When was the last time you stopped in your tracks and thought “wow, I’m living my best life”? When do you know you’re in alignment with who you were created to be and what you were created to do? Where do you find that sense of fulfillment and completeness that confirms, yip, this is it, my best life?
Most would say it’s on a vacation of some sort. You know, those days when you wake up and the fancy coffee is already made for you. The days when your clothes fit just right and oppps, did you forget to take the tag off of that? Oh shucks, it’s because it’s all new. Welp, just a girl living her best life. A day when the sun is shining and you have absolutely nothing you have to do. It all just looks and feels so good.
Is that you living your best life?
Actually, that’s you living a 1 week vacation. That’s you escaping reality. That’s not your life, so how could it be your best life?
I’m going to speak a truth to you that may sting a little. What I’m about to say will go up against a whole lot of popular ‘name it and claim it’, ‘believe it and have it’, “do you boo” teachings of today, but I’m quite certain this is what God has asked me to share. Are you listening?
If you are only living your “best life” when you have totally escaped your daily reality, you’ve missed the point of your life.
Your best life can’t be 1 week out of the year. Your best life can’t be on some far removed place from the rest of your life. Your best life can’t be a pretend life that you can’t afford to maintain.
Jesus said in John 10:10 that he came so that you may have life, and have it abundantly. Do you honestly think he intended for that abundance of life to only be found 1 week out of the year while traveling? Imagine Jesus saying, “I have this abundant life for her, and when she is living it, she will know it’s her best life, but I’m only going to offer it to her in an allotment of her vacation days. The rest of the time she’s going to need to be miserable and just push through.”
That sounds absolutely ridiculous, yet that’s how we often live.
Today is just a Wednesday in November. There’s nothing great about this day. Nothing special knocking on my door. I’m not really looking forward to anything in particular today. This isn’t my best life today, this is just my ordinary life.
And so we separate our ordinary life from our best life. But how many days of your life are ordinary? The overwhelming majority! In fact, let’s look at the numbers. If you’ve reserved living your best life for your 1 week of vacation, that’s 1.9% of your year. Oh, you actually get 2 weeks of vacation? Okay, let’s give you that increase to be fair. That’s 3.8% of your year.
Are the numbers setting in?
Let’s be generous. Let’s assume your best life is really the entire summer months. Now you’re up to 17%. Do you really think God, in all of his power and wisdom, designed you to only get to live your best life 17% of the time?
What about the other 83%? That part wasn’t covered by the abundant life Jesus came to give you? That’s the part you just have to trudge your way through until you get back to the best parts?
Seems to me like we must have our best life confused here. Our best life is one living in alignment with God’s design for our existence. And maybe that really has nothing to do with fru-fru drinks served on a white sandy beach as we confidently rock a white bikini. (I mean really, who wears a white bikini anyway? I don’t think that’s even reality.)
Maybe our best life isn’t the dream house that is perpetually and blissfully clean, with a view of the Tuscan hillside to the west and the turquoise waters of the Caribbean to the east, yet mysteriously close to all those we love.
Maybe our best life isn’t waking up next to an incredibly handsome man with fresh breath, staring into our eyes telling us how gorgeous we are, and actually believing him.
Maybe our best life has been twisted into fantasies and get aways, and we’ve been tricked into believing our ordinary days couldn’t be our best days. If your best life requires you to escape your life, you’re living life wrong.
Jesus gives us a clear definition of our best life in Matthew 22: 37-39 “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Love is the prerequisite for living our best life. This is the life we were created to live. Not just on vacation, but every day of our lives. This is the best of the best God has to offer us. This is the only thing that will bring the feeling of complete fulfillment that we seek. This is the only satisfaction for our hungry souls.
When we deny our lives of the love we were created to give, then we seek to fill that emptiness with the pursuit of other things. Things we cannot maintain on a daily basis. Things that aren’t attainable on the regular. Things that preoccupy us with longings and wants, believing if we could stay on a perpetual vacation, we would be living our best lives. If I could just find a way to get in that white bikini and look good, that would be my best life. If I had that handsome man with fresh breath telling me I’m beautiful every morning, that would be my best life. If I lived there, and didn’t have to do this, then that would be my best life.
Honey, you’ve been fooled.
Your best life is when you love.
When you love God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind; then, when you allow that love to flow out onto everyone else, that’s your best life.
Living this best life, there’s no room for all those other feelings.
Yes, those feelings of dread. Those feelings of overwhelm. Those feelings of lack. Those feelings of jealousy. Those feelings of bitterness. Those feelings of worry. Those feelings of stress.
Every negative feeling we have is rooted in fear. Fear of not having enough. Fear of not doing enough. Fear of not being enough. And guess what love does? LOVE DRIVES OUT FEAR!
1 John 4:18 “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear.”
A day lived in loved, is your best life! A day focused on loving God and loving others is precisely what you were created for! It is your perfect fit. And when you step into your perfect fit, you recognize, well holy balls, this is my best life!
Love banishes all those fears that have previously served as your prison. Love conquers your dread of what may come next. Love banishes the overwhelm. Love brings fulfillment where there was once lack. Love grounds you in truth instead of competition. Love forgives and heals and restores and renews. Love lifts worries and eases stress. And then there is no room for fear because it has been run off with love.
1 John 4:12 “If we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.”
The emptiness we feel isn’t a sign of a vacation we need to take. Your overwhelm is not your emergency alert system telling you of your desperate need to escape from your real life. It’s simply a symptom of living incomplete.
Incomplete without the love we were created to live with. When we love one another, God lives in us and makes us complete. Emptiness is a sign we’re living without love.
Your best life is a life of loving God and loving others.
Is that attainable today?
You bet your butt it is!
And here’s the thing honey, God already loves you enough to make up for every single living soul who has failed to love you properly. This isn’t about receiving love from anyone else. God has that covered. This is about you being made complete in his love and letting that complete love flow through you and from you.
And of course, we have an entire list of all the practical ways we can show up in love today.
1 Corinthians 13: 4-7 “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”
I especially love how the MSG translation of this scripture sums it up: “Love trusts God always, Always looks for the best, Never looks back, But keeps going to the end.”
And this, my sister, this is your BEST LIFE!
No vacation destination, white bikini, new house, pocket of cash, or hot hunk necessary. Your best life is lived in love.
Trust God. Always look for the best. Never look back. Keep going to the end.