As I was talking a few days ago with the youth group at church, we ended up in a conversation that lead one of the kids to say “I just want to live my life!”. Now in this particular conversation that statement gave me a good belly laugh. So I then asked the kid that made the statement to tell me exactly what kind of life it was they were wanting to live. It caused them to become silent for a moment. They were later able to throw out a few things they would like to change in order to be able to live a life that they thought would be better suitable to them. It really wasn’t anything crazy or extreme, but ended up being a few minor changes they desired. Just thinking of it now makes me chuckle.
So as I was driving down the road a few days later, I began to think about that statement. ” I just want to live my life.” How many times have I said or thought that exact same thing? How many times have I not been pleased with something in my life, and wished that I could “live my life” the way I wanted to? Truth is, I can. I can “live my life.” But there are a few steps I need to take in order to do so.
First, I need to decide exactly what this life is that I want to live. What exactly is it I am looking for? What do I want to achieve? What do I desire for my daily routine to look like that is different from what I am doing now? What is it I don’t like about the way things currently are? When I really sit and think about these questions, I only come up with a few things that I really genuinely wish were different. Most of the things I come up with are actually things that could easily be changed if I was willing to put a little extra effort into them. The others are harder, but if I really set my mind to them, planned for success, and put in the work, I could get there too.
Second, I have to decide what exactly it is holding me back from doing what is required to live the life I want. Now for the kid in youth group, there were a few factors, but mainly two, his mom and dad. But being an adult my self, and being able to make my own decisions, there are different factors involved for me. First and foremost, do the things I want line up with what God wants for me? If not, then they’re automatically out. But let’s say they do. Then what is holding me back?
So as I really began to take inventory of what has been holding me back from “living my life” I ended up with a long list. This list included things like: Not enough time. Not enough resources. This person, or that circumstance, work, and on and on. It was then I was brought back to reality when God answered my question for me. He said, the only thing holding you back from living your life is you Leiah. He reminded me that he went to the ends of the earth, suffered, died, and rose again, so that I (Me, an absolute nobody) would have the opportunity to not only live my life, but to live it in the most abundant way.
You see God has provided everything I need in order to live the most fulfilling life possible. He provided me with a second chance, a chance to be born again after I messed up my life in sin. He gave me a clean slate, and an opportunity to get it right with no shame or guilt from my past to haunt me. He provided his spirit to lead and guide me into all truth, and open up his word to me. I can read his word, and find truth and knowledge and wisdom, and understanding there. I can learn from the experiences of others who have gone before me in the faith. I can face life head on knowing that if I love the Lord, then all things will work together for my good. I can have joy in knowing that even on my worst days, God is there. I have counsel, comfort, peace, joy, power, and strength, all there waiting when I ask for it. I can speak my mind, and pour out my heart all in confidence. I know that my prayers reach a God that not only hears, but answers me. I have a best friend in Jesus, who died for me. I have assurance that I will be provided for, even when it doesn’t seem possible. I have a God that can open doors that were slammed in my face, and shut doors that were pried open.
I guess what I am trying to say here is that in order to “live my life” I simply need to surrender it all to Jesus. I need to lay out my plans before him, and know that if my plans line up with his, he will take care of the details. Or, if my plans don’t line up with his and he has better ones, He will let me know. Living your life is actually losing it, and picking up the life that Christ died so you could have. You are the only one that can do that. You are the only thing holding you back from “living your life”. So join me today in examining the minor and major adjustments that need to be made. Then taking that list and writing down a plan of action to make those changes. Let’s ask God to help us make those changes. Let’s not miss one single second of the abundant life that he died for us to live.