Hands up if you feel like you’re living life abundantly right now. My guess is that most of you don’t have your hands raised, mostly because you don’t want to look like an idiot but also because the experience of a lot of Christians is that they feel stalled in their spiritual life. This week I heard a compelling reason why this may be from Dr Henry Cloud, a Christian speaker and psychologist, and it is simply that we have failed to take the medicine that Jesus gave us.
To quote another great thinker, Action Man, “knowing is half the battle”. The Bible repeatedly emphasises the value of truth and the danger of lies. Genesis 3 tells the story of humanity deceived, a deception that Jesus would not fall for in the wilderness with Satan. So we need the truth and “the truth will set you free” (also Jesus, John 8:32) but that truth needs living out in order to give us life in abundance.
Dr Cloud pointed out that when we put a teaching of Jesus into action (praying for an enemy, fasting secretly, refusing to judge etc.) lots of different parts of our brain light up and start to rewire as our mind is literally made new and as we cooperate with the Holy Spirit our spirit is made new. We become new people, suited to a fully human life. I’d like to challenge you to do something we’re trying at StoryHouse Church and that is to have practice groups instead of house groups. Whenever you meet with your small group or prayer triplet don’t just study but ask one another ‘what am I going to do this week in light of this truth?’ Take the medicine; listen and obey; live abundantly.