What is the abundant life? It is a life that is experiencing the fullness of joy and strength and all of the blessing God has promised to give to his children.
Jesus’s words were these:
John 10:10 “…I have come that they may have life and have it more abundantly.”
The abundant life Jesus spoke of is opened to us the moment we are born again.
Jesus explains it this way: “No one can see the Kingdom of God unless they are born again. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the spirit gives birth to the spirit” (John 3:6).
“Flesh gives birth to flesh” marks the day we are physically born, and “the Spirit gives birth to spirit” marks the moment you are born again. Our spirit comes alive the moment we are born again. The Holy Spirit, which is the very presence and power of God, comes into us. As Christians the abundant life is found as we embrace each moment and are led by the spirit, empowered by that same spirit.
The Abundant life is found as we Let Go and Let God! Abundant life comes when we Let Go of trying to do it on our own, and instead trust God in every circumstance.
An example of this is worry.
Worry is all about what is going to happen in the future. Jesus’s words were “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” In essence, what he is saying is that worrying is a waste of your life and it isn’t going to get you anywhere.
The abundant life Jesus spoke of is found as you fully embrace each moment.
Jesus’s words “Do not worry, saying ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ For the people who don’t know God are looking for all these things, and your Father knows you need all these things. But seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Mathew 6:31-32)
Jesus reminds us we no longer need to worry. We have to leave that old mindset behind and instead shift our thoughts to our Father in heaven.
This happens as we learn to let go of worry and open our minds to receive the perfect peace of God.
Isiah 26:3 states “You will keep in perfect peace the one whose minds are steadfast because they trust in you.”
Think about it, that is what a small child is like. They don’t worry, they look to their parents for their needs to be met. We too can make that shift in our life by trusting God.
It’s also important not to worry or focus on the past, because you can get trapped there as well. You can get trapped there by living in regret for things you can’t change. Sometimes forgiving ourselves can be more difficult than forgiving others. But as we repent, that total forgiveness is just waiting there for us to receive. And when you do you will be free to embrace the moment and be filled with joy and thanksgiving knowing that the weight of sin and shame has been lifted off of you because of Jesus and the price he paid He paid it on the cross, and you can live your life as a reflection of that victory he won for you.
You do not have to stay trapped in a victim mentality, no matter what has happened to you in your past, because God has a future prepared for you, one that is filled with hope and purpose. One of the most priceless gifts God gave us is free will. However, the most important thing that we are to do with that will is to choose God’s will.
As we learn to let go and let God, our will start to line up with his will. We grow in trusting God and following his lead in our actions and our attitudes.
Victor or victim — the choice is always ours. No matter what our circumstance, it all has to do with our attitude and perspective on things. I can’t help but think of my mom who refused to have a victim mentality in the last years of her life. I can clearly remember the words she spoke to me. She said, ”Dorothy, I absolutely refuse to become a nasty old lady in my elder years. I don’t want my children to remember me that way.” You see she had seen some of her friends act that way, becoming demanding, impatient, and ungrateful, and it had a profound effect on her, and she unwaveringly set her mind on her goal. She would not be a victim. She would instead focus on all she had to be grateful for.
She was such a wonderful example to us of a woman who was truly living an abundant life as she was fully embracing that season in her life. That is a choice she made every day. Although she was legally blind, she refused to be a victim. Each day when she woke up she would instead count her blessings, that God had given her another day of life, and she chose to live it with a heart filled with gratitude, and focused on all she had to be grateful for… That she was surrounded by a family who loves her dearly, that she had clarity of mind, and most of all that Jesus was her Lord and Savior and she was secure in her heavenly hope that she would spend eternity with him.
So as we awaken each day let us live the abundant life that Jesus opened up to us. As we fully embrace today and live our life counting our blessing and trusting God in all circumstances, we will surely live abundantly.