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EFC Blog | Fully Alive!

"The Glory of God is a person fully alive.” I love this quote because it highlights the fact that following Jesus is not fundamentally a reduced life or abstaining from “the naughty stuff” and embracing “the hard stuff.” Instead, following Jesus is an invitation to an expansive life where, over time, we become more truly ourselves. Jesus expressed this in variety of ways...

“Whoever loses their life for my sake will gain it.”

Matthew 16:25

“If you hold to my will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

John 8:31-32

“Whoever believes in me, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”

John 7:38

Yet, many of us, even long-time disciples, live diminished lives — lives reduced by the pursuit of lesser passions. The root of this is rarely the lesser passion itself but the fear that causes us to settle for something less than the abundant life God promises.

Discipleship is choosing faith over fear. In practical terms it means that we are regularly stretched to do things that are counter to our normal sensibilities or scary and uncomfortable — in obedience to the leading of the LORD. The “leading of the LORD” is key to this whole spiritual growth process. I suspect we all have an inner voice that asks, “How do I know it is the LORD?” I would describe “learn to discern God’s voice” as a process of trial and error that is bounded by Scripture and input from Christian community. In other words, we learn to discern by stepping out in faith. This, of course, involves the possibility of failure — hence, the struggle between fear and faith.

I’ve noticed over the years that those who grow the fastest and strongest in the Lord are the ones willing to step out and risk looking stupid or being wrong. Therefore, as a leader I want to do everything I can to foster a culture that values and encourages stepping out in faith. There is nothing spiritual about taking senseless risks, but we must trust that God is good and will reward even our less-than-perfect efforts to listen and obey.

Hear that again — God is good, and He will reward even our less-than-perfect efforts to listen and obey.

Even as I write this, I sense the call to renew my commitment to modeling a life of faithful risk-taking and celebrating those who step out in faith and trust God to manage the outcomes. I see us becoming a church family that encourages each other to boldly walk by faith. Imagine how “the Glory of God” will shine as we become a church family that is actively spurring one another on to be fully alive!

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