I need a daily intervention for this reality: choosing Jesus means you live entirely for Someone else.
Choosing Jesus changes the game from “you’re the best, you can do this!” to “God is the best. You can’t, but He can.”
Choosing Jesus replaces self-promoting tendencies with God-exalting habits.
Choosing Jesus fills you with durable hope, compassion, and generosity that you wouldn’t otherwise have.
Choosing Jesus gives a posture of upward and outward affections, in contrast to the life-imploding desires we have without His rescuing.
Choosing Jesus challenges you not to settle for immediate gratification and worldly successes, but aim for the smile of Heaven.
Choosing Jesus means that your passion, beauty, confidence, and purpose in this life is grounded in Someone else.
Have you experienced these fruits of choosing Jesus?
I certainly have, but they didn’t start blooming until I honestly found, and decided, that Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are better than every single joy, ability, decision, achievement, relationship, skill, and activity. Having an active relationship with God deepens everything, but what it has done for me most is shift my heart, soul, and mind’s energy from myself to an open-handed, joyful, adventurous journey towards Him.
And something incredible, He knew I would be terminally imperfect at living this way, but He loved so dearly He sent Jesus to die in my place, bearing all of my sin, my lack, my imperfection. Because of Jesus’ death on the cross, because of Almighty God’s perfect plan, nothing separates us. Not my weak ways of loving Him, not the sinful choices I willfully and unintentionally make, not my inescapable humanness.
Choosing this Jesus in our daily life — this Creator, Sustainer, and King — is what gives eternal color to everything we do.
Jesus Christ, beauty of God and manifestation of His Love, is the reason we don’t live depleted by our inadequacy.
“Love is motivated by the joy of sharing our fullness, but the works of the flesh are motivated by the desire to fill our emptiness.” Desiring God
Sometimes we choose to stay in sin’s chains, instead of releasing our white-knuckle grip on ourselves to Holy Spirit to conform to us Christ. Doesn’t it sound a little weird when you read it? Who would want to continue struggling with anger or envy? Who enjoys living in shame? But we do, because we try to rule the day with our own abilities. We look to ourselves to stay afloat, to remain upright, and to find identity.
It can seem challenging or strange to us to find our entire life in Someone else, but it’s how we’re remade — made new to live honestly and wholeheartedly in God’s presence, now and for the rest of our existence. John Piper defines freedom like this: “To be fully free, we must have the desire, the ability, and the opportunity to do what will make us happy forever. No regrets. And only Jesus, the Son of God who died and rose for us, can make that possible.”
When we choose Jesus, for the first time, and every minute afterward, we exchange our forever fractured life for His constant renewing, joyful, eternal one.
By progressive transforming grace, he is enabling you to live the brand-new life he calls all of his children to live—the Godward life for which you were created. You don’t have to hide in guilt when weak faith gets you off the path, because your hope in life isn’t your faithfulness, but his. You can run in weakness and once again seek his strength. And you can know that in zealous grace he will not leave his craftwork until faith fully rules your heart unchallenged. He always gives freely what we need in order to do what he has called us to do. Paul David Tripp
It is in our openness to His shaping, chiseling, teaching, and loving that we find purpose. It is in keeping our eyes fixed on God’s glory that we see ourselves and everything around us correctly. Jesus is our Rescuer from ourselves. I don’t know about you, but my sinful nature is wild, intense, and vigilant. Not to mention Satan’s efforts and our culture’s demands. But an intimate friendship, an ear for Father’s voice, a heart to love and obey, a storehouse of Heavenly resources to confront my sin and shame? Jesus is worth it. He is worth the release of our wants, our plans, our control, and our fear.
The more of us we release, the more of Him we receive.
Strange, holy, and cartwheel-worthy wonderful.