Fullness equals knowing who you are in Christ, and what He did for you on the Cross-that we are complete in Him! This is paramount, because, all you do as a Christian is a response to what He has first done in you (1 John 4:19). With this knowledge, you will have the proper attitude and discernment to make correct decisions, based on God's Will. With this knowledge, you will ask the right questions and look for fullness, not merely fulfillment! The difference is that fullness seeks Christ as Lord; fulfillment is seeking someone or something to meet your needs and wishes, or seeking to fill your own desires or lust! Fulfillment is seeking what we want, and that often is not the best for us. It is filling our emptiness with the wrong filler. It is much like putting gasoline in a diesel-fueled truck; it is fuel, but it will not work, and will damage the engine. These passages testify to such as this. Sin and the desires of our lust can, and will consume us, taking us far away from God and His goodness. So, this pursuit of fulfillment will end up bringing us nothing but emptiness, the very thing we try to avoid. Sin will dig in us, causing our thinking to be skewed, and our decisions flawed.
Galatians, chapter five, gives us two sets of fruits that we can choose to produce. There are the ones in verses 19 to 21 that are the rotten scum of life that create division and strife, or verses 22-23, what will produce goodness as we build one another up. In addition, verses 24-25 give us the reason for our motivation and pursuit. God's Word tells us that we choose the ways of adultery, fornication, and impure thoughts, which make us eager for destructive behaviors, and pronounce them to be pleasure. These are what the Bible calls uncleanness. These are what create relationships filled with hostility, quarreling, jealously, anger, selfish ambitions, and divisions between people and God. The focus is on envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and all kinds of sin. One's attitude conveys the idea that everyone else is wrong, and those who will agree with you become the desired allies! The Bible gives us a harsh warning that if we pursue these things, then workable relationships cannot be built. Nor can one be formed with God, as you will impede His presence with you. You will not inherit the kingdom of God (Matthew 7:13-14; James 1:22-25)!
Fullness is first seeking Christ and His work in you (Matthew 6:33-34), so you are pursuing righteousness and all that is good, as a way to glorify Christ as Lord. What you need to be doing is seeking someone to be your complement-a helpmate in your service and mission for His glory. And, this is to be the same in friendships, on to dating. This is real, authentic fullness that is essential-not only in our faith development, but also in how we are to prepare ourselves to build relationships and interrelate with others.
This is serious business, as "The Kingdom of Heaven" directly relates to fullness as the quintessential aspect on earth we are to pursue, our salvation by what Christ has done. This was "inaugurated" for the Christian Church at Pentecost and is spiritual in nature for the time being. It will "culminate" when Jesus returns where it will involve the day of judgment and the new heavens and new earth, where we will be with God and Jesus for eternity (Matthew 13:40-43; 25:31-34; 28:18; Colossians 1:9-14; 15:23-28; 2 Timothy 1: 12,18; 4:8; 2 Peter 1:10-11; 3:10-13; Revelation 1:9; 21:1-22:5)! Both fullness and the Kingdom of God exist, and are concentrated in the Person and work of Jesus Christ (Luke 17:20-21; John 18:36; Acts 2:36; Romans 14:17; Ephesians 1:20-23). This means He is the One to rule our Will and heart on earth, climaxing in eternity. This is where are fullness must reside! The Kingdom of Heaven produces the fullness.
When we are just self-seeking, we are selfish and unconcerned with eternal values or with serving our Lord. By doing so, we fall into a trap, not because of God's vengeance, but because we are not doing as we should. As a result, natural consequences will take over. God's precepts are for our benefit and protection, and are what is best, just as loving parents would have for their child. Fullness makes a relationship real, centered upon Godly directions. Fullness will seek the love of 1 Corinthians 13, and will compel you to desire to share your fullness and self with others. So, out of your fullness in Christ, you build yourself up in Him, casting away what is wrong, and replacing it with Biblical character and values. This will be the foundation to create the lasting bonds with others, as you glorify our Lord.
Ephesians 5:15-21 gives us a picture of walking in that fullness, as people who are wise in the ways of the Lord are also on their guard to the ways of the world. We are to be careful how we live, so we treat our lives and others with dignity and respect. We ought not to be careless with what is precious. We are to make the most of our lives, and the opportunities He gives us. To waste it away is what a fool does; so, let us not be fools! When we understand what the Lord wants us to do-and, by the way, this is not hard-we will do good in life. It is not hard because what God is concerned with is our character. We form our character from understanding, and putting into practice this fullness.
Verse 18 tells us that we need to be filled with the Spirit, which means having great joy from our commitment in God (Nehemiah 8:10). It also means we are to seek His power with joy for the overcoming of our sins, and for the courage to witness and do ministry, even to people we do not like. This will flow into attitude number three. This joy means radiant joy that fills us up with the joy that flows among the Persons of the Holy Trinity. That very love which God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit (One God with three personalities or manifestations, not three Gods) have for one another will be in us. And, it will overflow from us to others around us! If we follow the first part of verse eighteen, we will miss out on what Christ has, because our purpose and direction become cemented in sin, and not in Him.
This joy in Ephesians will become sealed in us as we mature in the faith and are filled with His Word (John 14:16-26; 16:12-15; 17:17; Ephesians 1:13-14; 4:30; Colossians 3:15-16). It is the power to enjoy Him in worship as a lifestyle that affects all aspects of our life and the lives of others around us. It then empowers us, for His service, for His glory. It literally means music flowing from our hearts!
This fullness creates joy. This is what will fuel our friendships, our search to find our love, and in making the right decisions. This is what we are to seek so it can be repeated; we are not to seek it for our betterment or attention completely, rather, for Christ's sake! It is a fullness that we are to be filled up with. This translates into joy that comes from being in His Word, and because we are in Christ! This is the extra power He gives us to glorify and serve Him, and the extra power that we need to make sure we are on the right track!
Read Matthew 7:13-14; Ephesians 5:15-21; Colossians 1:9-14; 3:15-16; James 1:22-25 then Discuss this section and answer these questions:
1. What are some of the points in the section that have gotten your attention, and why?
2. What is the difference between fullness and fulfillment? Why is this important?
3. How can knowing who you are in Christ, and what He did for you on the Cross, navigate you though the maze of life?
4. What have been some of the wrong fuels or fillers you have tried to use in your relationships? What was the outcome?
5. Have you ever considered that all you do, as a Christian, is a response to what He has first done in you?
6. How can this knowledge of Fullness help you have the proper attitude and discernment to make relationships work better?
7. What have the two types of fruits produced in your relationships?
8. What role has self-seeking played in your relationships?
9. What can you do to facilitate fullness, creating joy in your life?