Can we even define the A-plus life? Maybe. But quantify it? No. It cannot be measured because the A-plus life is within. It’s a symbiotic, body-mind-spirit discovery of the indwelt power of Jesus.
Let’s begin with what the A-plus life is not. It is not measurable as it flows from within. It is not quantitative because it’s “immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine (Eph. 3:20). It is not a vertical reward system in which those at the top are the top! No. It is not easily defined, but we know it when we see someone with it. And when we do see it, at times, we are uneasy around such quiet power. At other times, we are drawn powerfully to it.
Finally, and most assuredly, it is not achieved; it is found.
For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. (Matt. 16:25)
The A-plus spiritual life might look like a B or C life to anyone outside the Kingdom. It may look a little boring or maybe a little bland although it is anything but that. That’s because those outside are still under the illusion that all that glitters is gold.
There’s a lady who’s sure,
All that glitters is gold.
And she’s buying a stairway to heaven.
(from Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven”)
No, there is no buying the A-plus spiritual life, and we cannot even manufacture it. We must be filled up through an ever-deepening journey with Jesus. The “life that is truly life” is so rich and so real, yet it is a bit intangible (1 Tim. 6:19). But here’s what it looks like as we steadily grow closer to the one who is the “light of the world” (John 8:12).
“I will not be mastered by anything.” (1 Cor. 6:12)
Freedom! Nothing from the old self has a hold on me. I am not controlled by nor am I in the grip of lust, greed, anger, anxiety, jealousy, or pride. These rear their ugly heads at times and pick at me, but they do not control me.
“Your will be done…” (Matt. 6:10)
I want… really want… God’s will precisely because I know it will be the best—always the best. So we grow from, “Okay, I accept your will, God. I guess I have to” to this: “Yes, yours, please! Not mine!”
“Then you will [know] God’s will.” (Rom. 12:1-2)
We can actually move through life with a sense of God’s will in any given situation. We won’t ever know the mind of God, but he promises that, as we clean our minds of the garbage and clutter of this culture, we will be able to sense the green lights (“Yes, do this”) and the red lights (“No, that’s not the best for you”).
The person who is constantly asking, “What is God’s will for me in this?”, is missing God’s absolute promise and the assurance of his presence.
“…that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”
The answer to the consistent temptations that assault us is not self-discipline although that does play a role. The answer is to be so full of his grace, peace, and contentment that formerly tempting things, well… just lose their glitter.
To our former beguiling temptations, we simply say, “No thanks. I’m full.”
Walking in rhythm, moving in sound…
It’s been so long since I seen her. I’m tired and so all alone.
I’ve travelled so very far. I’ve got to get back home. Got to get back home.
(lyrics by The Blackbyrds)
“Are you tired? Worn out? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matt. 11:28-30, MSG, bold added)
Oh, come on! Can you imagine learning to live within the unforced rhythms of Jesus’ grace? The clarity to see clearly what really matters. The inner peace to rise above the petty emotions of this world. The contentment to say, “No, thanks. I’m full.” To be joyful always, having a pervasive sense of well-being no matter the uncertain circumstances. To sense his constant presence and his desire for you.
That, my friend, is the A-plus life. Do you have it? Are you getting closer? Seek it with all your heart, and you will find it.