And this is what he promised us — even eternal life.1 John 2:25
Most of us read the words eternal life as though they only apply to heaven in the future.
Everlasting life, we call it, life that never ends. That is not inaccurate. Eternal life is life that never ends, but the essential factor about eternal life is not quantity, but quality. What John is speaking of here is not merely something we are going to get in heaven someday, but it is something we can experience and enjoy now. It is fullness of life, the full quality of divine life lived out in your situation, right now, and increasing in fullness of enjoyment forever. In other words, eternal life is the daily adventure of experiencing God's solution to every problem instead of your own. It is the discovery of God's program for every opportunity, instead of yours. Every time we are confronted with a problem, there are two things we can do.
In the weakness of our own intellect, relying upon our own human resources, we can try to work out the problem. When we do, the result is inevitably the same. Life dissipates into a drabness, a boredom, a routine that leaves us utterly uninterested and desiring to be uninvolved. That is our program.
Or we can have God's solution to any problem or any opportunity. In any situation we can say,
Lord, You are in me, and You have come in me to live through me. This situation has been brought about by your planning and your programming. Father, I wouldn't be in it if it were not for you. Now, Lord, do through me what you want to do with it. Then we watch to see what God does, and we become instantly available to Him to move in whatever direction it looks like the situation demands. As we do, we discover that His program begins to unfold in that situation. Every obstacle becomes a glorious opportunity to display the fullness of glory, wisdom, and power that is in the God who has come to live and make His home within us.
I remember as a young Christian reading that great promise in Ephesians,
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us... (Ephesians 3:20). I remember looking at that verse and saying to myself,
Is that really true? Does God really offer to do for me beyond that which I can ever ask or think at this moment? That's fantastic! I can ask a lot of life. I can dream and imagine a great many wonderful experiences that I would love to have, to bring satisfaction to my life and heart. I even had the program outlined in my mind, just how God could do it. But as I look back across these thirty years, I can see that God did not take my program and do it my way, but He has abundantly fulfilled the promise. My life is richer than I ever dreamed it would be when I was a young Christian.
If we are ready to give ourselves to the Word of God, to let it possess us, to understand it, and to obey it—if that which you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father. The experience of that is eternal life!
Father, grant to me, through all the feeble searchings of my heart, the discovery of eternal life in my everyday experience.
What is the daily adventure of experiencing God's solution to every problem instead of our own called? Are we willingly letting the living Word possess us each day?