FULLY ALIVE!

Your life will be as bright as the noonday sun. Job 11:17


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Surviving (Part 1)

On October 12, 1972, a plane carrying a team of young rugby players crashed into the remote, snow-peaked Andes. Of the forty-five original passengers and crew, only sixteen made it off the mountain alive. Those survivors endured ten excruciating weeks suffering deprivations beyond imagination, confronting nature head-on at its most furious and inhospitable, and to survive, engaging in the unthinkable.  This is the tale of Piers Paul Read’s Alive: The Story of the Andes Survivors.

Chances are (if you are reading this), you are not snowbound, lost in the Andes.  But are you lost?  Confused?  Off kilter?  Perhaps feeling deprived – of love?  Of true friendships?  Confronting life head-on at its most furious?  Finances?  Health?  Career?  Death? Relationships?  Parenting?  Do you feel as though you are barely surviving?

The surviving passengers and crew in Alive, survived because they did the unthinkable.  They became cannibals.

Hold up; no, I am not telling you to eat your friends and family (though sometimes you might feel like it – with your words, that is).  But what is the unthinkable, the drastic, the radical change that YOU need to make?  Perhaps you already know.  Change jobs?  Change friends?  Change your behavior?  Change your thinking?  (We’ll talk about what you know next blog.)

Or you may be completely clueless.  I invite you to look to Isaiah for wisdom. Isaiah 58:9(a) (AMP) tells us “Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry, and He will say, Here I am.” (Feeling better already? I know I am just typing this!). But keep reading. Isaiah 58:11 (AMP) continues, “And the Lord shall guide you continually and satisfy you in drought and in dry places and make strong your bones. And you shall be like a watered garden and like a spring of water whose waters fail not.  (In case you don’t get it, He will make you Alive!)

But there is even more!

Isaiah 30:19-21 (AMP) says, “And though the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide Himself any more, but your eyes will constantly behold your Teacher. And your ears will hear a word behind you, saying, This is the way; walk in it, when you turn to the right hand and when you turn to the left.”

To navigate the Andes, the survivors needed a guide.  To navigate life, we need a guide – and we have one in Our Lord.  Keep your eyes on Him and your ears open to hear His word, “This is the way; walk in it…”

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What does it mean to be fully alive?

Webster identifies the word alive as an adjective and defines it by identifying synonyms such as  animated, alert, active, energetic, vigorous, sprightly, vivacious, buoyant, exuberant, ebullient and spirited.  Does that sound like your life?  Does that sound like anybody’s life that you know?  All too often we feel anything (and everything) except alive, much less fully alive!  But fully alive is just what our Father desires for us.  John 10:10b reminds us that Christ came that we might have an abundant life (NASB).  I especially like some of the other translations for this particular Scripture such as that we might have life “to the full” (NIV) or that we might have a life that is “rich and satisfying” (NLT).  The Aramaic Bible in Plain English translates John 10:10b as “I have come that they may have life and have whatever is abundant.”  That’s something to ponder – what is abundant to you?  What is fully alive?

I wish that I could tell you that I had an answer for you to either of those questions, but I don’t.  But I do have the next best thing to offer and that is what is the source of an abundant life!  We only have to back up a few verses from John 10:10b.  Verse 9 reads, “I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved…and find pasture.”  Join this verse with verse 10, and you have the answer.  Jesus is the source of an abundant life – the only source.  Not a career.  Not a person.  Not a place.  Not a time or season.  Jesus is the door, and He came that we might have life and “whatever is abundant!”