Before we go on, I want to address a very important point. If you are reading this or listening to it, most likely you are already a follower of Jesus or are very interested in doing so. Every Christ-follower believes that Jesus is the Son of God and He died for our sins, rose from the dead, and is the Vine, the source of real life. We all believe those things. What I have discovered, however, in working one-on-one with hundreds and in group settings with thousands is that very few Christians really live with Jesus as their life source. Most believe in Him, but too few are living from Him. In actual practice, for a large majority, it is more like sipping a little water in the morning and maybe the evening, rather than staying hydrated with the water of life all day.
Why do I say that? Because, if we truly believed that Jesus really is the life deep in our hearts then our priorities, practices, and quality of life would eventually and consistently show it. A person cannot open their soul and spend quality time with Jesus, the life, without being significantly impacted. The power of His loving, holy presence is too strong not to change a person with an open soul. Those who continually draw from Him get it, live it, and end up showing it as a natural result of the Jesus life.
Please understand I am not condemning anyone. I am nowhere near complete or perfect in this way of life. I know that even though God designed us to live this way, because of the influence of sin in all of our lives, this is not natural to us. It definitely takes some conscious effort. There may be some who just naturally step into this way of living, but for most of us, it takes some very real intentional changes to live throughout the day with Jesus as our source.
I am well aware of the fact that we are all in renovation and growth mode (more on that in just a few pages), so no one is going to perfectly receive and flow in the life of Jesus in this age. But I also know for a fact that statistically only a very small percentage continue to grow significantly in Christ-likeness decade after decade. Not nearly enough are thoroughly convinced of the reality that Jesus is the life, or else spending time with Him in prayer and in His word, practicing His presence throughout the day would be a top priority. If you checked the calendar of most church goers, the amount of time spent in spiritual growth practices is dwarfed by the amount of time watching TV, playing games, doing hobbies, or doing something on-line. There is nothing wrong with any of those things, but for most, the percentages are way off. There is so much God wants to give that we are not taking advantage of.
Let the Cycle Continually Go Deeper
There are not many, yet, who actually practice God’s presence throughout the day. Those calendar indicators, plus the percentage of church goers who are stuck year after year in ruts and prisons of the soul, and the overall decreasing impact of the Western church, all show that the majority of regular church going Christians do not really “get it.” Our brethren in other parts of the world where the church is growing faster than at any point in history, show what can happen when people live in the flow of God. Lives change and keep changing. As lives change so does the world around us.
So, if you are already a Christ-follower, please don’t take this or the next sections lightly. Do not say, “I know this already” or “I already believe this.” Please open your heart and mind in a fresh way. God has SOOOO much more He wants to give you and do in you. He has so much more of Himself and His treasures He intends to share with YOU. 1 Corinthians 2 tells us what God desires to give is beyond what anyone’s natural mind can even imagine, and we can imagine a lot!
If you are one of the few who are actively pursuing this way of life I congratulate and thank you. Congratulations for learning to live more and more in Jesus and thank you for being an example! But even for you, please understand that God’s revelatory truths typically cycle at continually deeper and more impacting levels. For example, as a brand new Christian I realized and believed Jesus died for my sins so I could have eternal life. But since that time, at various seasons, I learn even more regarding how much He accomplished through His death and resurrection and how much more God has made available to me. The first level of understanding and experience changed my life in a significant way. And so do the following cycles of fresh insight which lead to greater progress and new experience. This cycle of understanding and impact continues as God works out His purposes in my life in the right ways and the right time. The same is true for you.
If you are a believer, you understand that Jesus is the Vine at some level, but I guarantee you there are many more levels of insight and experience available to you. Our eternal, heavenly Father has so much more He longs to share, if you will continue to hunger and seek. Each time you take a God truth cycle deeper, the greater it’s impact in your life. If you really “get” what I’m sharing here, your life will change. You will experience the life of God more powerfully than ever before.