So we’ve started out on this little expedition to better understand how to love God with our “all”, our everything. I believe this is one of love’s great adventures. God is a never-ending well who so desires for us to dive in knowing that He’ll be there to catch us.
I will often refer throughout the next few posts to the book I mentioned last time: “Walking as Jesus Walked” by Dann Spader. This study had a profound effect on me, especially as I worked through it immediately after reading “Beautiful Outlaw” by John Eldredge.
As I mentioned last time, Jesus came not only to save us but also to provide us with the example of how to live.
A few years ago I had one of my wake-up calls where God is on the other end of the line. I was grappling, once again, with my career. I’d been in this particular role for three years and I couldn’t see my next step. I was struggling even to get a vision for where I could head. A new managing director arrived and it soon became apparent that he had other ideas for my role. I knew it wouldn’t be long before I moved on, either by me finding a new role or by being restructured out. At the same time, my walk with the Lord had waned. My prayer life was dry and my Bible reading patchy.
Christmas was fast approaching and besides the joy of the festive season, it’s a time I typically look forward to for planning the year ahead. I cried out to God and He replied.
He said: “You don’t know Me.”
It stung, but only momentarily. I’d been a Christian for 30 years but other than the first few years my Bible reading, in particular, had been really scratchy. He was right! Ha, of course He was.
So that day I made a commitment to God: to read the Word every day. Even if that meant getting up at 4am because I had a 6am flight to catch. Now almost four years later, I’m really pleased to say that I’ve stuck to my commitment bar one day. That day I was sick as a dog in a Florence hotel suffering with food poisoning so was in no state to read anything.
Sure there have been days where it’s been a struggle and I’ve felt I’ve been going through the motions. But it’s like working the muscles when we train. The repetition and commitment builds strength. What’s amazed me is that I’ve grown to so love reading the Word. I genuinely look forward to this time every day.
Reading the Word has taught me a lot about Jesus love for me and given me practical help in navigating life. But I want more. I want “all” He can give; I want to think the way He does, and do what He does. Not be bound by the stuff that some days grip my heart like a vice.
And yes, I want to know how to give it “all”. All my heart, soul, mind and strength.
So how do we give and be more?
Live as He Lived
“Whoever claims to live in Him must live as Jesus did.” (1 John 2:6)
John isn’t suggesting we all quit our jobs, put on a robe and sandals and head off walking from town to town. Well, not all of us. But there’s something powerful in this instruction.
John lived with Jesus for the best part of His last three years of life on this earth. Jesus recruited John (and the other disciples) with a simple instruction we’re all familiar with:
“Follow Me.” (John 1:43)
Those two words have such meaning behind them. Jesus was calling the disciples to Model His life. Jesus after He washes the disciples feet even tells them He is the example:
“I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.” (John 13:15)
And what is even more exciting Jesus has promised we will do even greater things than He.
“Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.”
Let’s leave it there and then start next time on what modelling His life looks like and we’ll explore Spader’s ‘POWER’ acronym.