This video came across my desk this morning on Facebook. I used to love videos of people doing death defying things like this. But as I was viewing this one, I began to realize that something inside of me had changed. There is no doubt that the activity was exciting, but I thought I would feel more… elated. I thought I would feel more.. free as I watched and experienced the ride along with the jumper. But it sounded too loud, too cold and well, too short lived.
I, like most people, have yearned for freedom all my life. I received a comment from a woman on this WordPress blog yesterday and she yearned for freedom so badly that she felt it was making her mentally ill. I think people do things like jump off cliffs in order to find this freedom from life’s worries and troubles. But I don’t think they will find it this way! What little it gives is too short!
It reminds me of the rock climbing I used to do. So much fear mixed in with the thrill. So much energy wasted in the process that the purity of joy is tarnished. One seeks pure joy, not joy mixed with cold and fear. While the thrill is fun, it is also nerve wracking. And you never get it long enough to actually rest in it. Watching this video made me remember clinging to the sides of cliffs with a finger bone stuck into a tiny crack, my rubber soled feet sticking to the rock wall by friction alone and listening to the buffeting wind in my ears. I would be resting in this position with a rope snapped into my carabiner and harness. The sun would be shining in my eyes. Houses looked tiny below me and my partner would be high above or way below. It would never matter because the fear of falling felt the same either way. Was this fun? I never knew. I did it for the freedom. To be away from Life and from People. To be alone with God. But it was never enough. It was never joy. It was always mixed with terror and adrenaline.
How different am I today! I have found true joy. That joy is Christ and a true, living relationship in him. I loved Christ back then and was saved, but I had not yet truly given up my whole life to him and for him. I hadn’t yet dedicated my life to his service. I had not yet been baptised by the Holy Spirit. At that time in my life, I still sought my own life, my own way. I didn’t even understand the concept of dying to my life. God had to destroy my life in order for me to absolutely hate it. Only then, out of complete ignorance and misery did I just throw it at him as a useless bargaining chip. “Here! You can have it! Fine!” I screamed like a little baby having a tantrum. “I will serve only you for the rest of my life if you will just keep my hand from taking my own life. I can’t bear the shame of killing myself! I don’t want anyone to see me fail like that! I don’t want to die, but I also don’t want to live… save me and I will serve only you…”
What a trade. What a deal, huh? I took what I no longer valued and threw it at God. And He gave me what he thought was priceless- everything He had- his Son, his Kingdom and everlasting life in his arms and his love. What a deal- for me! In that very instant, God sent His Spirit to me and filled me to the brim. I was filled with the same loud rushing wind and holy fire that the Apostles felt and heard on Pentecost. I was blinded by joy!
And I’ve kept my end of the deal. I have. And I have never looked back. The pure, relaxing, unending JOY that fills me has never ended since that life altering baptism of the Holy Spirit. I watch these guys jumping off this cliff and I realize how anticlimactic it is! It no longer appeals to me at all. What used to thrill me now looks boring compared to what I experience in God in simple prayer! Even reading the Bible is a greater thrill to me. I’m not kidding you. Jesus compared Heaven to a priceless pearl hidden in a field that a man discovered by accident. When he found it, he was so joyful and carefully hid it ( he didn’t want anyone to steal it!) and sold everything he had so that he could buy the field. This is the TRUTH.
Heaven is worth EVERYTHING you own. It is worth your husband and/or wife. It is worth your children and parents. It is worth all your wealth, which is squalor compared to it. There is nothing compared to Heaven and God. Nothing.
Give your entire BEING to God today. Don’t wait. I was fortunate that God broke my life into nothing. No one had told me what to do. But he broke me up and then saved me so that I could come to you with this very important information. THIS is how to be truly saved and to be truly happy! Salvation isn’t just being dunked in water and saying a mantra you don’t understand or really mean! You must REPENT and DIE to your old life. You must actually MEAN that Jesus is your KING. You must really mean, in your heart, that you will not say, ‘no’ to his commands in your life. If you believe, in your heart, that you can say, ‘no’ to Jesus in your life, then you are lying when you say that Jesus is your Lord. How, then, can you be saved?? You must ‘believe in your heart’! That is part of salvation! God sees your heart! I received the Holy Spirit only when I truly meant I would serve Jesus in all that he says. Only then. Until then, I only wanted salvation, not servitude. But we must mean Jesus is our KING and we will be his true SERVANT. We can’t just take the salvation part. We must mean the servitude part of the deal for salvation to work. Jesus is our KING and we WILL obey him. You can’t lie to God.
Give your BEING to Jesus today. And you will never have to jump off cliffs or climb rock cliffs again to feel free. You can be like me- you can be 50- soon to be 51 years old with a bad back, sit in an office and blog for Christ and be the freest person on earth! Die to your life, throw it away and then, come to Christ and ask him, “What is your wish, my King?” Only then will you find the ultimate freedom, my friends. Only then.