What hinders the abundant life we have in Jesus?
What stops Christians from experience the fullest scope of their relationship with Jesus? Throughout Scripture Jesus talks about the abundant life, living water, never thirst again, giving us rest, but most Christians seem to be exhausted and caught up in the repetition of life.
We have found there are the primary reason is that we end up replacing the gospel with something else. It happens easily. Here are a few examples below:
We replace the gospel with morality.
This is typically in a traditional / conservative context and takes place in people who tend to grow up going to church. The pursuit of morality comes from the assumption that we can all attain a satisfactory standard of morality. The pursuit of morality is exhausting because nobody can ever attain or maintain the satisfactory standard of morality. Often people walk away from this experience feeling like they need to be “good Christians.”
The gospel is no longer a place of abundant life, but living the “right” life.
We replace the gospel with driven spirituality.
This is typically in the pursuit of quiet times, memory verses, small groups, and none of these things are bad, but they are all compartmentalized. The pursuit of driven spirituality creates so much business with “church” activities that most people don’t have time for other relationships. Again, the pursuit of driven spirituality is exhausting because the individual doesn’t always experience a spiritual connection to Jesus and instead just moves from event to event.
The gospel is no longer a place of abundant life, but living the “structured” life.
We replace the gospel with social justice.
This is typically found in churches who are liberal with Scripture, but generous in serving others. Recently, many churches are becoming more involved in social activity and often times there is abundant living while they are serving the less fortunate, but it isn’t something they take home and experience continually.
The gospel is no longer a place of abundant life, but living the “good” life.
The hope that is made available in Jesus is an abundant life before we even open our eyes in the morning. It is not according to our deeds, but according to His mercy, so that His joy is made full in us, and produces good works in us that blesses others.