UCAN sharing: Fullness
Scripture: Eph. 3:16-19
You will show me the path of life; in your presence is fullness of joy; At your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Ps. 16:11
It would be odd if a person were to set out to go shopping and reach the mall, enter and walk around and then leave without buying anything they needed. It would be just as bad if a person went to see a movie, purchased a ticket and began watching the movie but part way through they leave. Whenever we do something in part it remains incomplete. If we read a novel but never finish the story, it remains unfinished. In a similar way many Christians begin their journey with God but stop along the way and remain only partly given to God. This means we have decided to give only part of our heart to God for
whatever reason. God asks that we give all so that we can enter in to all He has for us. In other words when we hold back part of our lives we leave a space that God wants to fill so that we can know His fullness. By seeing God’s heart and understanding His intention we can grasp the loss when we fail to surrender all of ourselves to God but we can also see how amazing it is to walk in God’s fullness.
Doing things in part doesn’t usually produce good results. We leave some portion undone and this in turn takes away from the whole. If we were building a building but stopped just after the basic structure is complete then the building is useless. It is unfinished. Jesus came to bring man an opportunity to die and begin a new life that would be based not on earthly ways that lead to death but on God’s ways which lead to life eternal. In the life God offers there is completeness in all areas of life. When we read 1 Cor. 15, the
great resurrection chapter, we see what God is bringing about is a total transformation of who man is. Man in his carnal nature can not be in heaven with God so God chose to change man in to a being that is able to abide in heaven forever.
I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 1 Cor. 15:50
But just like the refining of metal if the process is not carried out completely step by step then the product fails to make the change. Here is where so many Christian lie because we don’t see how important it is to be fully in Christ. With this lack of motivation we allow the world space in our hearts giving what is God’s to the world. We have divided hearts that love the world and God. We can’t fully walk in God’s power for we lack wisdom. The consequences are serious indeed.
God has set as a goal for all Christians to attain to the fullness of Christ. This in reality is impossible as long as we are here because we are still imperfect but we can move toward it steadily. We are able to grow from strength to strength as we walk submitted to the leading of the Holy Spirit. We can change and lose the sin that entangles (Heb 12:1). As the Spirit leads us in all truth we can begin to experience a renewal of our minds (Jn 4:16, 26, Rom. 12:2) and a deeper walk in God’s ways. The way God has made this possible
is for us to be intimately connected with him. He has arranged things so that all power must come through Jesus and to get that power we must walk with Jesus closely. In this way God can direct our paths to repentance and forgiveness. This maintains and empowers us so that we can see God’s power in us and how it reaches out to touch others. It is his love that calls to us and leads us in all grace. The more we release faith in to Christ the more we able to love him and receive from him thus safeguarding us from the lust of the world.
Any room we leave for the world works against our ability to attain to the fullness of Christ. We may think that this is acceptable because we are saved and have some communion with God but that is just a result of God’s grace and we can still fall. Life with God in the partial takes a heavy toll as we get too involved in this world. We cannot serve two masters so making growth toward the fullness of Christ a priority is vital for our walk with God. But there is far more that we miss when we live only partially given to God.
When we live partially for God we allow other loves to come in to our hearts. These will steal us away from God. It can be a person, thing or idea but once it comes between God and us it takes away the love we have for him. Again this is often so subtle that we don’t realize what we are doing as we give the life here priority over God’s will. Now all of us want to have a good life. Man strives for it with all he has. We toil sometimes intensely sacrificing whatever is necessary to find worldly success. But without God in one’s life
all worldly success is empty, or as Solomon put it “meaningless, meaningless.”Ecc 1:2. So the very thing we desire we lose and the thing we can’t keep and has little value we pursue. If we are a Christian but we are not empowered by Christ then we lack enough of his love to really live. We lose the joy, peace and love that God wants to give in abundance. Absent of God’s fullness we seek to be full. Many fill their lives with empty activities and the pursuit of pleasures they believe will fulfill them. This is one of the greatest deceptions against man; that there is a greater substitute than total communion with God. When King Balak wanted to stop the Israelites he called Balaam a fallen prophet and asked him to curse the Israelites but God saved the people. But because the people’s hearts were not totally for the Lord when Balaam counseled King Balak to seduce the people using sex and it worked (Num. 25:1-2, Rev. 2:14) and the people
sinned. When we have space in our hearts not given to God it works to destroy us.
God desires to give us a life of such abundance that we can’t even measure it. We can’t even imagine how great it will can be (Eph 3:20). The joy and peace that overcome all things even tragedies so that we can walk through life and we remain strong. God doesn’t promise we won’t have difficulties but he promises to be with us in those times (Jn. 6:33) and it is his presence that brings the really power of life.
Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured in to your lap. Lk. 6:38.
With this awareness we can start to cry out to God for forgiveness for loving the world and ask Him for strength to love only Him. Many will interpret this as harsh but when we love God we can really love others like Jesus did and this will impact them and help them to come to salvation. So being in the fullness of Christ is about gaining true life and living it not for one’s self but like Jesus for others. The fight lies in wanting Jesus over all others. Only when we see our need and see the consequences of living without God’s love will we freely abandon this life for the love of God.
Being honest with yourself ask yourself what motivates you and what do you really invest your life in? Where is your heart? The word tells us to look to our treasure for that is where the heart is (Matt. 6:21). What’s your treasure today?
At the end of our lives when we look back many will be filled with regret about how they spent their lives. They will not long to buy more things or work more hours or eat nice food or do Facebook. They will see the lies and the loss clearly then. But walking in the fullness of Christ makes clear and accessible now what really matters, love, trust and righteousness; living to touch other lives for Christ. As we have these in greater quantities we move towards Jesus and his love, peace and power is ours. There is no greater life than this. May your journey towards it begin today.
Book: for overcoming worldly bondage Gilted Prison by Ps. Hedgecock
Song: Fix My Eyes by King and Country