At some point in time, usually at a very early age, we begin looking for something to fill-up our lives with. We need to fill up on something because we need a source of power to draw from.
Imagine yourself as an empty container, willing and able to receive anything that pours. Along comes something called “acceptance,” which presents a very convincing case as to why you should allow it in. You willingly give-over your pouring rights, and by the time acceptance fills up the container, you’re ready to throw in a straw and start sipping.
Not too long afterward, the slurping sound made by sucking up the last little bit lets everyone know you’ve completely finished drinking. Though you enjoyed the taste, something inside of you feels unsatisfied. Just because something tastes good doesn’t mean it contains the necessary nutrients to give your life the required boost in energy.
You repeat this process over-and-over again based on the promises of the other “would-be-filler-upers.” Love, assurance, security, all take their turn pouring into your life, along with many others like them, and in fact, even acceptance comes around and asks for another go at it.
At first, you enjoy the different flavors, and the whole experience of choosing from the various contenders turns the entire process into a tantalizing taste test. Each sip gives you a measure of pleasure. At the very least, the assorted zest and zings distract you from filling full but not satisfied.
Even when you get all Christian about it, and allow the spiritual stuff to pour into your life—like bible reading, worship, and commitment to God—sucking up every last drop leaves you no better off than you were before.
I’m currently forty-four years old and have been a Christian since I was seven. Drinking all those spiritual energy drinks high in caffeine and loaded with sugar always rev me up initially. But coming off the high usually lands me in a worse place than I began. At some point I begin wondering if the extreme highs are worth the crash and burn lows.
I’ve done my fair share of drinking from what the spiritual world, and the world in general, both have to offer. I’ve concluded that God has made me for neither. Only one pour can satisfy me.
What I need the most is Life in my life. I don’t need something promising to give me life—like acceptance from others, or acceptance from God through what I do. What I need is Life itself. Only Life can power up my life.
I expect you to read the bible, hope you’ll pray about anything that concerns you, and encourage you to worship in a way that best fits your temperament. But pouring any of these, or other things like them, into your life, and expecting them to give Life only sets you up for disappointment.
When Jesus says He is life, I take that as Him defining Himself. He offers to pour into my life the one thing I’m missing, the one thing I desperately need to live with power—Himself. His Life pouring into my life means an endless supply of Him.
Yet, there sure seems to be a lot of competition for Christ these days. Not that He actually “competes” against any of them. It’s not like He is in line with all the Christian energy drinks waiting for a turn to pour. We’re talking about the One who has the one thing we want and need the most—Life. He doesn’t compete for our affection.
Instead of it being Life in life, Christianity has become more of a “principles-to-live-by” religion. To move from failure into success, Christianity as a religion requires that you play around with the ingredients of the pour. If you can get the spiritual mixture just right—a balance between the proper activities, knowledge, and moral behavior—then you can have the life you always wanted. Or so you’re promised.
But coming off the high of any spiritual energy drink leaves you with a religious migraine. You have to now find something else to take away the pain caused by things that originally promised to satisfy you. Does pain management sound like abundant living to you?
But in comparison to all the other drinks, it only takes a sip of Life for you to immediately notice the difference in energy and power. A Life in life approach to living may not focus so much on what you need to “do,” but sure can take away the fear, anxiety, and worry of a dry and parched soul. His life takes away in us what we cannot take away ourselves.
Christianity is, and always will be, about the person of Jesus. Remove Him from the mix, and you’re left with nothing but a sweet tasting, calorie laden, sugar-water recipe for religion. But when you allow Him to pour His Life into yours, you can drink form an endless supply of power and successful living.
I realize I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know. You’ve had the past times in your life when Life entered into your situation, and some pretty amazing stuff began to happen. But sometimes it’s hard to continue sipping on Life when so many spiritual energy drinks vie for your attention. There’s so much spiritual marketing going on in an already overcrowded environment trying to distract you.
Yet, you can always rebuff the so-called drink of champions and return to the flavor your spiritual taste buds long for. The Life Jesus pours into yours never runs dry. It both tastes good and satisfies. It never runs out of the power you need for a happy life.