“’And do you seek great things for yourself? Do not seek them; for behold, I will bring adversity on all flesh,’ says the Lord. ‘But I will give your life to you as a prize in all places, wherever you go.’” (Jeremiah 45:5 NKJV)
“Once you get into the real world, you’ll find it’s not as easy as that.”
“You’re in for a rude awakening when you get out of here and into real life.”
These are things we might say to students who’ve never experienced life outside of school. But the truth is, even after we graduate, we still haven’t reached our real life in Christ.
We become real, healed, full human beings when we connect with Jesus through the Holy Spirit. Until then, we’re still sending postcards from a fantasy life.
Our maturity in Jesus brings us closer and closer to real life, as established by God before he set the foundations of the world.
Thomas Merton, the prayer-centered monk, spoke in terms of life in the nasty-now-and-now being like an onion. God keeps peeling away the layers until the real you is revealed.
In a sense, God is explaining that when he says, “I will bring adversity on all flesh” (Jeremiah 45:5 NKJV). He uses adversity in your life to scrape away the layers that cover your real life.
God says when he brings great disaster upon you, there will be no time to pack a bag filled with ego, self-centeredness, lust, or materialism. He’ll let you escape, but only with the Jesus-clothes on your back.
What you’re left with is your real life in Jesus (Colossians 3:4) — a life that is filled with God’s purpose and a life in alignment with God’s heart and mind. In this real life, we enter into the abundance of life promised by Jesus (John 10:10).