In almost all my years as a struggling Christian, I perceived “eternal life” as something God gave me that I possessed. It guaranteed that I would live in heaven after I died. It was my key to get me into heaven. All I had to do was present it at the pearly gates and I’d be let in – like the special day at the fair where they’d let you in if you brought a bag of canned goods for the local food bank. But, the reality that eternal life is actually a life that begins now and is lived on earth has been growing in me the past 5-6 years.[featured-image single_newwindow=”false”]
Possessing Eternal Life
This is where it gets fun. You do not possess eternal life. Eternal life possesses you. Yet, when it possesses you, you possess it. It begins to possess you as you, by faith, begin to know God. Eternal life possesses you more and more as you continue to know God, by faith, in loving obedience, abiding prayer, intimate communion, and intentional struggle. Then, you grow to know this kind of life and begin to live it yourself. It becomes you.
So, as it turns out, you do possess this life as this life possesses you.
Jesus’ Take on Eternal Life
How does Jesus describe eternal life?
This is eternal life, that they may know you the only true God,
and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. John17.3
Eternal ife, according to Jesus, is about knowing the Father and the Son. Eternal life is living in such a way that you experience the life of the Father and Son.
Notice that Jesus did not say that eternal life is knowing about the Father and Son. That’s how many evangelicals understand Jesus’ words. They fill their life with information about God. Nor does Jesus say that eternal life is feeling close to the Father and Son. Eternal life is not an emotional experience. It is certainly not wrong to have information or to feel something about God. But they are not what Jesus is talking about.
How to Begin Experiencing the Father and the Son
So, how can you experience the life of the Father and Son? Here’s a hint: death and struggle, quietness and humility. These are subjects for future posts.
Here’s what you can do now:
1. Begin developing a better understanding of eternal life. Re-read these posts on eternal life.
2. Ask God to correct your thoughts and purify your heart in order to know Him.
3. Be attentive to God’s activity in you. He is already at work in your heart, mind, soul, and relationships. Open the eyes of your heart to see His vitality operating everywhere.
Life is worth living as God’s life becomes your life.
How do you see God at work in you? Comment below or ask a question.