READ: Psalm 63, Ezekiel 22-24, Mark 7, Romans 14
BETTER THAN LIFE
The lovingkindness of Jesus is better than life (Psalm 63:3). The description of God’s thoughts and actions towards us (Hebrew = hessed) is so magnificent that it cannot be explained by one English word, nor can it be compared to what humanity considers most precious. The Bible tells us there is something better than our highest reality and enjoyment. Better than food, better than sex, better than peace, better than comfort, better than travel, better than sports, better than marriage, better than adventure, better than nature, better than every good thing humanity enjoys is the lovingkindness of God. Hypocritical man will both take another’s life and hold on to his at all costs. In that effort to grasp and hold on to life as we know it, we risk missing altogether life as God intended it–life in the intimacy of walking with Jesus.
The gate to this super-charged life is entered by coming to the end of ourselves. We can’t come into the fullness of Jesus’ lovingkindness (even if we are His followers) until we have let go of life as we have made it (Eze. 22:16). Life as we have designed it is still too affected by sin and self. A “better than life” life is only fully realized in heaven, but it can be embarked on now if we dedicate to living a life under the shadow of His wings (Psalm 63:7), a life where there is no iniquity and offense. An iniquity-free life is not gained by trying not to sin. Much energy will be spent to no avail. We enter the better life not by trying to be good, but by accepting what Jesus has done for us and employing all our energy in seeking Him. It is impossible to run in two different directions at the same time, and those that run hardest after Jesus need not concentrate on running away from sin–you can’t run after Jesus and run after sin at the same time.
The following questions derived from Psalm 63 help you discern if you are running toward the better life, the life Jesus intends for you:
- Do your lips praise Him? Praise is never intended to be internal. Do your lips daily cheer for magnificent, triumphant Jesus all day long? Does the earth hear your voice?
- Do you bless the Lord while you live? While both praise and blessing can be verbal, blessing has a practical, lived out component. Does your life make Jesus happy? Do you ever embarrass Jesus by how you treat others? Or can Jesus put you on a pedestal, expose your every moment and word to public scrutiny without damage to your reputation or His?
- Is your soul satisfied with Jesus? Soul satisfaction is evidenced by practical simplicity. We don’t need many clothes or books or toys or even friends. The better life is utterly outside what we posses or accomplish. The better life is satisfied with only Jesus and divests itself of temporal clutter.
- Does your mouth praise Jesus with joyful lips? Sacrifice is uglified when it points to self or is carried out with a sigh. Joy–before, during, and after trial–is the mark of “better than life” life.