success:
“I am verily a man which as a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day. And I persecuted this way unto the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women.” Acts 22:3-4 (KJV)
“Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.” Philippians 3:4-6
Paul’s life changed when he met Jesus on the road to Damascus. From that moment his driving force was irrevocably altered. He began to preach about Jesus, generating much attention and much persecution. Yet he never faltered in his new mission; to tell people about Jesus. The change in Paul was nothing short of miraculous. Here’s what he said about himself:
“Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, and be found in Him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: that I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death: if by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.” Philippians 3:8-11
Believer, if your life is going nowhere, maybe it’s because you are experiencing an inner conflict between the old nature and the new nature found in Jesus. You are living a life that is double-minded. You have given your allegiance to nothing and no one. As a believer, know that we are called to commit ourselves to the lordship of Jesus Christ. That means the old nature must be cast off. Paul puts it this way:
“Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” Colossians 3:2
The easiest way to obey this command is to follow the words of Jesus in Matthew 22:37-39:
“Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”
If you will allow Jesus Christ to be your driving force, you will experience the fullest life imaginable.
“But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.” Philippians 3:7
Copyright © 2011 by Linda Hull, Words of Encouragement