What defines your life? Good Christians know the "right" answer—but what is our real answer? In truth, what defines our life are the things that dominate our thinking and consistently spark our interests. The real definition of our life can often be reduced to those things that we rely on for security, acceptance, and hope in this life.
The bad news for many people in today's unsteady world is that their core definition is being threatened by the stripping away of possessions, position and pleasures. Like a dead bouquet of flowers, no life remains in what used to be a colorful and carefree existence.
For the true Christ-follower, these present days force a decision upon us. Will we redefine our brief appearance on this planet in the terms of biblical truth, leading to a fresh discovery of true meaning and fulfillment? Conversely, will we prolong the pain by clinging unnecessarily to those phantom trappings that cannot be preserved and will not provide purpose?
The Truth about Life
Colossians 3:4 speaks of "Christ who is our life." Christ is the definition of life itself. The Scriptures affirm this powerful truth. For example:
- John 10:10b – "I came that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly."
- John 14:6 – "Jesus said to him, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life.'"
- John 20:31 – "But these are written that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name."
- Galatians 2:20 – "I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me."
- 1 John 5:12 – "Whoever has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life."
A High-Redefinition Life
When we actually embrace this powerful truth of Christ as our very life, we can enjoy the freedom of a redefined existence. Practically, we experience a transition in focus and a transformation in heart:
- From a life obsessed with accumulation to a life embracing simplicity
- From a life controlled by busyness to a life that cherishes relationships
- From a life worried about reputation to a life pursuing integrity
- From a life consumed by ambition to a life discovering contentment
- From a life sustained by success to a life resting in significance
- From a life ruled by competition to a life rejoicing in brokenness
- From a life enamored with status to a life in pursuit of humility
- From a life marked by drivenness to a life existing in peace
- From a life concerned about winning to a life poured out in love
- From a life preoccupied with earthly recognition to a life pursuing eternal reward
- From a life fearing earthly loss to a life delighting in eternal gain
- From a life of frenzied effort to a life of fulfilling purpose
- From a life of debilitating insecurity to a life of mature identity
Yes, But How?
So how do we embrace this core definition? This necessarily involves a daily redefinition in our thoughts and affections because our flesh constantly seeks to glom on to the false realities of this temporal world. From the first four verses of Colossians 3, let me offer a few practical steps.
Remember Your Status!
Because I fly so much these days, I have enjoyed "elite" status on some airlines. This simply means I get to board early, avoid luggage fees and enjoy an occasional upgrade at no charge. I earned this status by the number of miles I have accumulated in flight. I only maintain this status by continuing to fly in excessive amounts.
Because of Christ, every believer has a supernatural status. Yet, we did not earn it nor do we need to maintain it.
Colossians 3:1 says, "If then you were raised with Christ." This is a bedrock truth for a redefined life. Ephesians 2:5-6 describes our status: "Even when we were dead in sins, (God) made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and He raised us up and seated us together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus." We are literally "co-resurrected" with Christ. This is our status, because of His death and resurrection.
I remember the old gospel song that said, "This world is not my home. I am just passing through." Hebrews 11:13 describes people of faith as "strangers and pilgrims on the earth." Paul reminds us that our "citizenship is in heaven" (Philippians 3:20). After saving us by His grace, God left us here "on assignment" to share His life with others. Yet, our actual status is already in heaven—and we should live accordingly.
We do not move our living room furniture into the Holiday Inn when we check in for a one-night stay. We do not install an expensive stereo in a rental car. Neither should we pretend that this world is a permanent reality for us. Because of grace, our status is secure and settled in heaven.
Refocus Your Pursuit!
Living in the reality of this truth requires a daily commitment to "desire those things which are above, where Christ sits at the right hand of God" (Col. 3:1). Literally, this means to "keep desiring." It is a continual choice and commitment.
Most of us go where we look. When we drive, we gaze at the road ahead—and tend to go there. When we walk, we focus on the things in front of us and usually move ahead safely. Conversely, when we get distracted and focus on something other than our desired destination, havoc occurs. We wreck. We trip. We get hurt—and often hurt others.
Therefore, we must presently and actively seek the things of eternity. Literally, this is a command to "desire", to "set the heart"—even to "worship". In spite of the many enticing distractions of the lusts and attractions of this world, we can refocus our passion moment-by-moment on the greatest reality of Christ, at the throne of God—calling us to Himself in worship and reinforcing us with holy passions for the best life possible.
Today, let us remember our status and intentionally refocus our pursuit. This leads to a true high-definition life—one that is heavenward, clear, and significant. A better definition of life can burn within our souls, and we will find the strength we need to live righteously and godly in this present age.
Copyright ©2017 Daniel Henderson. All rights reserved.
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