This blog seems to me to be a bit out of order. I cannot ignore the Holy Spirit inside of me who is speaking directly to my heart to share this revelation. I am going to have to trust Him to write because this is growing and building in me, this has not been formed in me yet. It has produced a lot of joy in my life, an overflow of life that I have never experienced before. This is what I am in pursuit of right now, the full understanding of being fully alive like Christ.
About a year into my journey, I picked up Beth Moore’s book called Breaking Free. The book is about healing past hurts and pains and moving toward the abundant life Jesus offers. It had a profound affect on me. In fact, I thought that the teaching was so important that I lead a group of ladies through the class. But Breaking Free was just the start. Freedom goes way deeper. The second time I came heart to heart with freedom in Christ was at our new church. Our pastor wants to see his congregation be free from hurts and pains, walking in the truth of identity, knowing the love of Christ, and being love in the world. Our church encourages the entire congregation to go through a LIFE group. LIFE stands for Living in Freedom Everyday. This teaching has further impressed upon me the importance of identity, forgiveness, relationship with God, and walking in the Spirit. My husband and I, together, lead others through this curriculum and we will continue to facilitate this class for as long as there is a need. LIFE has been the second building block in my pursuit of freedom and abundant life. The third catapult to freedom came in a song that was played at our church a few months ago. Let it Happen is a song by United Pursuit. The lyrics threw me into tears immediately. They say:
“You’re full of life now,
full of passion,
it’s how he made you,
just let it happen.
each one of us,
by our names,
to come away,
and he whispers to your heart,
to let it go and to be alive.”
At the time I did not feel alive. I believe that day God knew I needed something to spur me into what I am pursuing now, freedom and fullness of life in Christ. Jesus promises us abundant life; life to the full. Being fully free of the past is a key to fulfilling this promise. Like the song says “let it go and be alive”.
The last and most important piece of this pursuit is a scripture from Ephesians. As I was studying out Paul’s exhortations to become a mature Christian, I came across this scripture: “He handed out gifts of apostle, prophet, evangelist, and pastor-teacher to train Christ’s followers in skilled servant work, working within Christ’s body, the church, until we are all moving rhythmically and easily with each other, efficient and graceful in response to God’s Son, fully mature adults, fully developed within and without, FULLY ALIVE LIKE CHRIST (Ephesians 4:13 The Message, my emphasis added). Other versions say, to come into the fullness of Christ. To drive it home further, 2 Corinthians 3:18 (The Message) says, “And we are transfigured much like the Messiah, our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like him.”
What I am describing here is what Christ-likeness really means. So if we are to become like Christ, what does that look like? It looks like the people of the church walking in the Spirit which produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control (Galations 5:22-23). It looks like speaking the truth in love and being okay if it isn’t received it well. It means living your faith out loud. Praying for people in public, being last in line at the buffet, thinking others to be better than yourself. It means that you will heal the sick, drive out demons, and raise the dead. It means you will be betrayed, you will feel physical and emotional pain, you will have loss in your life, people will offend you (and you won’t take it in to your heart), and you will be persecuted for your faith and keep living it out loud. It also means when these things happen love remains in you, along with hope and blessing. Our call is to live in oneness with God and others through relationship, like Jesus did. When we are in the fullness of Christ we will experience what Christ experienced and we will do more than he did. Jesus said it would be so (see John 14:12-14).
I gave up my life for something greater than what I had before I knew Jesus. My savior is ALIVE and he came so that I could have life and have it to the full. Because of what God has shown me through His people, through His music, and through His word, I now want my everyday experience to be FULLY ALIVE. I want to be fully connected with God. I want to live a life that encourages others to be connected with him. I want everyone to know His love; to know He is good, kind, and gentle, and fully available whenever we need him. I want people to know how precious they are. I want to see Christians living their faith OUT LOUD. In fact, I want to live my faith so out loud that you couldn’t possibly avoid the fact that I live this way because I know deep down in my soul that I am loved, deeply known, and precious to God and because I am, SO ARE YOU! And because you see it in me, you want it for yourself. In the simplest of terms, Christianity is all about paying it forward.
There is a lot more to being fully alive like Christ. Maybe a year from now I can share how this has grown and transformed me. I hope that this encourages you to dig deeper into the meaning of Jesus’ life, his death, and his resurrection. I hope that this spurs you into a life that encompasses walking out your identity as a saint who is fully reconciled with the Father. My biggest prayer for the church is for Jesus to heal us of our past hurts and pains, to renew us completely, and for all to become fully free and alive like Jesus. For us to live out a life that we could never imagine would be ours. Because the truth is, whom the son has set free is free indeed (John 8:36). Now pass it on!