The Verve of the Humble Adventure
Verve. Do you have verve? I wasn’t even sure it was something to be desired before I read about it in this book. It kind of sounds like a condition for which to seek medical attention…verve.
In Chapter 7 of Audacious, Beth Moore did a great job of expounding upon her infatuation with the word. In today’s use, the word means “energy; vitality; vigor and spirit or enthusiasm.” It’s archaic definition, however, is “special ability; talent.”
I find it so interesting how definitions of words can change over time. Take the word “wicked,” for example. Its original meaning is “evil; morally wrong”. However, the word can now have a positive connotation and mean, “excellent; wonderful, e.g. ‘Sally makes wicked cakes,’“ and this definition is in the dictionary. Somewhere along the way, the word “wonderful” lost its verve, and we felt we needed a new way to describe Sally’s awesome cakes. Isn’t that strange how that happens?
Why do we do that? Are we so bored with life that we have to make up new words to describe old feelings? And are we so unoriginal that we can’t even make up new words or learn new ones, that we must give new meanings to old words? We could even borrow words from another language and it would be better, in my opinion.
If we could only maintain our energy and excitement for life itself, that certain something that keeps us ticking…that je ne sais quoi…that joie de vivre, we could all live with verve.
Now there’s a word that sounds like something to be desired, joie de vivre. It means “joy of living, or exuberant enjoyment of life”.
I think that is the exhortation of this chapter; to connect with Jesus in such a way that we start to live the adventurous life He calls us to live… to find our joie de vivre.
I love how Beth referred to it as a humble adventure,
“Sometimes just between you and Jesus”.
So how do we do it? How can we live with verve and find our joie de vivre? Well, we L.I.V.E.
If we live by the following four pillars, we’ll find that each one is completely and equally dependent upon the others, and we’ll find ourselves living.
Love—Love Jesus and love others!
In Chapter 3, we were asked a question that is vitally important for us to know before we set out on any adventure. Jesus asked, “Do you love me?” The day on the beach when Jesus asked Peter that question three times, He knew that Peter was about to set out on a mission that could only be compelled by the love of Christ, and he would need to know for himself just how much he really, truly did love the Lord.
I meditated on that question in the days following that chapter and I, too, realized just how much I really do love the Lord.
Little did I know, but after the Lord asked me this penetrating question, I would be asked to do something that could only be compelled by the love of Christ. I was asked to share my testimony… publicly.
Sharing the dark details of my past was hard. I much prefer the person who people see today, and I don’t know if I would have shared my story had I not been compelled by the audacious love of Christ. I never knew just how much audacity it would take. However, when I did it, it came from a place of love for Jesus and love for His church. And it certainly has been a humble adventure.
Ironically, the most thrilling part of the adventure is the quiet intimacy with Jesus that comes along with it; perhaps that’s why Beth called it humble.
Intimacy— Intimacy with Jesus brings us to that place of quiet joy in being ourselves.
“Because He is life and, what He invades, he infuses. What He permeates, He activates.” Beth Moore
Beth encourages us in Chapter 7 to engage with Jesus, talk to Him like He’s really there (because He is!), draw strength from him, lean on Him for rest, and basically to just abide in Him.
“We can become alert to His presence, awake and aware of our communion with Him,” and we can come to really know Him.
Alert. Awake. Aware. It requires our full attention. Then like Paul, we can say, “I know the one I have believed in…”2 Timothy 1:12.
By intimacy with Jesus through the Holy Spirit, we get our guidance, direction, and vision from God.
Vision—Vision is imperative in achieving joy of living.
Jesus knew the Father’s will, and so can we. We can do this through anything that feeds our spirit, i.e. prayer, mediating on the Word, fellowshipping with other believers, reading books, watching podcasts, etc.
Vision is dependent upon intimacy.
Jesus said in John 6:45, “It is written in the Prophets: ‘They will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard the Father and learned from him comes to me.”
One thing I learned to do is pay attention to the questions I feel the Lord is asking me during times of trial and testing. The gospels are full of questions that Jesus asked His disciples. He asked questions not to find out the answers, He already knew them, but to reveal their own hearts to them.
When I pay attention to the questions He is asking me, I can almost always figure out what He wants me to do.
For example, “Do you love me? Then, feed my sheep…Follow Me.”
When I was giving my testimony, the question was “Who do you say that I am?” Therefore my goal was to reveal Jesus to others.
In Chapter 6 Beth wrote,
“Audacious love leads to audacious obedience…If you’ll follow Christ’s commands, you’ll follow Christ straight to your calling.”
Energy—Draw energy from The Source.
The joy Jesus experienced came from doing what the Father told Him. His nourishment came from knowing His vision, fulfilling the Father’s will, and it energized Him.
In John 4:32-34, after His interaction with the Samaritan woman at the well, Jesus told His disciples, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about…My food…is to do the will of Him who sent me and to finish his work.”
This holy energy comes from knowing (through intimacy and vision) and doing (from a place of love) the will of the Father.
For us, this means living a life completely dependent upon Jesus Christ. Ultimately, we will find that this energy will motivate us to step out even more into the unknown and to L.I.V.E. the adventurous, where verve and joie de vivre meet.
*I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Please leave your feedback in the comments, and we’ll meet you back here next Friday for a discussion of Chapter 8.