You Are Complete in Christ

I was running late for high school football practice, and was missing the most important thing in my life—my cell phone. If you know me, I have a slight addiction to my phone. (I’m working on it; don’t judge me.)

My investigation ranged all over the house—in every pair of jeans, under every piece of furniture, in every crack and place it could be. Nothing. I went to ask my mom, because moms have this special power of knowing where everything is, but even she didn’t know where my phone was. I felt hopeless.

I ran to my twin sister, thinking she was trying to dig up some dirt on me. Surprisingly, she wasn’t. She hadn’t seen it either.

I bolted to my one-year-old brother. “Christian, have you seen my cell phone?”

“Bubba,” he responded. Not quite the answer I wanted, but cute nonetheless.

Right as I was about to go crazy, a familiar vibration came from the depths of my pocket. I reached down and felt it—my cell phone.

Now you may think I’m an idiot, and that wouldn’t be too far off. But it’s sad to me that many Christians spend their entire lives searching everywhere for something they already have in Christ.

This was me. I was saved at the age of twelve, but I spent six years searching for what I already had. I tried it all and nothing satisfied. I did everything I could to be more successful, more popular, and more of whatever the world said I needed to be. All this because I believed the lie that I needed more—that I wasn’t good enough, significant enough, or valuable enough.

While I believed God loved me, I was told I needed to do more in order for Him to keep loving me and stay pleased with me. I tried my best. But I always felt that His back was toward me and that He was ready to send a lightning bolt my way. Like most of us, I thought that although we’re saved by grace, our relationship with God is based on our performance. Eventually, believing He loved me only for what I did for Him, I decided I wanted nothing to do with Him.

Desperately wanting approval, I chased after girls and accolades. I wanted popularity, so I partied with the cool kids. I wanted relief from stress, so I tried drugs. I wanted attention, so I did my best to excel at sports. Nothing worked. Nothing satisfied. Nothing the world offered me was ever enough. Every night I felt the same—lonely, empty, and worn out. I could never do or be enough to feel complete. I determined that something was uniquely wrong with me. I saw everyone else’s happiness and wondered why I was the only exception.

On my eighteenth birthday, my search started coming to an end. A friend threw me a party, and tons of people came— for me. Yet I felt alone, empty, and unsatisfied. In the middle of the night, I sensed God tugging at my heart to give Him one more chance. So I did.

And I discovered the God of the Bible. The One who loves me without condition. The One who’s for me. The One who’s pleased with me apart from what I do. The One who knows me and likes me despite my shortcomings. The One who saved me and rescued me so that He could be in relationship with me. He called me out of my shame. And now He tells me (and you), “You’re no longer what your shame says you are.”

When I realized the goodness of Jesus, everything changed. He isn’t asking me to earn or work for His acceptance, presence, or love; instead, He’s asking me to enjoy it. He’s in me every moment, and because of that, I’m complete. I no longer need to search for meaning, value, or anything else I may need. Since I have all of Jesus in every moment, I have all I need.

When I believed God was angry at me, it was easy to sin and rebel. But when I realized how good and kind God really is toward me, I no longer wanted to sin against Him. God is the one who bears our burdens. The shame and hurt from our past was never ours to carry. God will never get tired of bearing your burdens and sustaining you. He never said, “I’ll save you and get you started, but then you’ll need to take it from there.” No, God promises that He will sustain you for all of eternity.

Do you realize how good, kind, and loving God is to you?
There was a man who lived on a farm, which was everything he owned. He was struggling to make enough money from the land to support himself. Despite his hard work, he was hungry, poor, and in danger of losing the farm.
Day after day this man didn’t know what to do. He wondered how he would pay his bills and how he could earn more money. One day, an oil company came by and asked to dig for oil. The oil company believed there was a chance that oil could be tapped on the land. Sure enough, they discovered one of the biggest oil reserves ever found. Just like that, this poor farmer became one of the richest men in the world.

When this man first bought his property, he possessed all the oil rights. He owned that vast quantity of oil beneath his land—yet he didn’t know it, and He lived in poverty. This is how I lived for years, and sadly this is how many people in the church live. We have abundance within us, and His name is Jesus. Yet we live as if we have nothing.

In Christ, we have everything we need to live fulfilled lives. We’re complete. We lack nothing. And it’s from our place of abundance in Christ that we’re called to live. For too long we’ve believed the lie of religion. Religion declares, “You’re broken,” but God declares, “You’re complete in Me.” Not once in the New Testament is a believer described as broken. And not once does it say that God is “breaking” us. Instead we see that God is building us up and reminding us that we’re complete in Him.

This means we don’t need “more.” We don’t need more of Jesus; we’re already united with Him and sealed by His Spirit. We don’t need more faith; God has already given us each a measure of faith as a gift. We don’t need more of whatever religion or this world says we need.
Jesus is enough. He’s all we need. And He’s inviting us to wake up each day and know that we don’t need to search any more. Instead, we need to understand that everything we’ve been searching for, we already have in Jesus.

God is inviting us to realize that the cell phone is in our pocket.The search is over.Take a seat and enjoy your Father in heaven. I no longer feel the need to do the things I once did. My life has been radically changed by knowing that God loves me and is for me, and that I’m complete in Him. Of course, I still struggle and find myself searching again and again. But God’s not frustrated with us for searching, because He uses our search to show us time and again that He is sufficient.

Yes, we’re still learning and growing. Jesus was perfectly God, perfect in everything, yet we read that He grew in wisdom and that He learned obedience. We’re complete and perfect, yet we’re learning about who God has made us to be, and we’re learning how to live from our new identity and not from our old habits. In the same way that an oak sapling doesn’t get “oakier” as it grows up, you and I do not get holier, more accepted, or more complete as we mature; instead, we just learn to be who we are. We grow up.

A flower doesn’t have to struggle and strive to grow upward from the ground; it naturally grows toward the sun. That’s how the Bible says we grow—through  Jesus, not self-effort. When we behold all that Jesus is, we learn to believe Him with everything. Our growth comes from God. There’s no rush. Our growth is His job, and He’s in control of the timing. So we can simply relax about our growth and trust Him with it.

We’re called to fixate on Jesus, not on our sin or on what we need to do. And when we look to Jesus, we see that through Him we’re complete and in need of nothing. Being complete in Christ changes everything for you and me. Instead of trying to get our acceptance, love, and value from other people, we get it from Christ. We no longer need other people to do something only God can do.

For married people, this means not expecting their spouse to be the source of their meaning and value; instead, they find it in Christ. For all of us who have friends, it means we don’t rely on those friends to make us feel good about ourselves all the time; instead, we lean on Jesus and let His truth permeate our thoughts and feelings. For those of us who participate in sports or some other form of competition, instead of seeking worth from the cheers of the crowd, we can rest in the value of God’s celebration of us.

All of us can look to, rely on, and have all our needs met in Christ alone.

Hearing God’s Opinion
“You’re My absolute favorite! Take a look at yourself. You’re complete. You’re new. You don’t need to do anything else to become more. You’re enough. You can stop the search and trust Me. I’ve given you everything you need, and there’s nothing left for you to do, except to live from all that I’ve made you to be. The world will say you need more—but never forget, you have Me, therefore you’re complete.”

And in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority. 
Colossians 2:10

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