The Perfect Life

The Perfect Life

Psalm 18:31-32 (NLT)
For who is God except the Lord? Who but our God is a solid rock? God arms me with strength and he makes my way perfect.

 

Can I really have a perfect life? Free from trouble and trauma, can I live apart from another problem for the rest of my life? Can God really make my life perfect? Yes He can. But that is not the real question, now is it? Will God give me the perfect life? Sadly, the answer is probably not. His Word says that He makes my way perfect. It says so right there in black and white. God will give me the perfect life but I would have to trust Him perfectly to have it. To trust God is to completely lay our life down before Him and leave it there. Despite our best intentions, we are little hoarders who take things away that should have been left behind. We delve into the past to pull it into our future. We have scars and open wounds that have not been healed packed with the pain inflicted by others seeking resolution from the offender rather than perfection from our Healer. I could say that I have the perfect life today because it far exceeds the life I had before I met Jesus Christ and finally decided to follow Him after many failed attempts. But even in this place, my life is far from perfect. How about yours?

What is that thing that would make everything better? Is it a tangible thing that money can buy? An emotional fix that cannot be bought or sold? Is it love? What is that one thing you lack that would fill every void? I will let you in on a secret. After sixteen years of following Jesus over mountains and through some very dark valleys, my life is not perfect yet. There are still some empty places, voids to be filled, hurts to be healed and things to come to pass. I still dwell on the past though well into the future allowing it to limit the things God is doing in my life. We all do. It is called sin and we cannot seem to live without it. For many years after I was saved, I would put my faith in preachers, mighty men and women of God, mentors, teachers and more to show me the way. What I found were mere mortals. People who were just like me full of faults, failures and good intentions. That’s when I realized that there would still be struggles in life. Not because God does make my way perfect but simply because I am imperfect.

Matthew 5:48 (NLT) But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.

Can I be perfect? Yes. Will I is always the question that it comes back to. We can follow Christ. But will we? In everything that we choose to surrender to the Lord, we will find satisfaction. When it says “but you are to be perfect”, Jesus is not talking about religion but perfecting our love life. Loving God with all of our heart so we can love others the same way that He loves us. What about doing all the “right” things? Unless it is a product of this kind of all-consuming passionate love for Jesus than it is of no use. You give to get rather than love for love. If things are going well, of course, we love the Lord. We sing His Praises and worship His Name. But in the dark days of winter, the hunger of famine or the center of the storm, what are you saying now? Perfect love casts out all fear and allows to live the perfect life. We are far from it.

I John 4:17-18 (NLT)

 And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the Day of Judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world. Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.

 

Perfect love. What is that? I think it means loving God so completely and fully that no one can add or subtract from our life ever. It means that I can love others expecting nothing in return because God has satisfied every longing. It means giving without regards to getting because we have all that we need lacking no good thing. It means living beyond the limitations of this life as full-fledged members of the Kingdom of God where we can have every single promise and blessing set aside as our inheritance. Perfect love is so confident in these things that hope keeps our faith in the Lord not needing anything from the outside world. When we find perfect love for God – we will find the perfect life. Until then, we can only strive for more love.

2 Corinthians 4:17-18 (NLT)

For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.

This life we are living is temporary. It is not our permanent state but we give it prominent attention. These small inconveniences demand all of our attention. Knowing our God and the consistency of Christ would change our thinking and rationale completely. It would be an epiphany. Everything I need and want to make my life perfect is found in the Lord. Everything. Without question! But as the old song goes we spend most of our time “looking for love in all the wrong places.”

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (NLT)

We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do. We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.

 

We are human. This is why the prefect life seems so elusive. But thanks to Jesus Christ, it’s not. We can have it. Whether or not we will have it is up to us. We cannot think like humans any more but must change our mind completely. We must knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and destroy false arguments against God. This is not mind over matter but putting Christ in charge of every matter pertaining to our life. Total dependency on the Lord gives us perfection in life. He will work everything together for us. (Romans 8:28) He will perfect that which concerns me. (Psalm 138:8) With just these two promises alone and faith in God – our life will begin to change for the better.

What if my electricity goes out? I am without power so nothing in my house is working. After checking the circuits and breakers in my house, I find it all to be in order. Looking out the window, I see all my neighbors have power yet my home remains dark. What do I do? Do I sit in darkness hoping the lights will come back on or do I contact the utility company who I pay each month to maintain my electricity? Well, of course, I will call them and request my service to be restored because I pay for it each month therefore I am entitled to it. We sit in the dark feeling sorry for ourselves watching other people live in the Light of His Love wondering why God doesn’t love us enough to fix our problems when we never call on Him or expect Him to do what His Word says and His Way promises.

Philippians 4:6-9 (NLT)

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.

When I was a kid, I remember playing on the merry-go-round on the playground. When it was my turn to push, I would run as fast as I could in one direction until everyone wanted to go the other way. To change directions required stopping the momentum in one direction by digging my feet in the well-worn path. It was hard. My arms ached from straining to stop the spinning hunk of metal holding all my friends. But then I would dig in and begin pushing in the other direction until squealing with delight the transition was made. Turning our life around is NOT an easy endeavor. We are going to have to dig our feet in the ground to stop the forward progress of our way to submit our life to His Way.

Do not worry about anything. Great idea. We try but how many times do we find ourselves worrying all over again. I read yesterday that “everything I want is on the other side of fear.” Wow that’s pretty good huh? My alternative to worrying is praying. To fix our thoughts requires a daily if not momentary surrender of our life and all of its contents to the Lord. This is when the cans becomes wills in our life. To go to the next level in God requires taking it down another notch in humility which is the surrendering our own will and way to follow Jesus. We will find the perfect life if we do.

Isaiah 26:3-4 (NLT)

You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Trust in the Lord always for the Lord God is the eternal Rock.

 

I remember sitting in a noisy infusion room with our son when he was fighting cancer one of the four times watching him sleep peaceful through all the beeping, clicking, poking, screaming, and commotion of twelve different chairs of children receiving various treatments. People walking by and nurses popping in – he just slept as if home in his bed. This verse was etched in my mind at that moment. As I looked at his pale and battle weary countenance, I realized in my heart that in that moment of uncertainty we had found the peace of God promised for those who thoughts are fixed on Jesus. We really had no other choice. Medicine was failing him but Christ was healing him. He slept like a baby in that moment as my heart exploded in the Love of God. Cancer didn’t change us. Some may ask “how do I have a perfect life after enduring such an ordeal. Well, I guess you might say that while cancer didn’t change us the Love of God did. When the Love of God becomes bigger than our problem, we experience His Perfection.

God will keep you in perfect peace today if you fix your thoughts on Him. Trusting the Lord opens the doors and knocks down the barriers keeping us from the “perfect” life that we are promised in the Lord.

Hebrews 12:1-4 (NLT)

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up. After all, you have not yet given your lives in your struggle against sin.

Jesus. He gives us the perfect life. He died for us to live such an existence. The only way to find it is to find the Lord. To follow Him so closely that sin is avoided and love overcomes. He is the One who initiates and perfects our faith. Apart from Jesus there is no hope for a perfect life or even a better day. We need Him. All of Him if perfection is our goal. I want all that God has promised me. I want that life. Now I must be willing to have it…

Proverbs 4:25-27 (NLT)

Look straight ahead and fix your eyes on what lies before you. Mark out a straight path for your feet; stay on the safe path. Don’t get sidetracked; keep your feet from following evil.

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