What does it mean to live a fulfilled life?
Have you ever hopped from one thing to the next, looking for the “right” next thing that will help you to feel content, living a fulfilled life with purpose?
In many ways, I could say that this has been the story of my life. I’ve loved newness, variety and the next thing that would bring me some excitement. I love new experiences, trying out new skills and hobbies, traveling to new places and learning new things. I love taking new classes and getting to know new people. Part of this is simply my personality, the way that I’m wired, but at times it’s also been how I’ve looked to find fulfillment in my life.
How about you? Do you struggle with this? If so, what do you think it means to live life to the full?
The verse of John 10:10 says, “I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.” This is such a wonderful promise to us from Jesus.
Sometimes I think we might have the wrong focus with it. I know that at times I do.
Filled With Stuff or Full of the Life God Provides?
The wrong focus can sound something like this: A fulfilled life is a life full of wonderful things, wonderful experiences, wonderful loving relationships and feeling like I am doing the right job and loving it. Sounds pretty great doesn’t it? From one view, it sounds like a pretty full and fulfilling life, but, really it’s just about filling your life with “stuff.”
Those things are wonderful things and I think that we can definitely be blessed with them as a part of a full life, but I don’t think that they are what make our lives full, rather they just fill it up.
Let’s take a look at some verses in Matthew 6:25-34
Do Not Worry
25“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your lifee ?
28“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Hidden in this passage about worry, we are given the clue to what a full life is all about. Verse 33 says, “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” When we seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, we are really seeking Him, Jesus, and when we find Him, that’s where we find fulfillment.
I find it interesting that this is in the middle of a passage focused on worry, specifically because I’ve noticed that the more “stuff” I try to fill my life with, the more worry I seem to have. On the other side is Jesus. When our focus is on Him, we depend on Him to supply our needs, and our worry diminishes. When we are filled with Jesus, there isn’t room to worry about all the other stuff.A full life is found in our relationship with Jesus. Click To Tweet
What does this mean really? I think I’d like to look at another set of verses to help us uncover this even more.
Jeremiah 29:11 is an often used verse for comfort, but in many ways, the few verse following it are even more precious to me. Let’s look at verses 11-14 together.
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity.
The words that really strike me are, “I will be found by you and will bring you back from captivity.”
When I think about the times that I’ve looked for a fulfilled life in “the next thing,” in a way, it was like being in captivity. It was like being a slave to finding something that would make me feel excited or fulfilled or happy. Since the excitement and happiness and fulfillment from those things only last so long, it is like being a slave to always looking for the next thing that will bring about those feelings again.
Instead, when I seek Jesus, when I look to be filled by Him, He promises me that I will find Him! He promises me that it is in Him that I will find rest, peace, fulfillment and fullness. In some ways, what that means is not fully explainable. It is something each person has to experience for themselves, but there is nothing else that can measure up.
All those other things, they may be given to us as well, but they aren’t nearly as important, and they won’t fill us or fulfill us. That’s what I think it really means to have a fulfilled life; to find our fulfillment in the one who made us.
What about you? I’d love to here your thoughts! Please leave a comment below.
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