Each of us have our own normal, some good and some bad. But this does not have to be so. My normal doesn't have to be morning sickness, or water retention or an inability to give natural birth because my mother couldn't and neither her mother before! No! Thanks be to God we can have a new normal where, regardless of what the world would try and tell us, abundant life consistently reigns!
When stating this I am not being ignorant. I know there is sickness, lack, difficulties and heartache in this world. I myself have experienced difficulties. And Jesus also faced many difficulties (the Cross; one of His friends dying prematurely). He knew life could be tough. He knew the reality of how hard it could be to live in this world:
“In this world you will have trouble, but be of good cheer. For I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33 (paraphrased)
Jesus knew what REAL life was like and in His love for us He gave us all we would ever need. In that same passage Jesus shares how He has given us His Word, His Name and the Holy Spirit to help us. He knew that we needed all the help we could get – and He gave it ALL!
Pursuing God’s Normal
Prior to leaving South Africa at the end of last year (2013) I was on a ‘spiritual high’ and everything was possible – EVERYTHING! I had just experienced God in such a real and intimate way with Saree’s supernatural birth that no one could tell me otherwise.
But, then we came to the States and I got a huge culture shock. With seemingly everyone around me being dependent on doctors, prescriptions and medical-aid, it was such a radical difference in attitude. I felt like I was trapped in a cloud of unbelief. Slowly I myself started accepting ‘little lacks’ into my life as the memory of my supernatural experience wore off. I stopped standing for the best and slowly my kids started experiencing more sickness and injuries. I became ‘weary in doing good’ and started thinking “It’s not that bad…ITS NORMAL.”
Thankfully, I regained my focus and we are ‘back on track’, having turned back to the Word and being encouraged by the truth. But, through these last few months my eyes were opened and I have come to realize that not everyone wants to pursue abundant life and sometimes it is easier to just let it go its natural, ‘normal’ course.
Choosing Life, Following Jesus
Living a ‘natural/normal’ life does not necessarily mean we knowingly choose to go against God or His life and ways. I believe we all desire the best. I know I do. And I also believe most of us think we are already pursuing the best. Who would not like to live in God’s abundant life? But yet so many of us do not live in His reality. And I believe the reason for this is that most Christians do not know the fullness of life they have available in Christ. But for those of us who do, even we may not experience His life to the full. Why is this?
When you delve down deep and go to the core of it all, I believe you will find that in the end this knowledge will be find to not be a true heart knowledge or revelation. We may know it with our minds, but it is not an experiential knowledge. Because when we truly know the truth, we will believe it and it will produce fruit and it bring life.
Like Jesus said in John 8:31-32,
“Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
And then in John 15:7-8,
“If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.”
You see, when we know Him we experience Him. We see Him in our lives. And He is glorified!
But yes, I understand that it is easier to choose this seemingly easy route presented to us by the world. After all, without doing much we can see it or at least see proof from the ones before us. Without doing much we can see the outcome with our physical eyes. Yes, sometimes it is easier to trust the doctor more than the Word of God. Not only because of the worldly evidence, but also because of our own hearts, belief systems and knowledge and understanding of the Word and the Covenant we have through Christ. It all forms part and impacts our ability to receive, believe and experience God’s life.
But when we go to the basics and only focus in on the Word of God, and the life, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, I believe we would all be able to see with our spiritual eyes that God’s abundant life is available to us here in this life, right now, through faith. And not only that, but we would also be able to through His Spirit and ability within us, walk it out here in this life.
What Would You Like?
In this day and age, with all the knowledge, cures and health systems available to our advantage, I believe the answer to this question is that ultimately all of us would like a good life – the best life. And to many of us the world’s way has been the best way, the only way. We have made the world’s way our way, not knowing that there is something better. We have chosen the worldly systems even though we, at the same time, have desired to know and experience our Lord and Savior here in this life.
How has that come to be? Why is it that even though we desire to see a ‘revival’ and desire to see and experience God’s life, why is it that we do not choose Him? Is it that as a church we have also become weary (just like I did when I first came to the States)? Have we become so used to all the hurt and pain and trying to fix our problems by the way of the world? Have we as the church subconsciously made the world’s way our way and subsequently made it our NORMAL?
Let it not be so! Let us not make the world and its ways our normal any longer. Even though we might not experience His abundant life fully in all areas of our lives immediately (or even till we see Him face to face), let us pursue Him and His will and His ways. COMPLETELY! Let us not reject His Life by so easily accepting the World’s.
“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” – 1 John 2:15-17
Persevere. Do not Give up!
It is hard work to walk in God’s promises, because it is not the obvious way and most people want a guaranteed quick fix (although this is misleading because God’s way is the only 100% fix).
The path of abundant life is the one less traveled. It is that narrow path. Let’s not walk with the world and look like them. Let us stand out and shine as beacons of light, life and hope.
“Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” – Ephesians 6:13