Where is My Abundant Life? Part 3 ~ blog
Jesus said He came to give us life and life More Abundantly.
Paul said that we can be filled with the Fullness of God.
Peter said that we can partake of the Diving Nature of God.
From each of these men and the words they spoke we learn a little more about the life that God wants for us here on this earth. We have been rescued from the dominion of darkness and delivered into the kingdom of His Son. We were spiritually dead in our sins but are now alive in Christ. We used to be enemies of God and objects of His wrath but now Jesus calls us His Friends and we are eternally loved and adopted by our Father.
However, if we have fallen into sexual sin perhaps even to the point of becoming addicted to porn and sex, or other things as well…we find ourselves feeling very distant from God and on the A Train – Alone, Afraid, and Ashamed.
This is not what God has for us. This is no abundant life but is where we find ourselves doubting the forgiveness of our sins and questioning if we are even a child of God. We have fallen too far and too deep into sin and feel like we have passed the point of no return and if the truth were to get out our life would end.
So, we smirk at the idea of an abundant life and feel like God has dragged us to the curb like garbage and we are waiting for the Garbage Truck to haul us off to the dump. Where we will join the millions of other Christian men and women who have become entangled in this highly addictive behavior.
Do I trust my feelings, or do I trust the Word of God?
The truth is God is not finished with us. He has not dragged us to the curb only to be thrown away. We were all already on the curb, just another bag of rubbish waiting to be burned and He brought us into His home, adopted us into His family, so that He could remove the garbage from our lives and make us into holy, godly, and Christ-like members of His family.
The abundant life is possible and is real and ultimately, we will spend eternity in heaven with Him. However, until then He wants us to experience Him in our lives and He wants to be transforming us from garbage into gold.
Now let’s listen to James;
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:2-4
Perfect and complete…lacking in nothing. We all want our lives to be this way, don’t we? We want everything to be perfect and complete lacking in nothing. Here is where we miss the mark. The abundance Jesus, Paul, Peter, and James are talking about is not for our LIVES to be perfect and complete lacking nothing…BUT FOR US TO BE PERFECT AND COMPLETE LACKING IN NOTHING.
One is the empty pursuit of striving after the wind by filling up our lives with stuff. We pile up an abundance of STUFF but find ourselves asking is that all there is??? My house is stuffed with fine things. My garage is stuffed with two or three cars. My finances are ebbing and flowing between full and empty like the gas tank of my car. I have worked hard and succeeded in getting an abundance of stuff. So, why do I feel so empty?
It is because Jesus did not promise us a life full of stuff and that the stuff could satisfy the deepest longings of our hearts. He offers us life in abundance. A fullness that comes not from what we have but from who we are. Perfection is never a quantity of life but a quality of life. And unfortunately for us it takes the trials of this life to teach us this lesson.
Therefore, James makes the absurd statement, under the direction of the Holy Spirit, and tells us we should rejoice…we should consider it something over which we should be joyful when we encounter all kinds of trials. Because trials cause us to focus on the things that are important. Testing causes us to take stock of our lives and to jettison the stuff we do not need. We downsize because our lives have become top-heavy and we are in danger of capsizing.
So, we are told to rejoice in our trials because they are allowed by our Father to make us stronger…to make us patient…able to remain steadfast and strong. Trials are what impact the quality of our life, causing us to stop pursuing more quantity…more stuff. We find ourselves being refined by fire and our impurities burned away leaving behind a purer quality of gold.
My friends, God desires for us life in abundance not a life of abundance. This abundance increases as we become still and know that He is God. It increases was we offer our bodies to Him every day as living sacrifices. It increases as we walk in the Spirit and do not fulfill the desires of the flesh. And it multiplies as we seek to end the isolation in our sexual sin prison and walk in the light in fellowship with a team of other believers who are helping one another and bearing one another’s burdens.
The abundant life begins when our isolation ends. Where we find community and help from others which we begin to realize we truly need because trying to live the Christian life alone is truly a dead end.