I was at a conference a while ago and heard Josh Hunt speak and teach about Sunday School growth. In that conference he made a statement that has really stuck with me. He said “every day I get up, I think ‘yes, this is that abundant life’”. He was referring to John 10:10. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. I have had to ask myself each day, am I living the abundant life? When I wake up each day, do I feel like I am really living and I am focused and living in Christ?
I admit, I get grumpy. I get moody, and I focus way too much on stuff. I often over analyze, I get stressed, I get worried and I get lost in the trials and focus of the world. I let things get me down and I don’t live the abundant life. I admit to you that sometimes I get into the flesh and not into the spirit. Many days, I am not living that abundant life that Jesus came to give. Are you? If not, let me share with you what I am working towards to help me live that abundant life.
First, I am spending more time in intimate prayer. I define it as intimate prayer because I am talking to God in a personal way, not just asking for things. I am sharing my heart with God, telling Him my struggles. He already knows, but I need it. I am talking to God as I would talk to my closest confidant. I need that. If you have been around me for about 15 minutes, you know that I am not an open emotional person. I try to be personable and be open, but I have a hard time sharing my feelings, just ask my wife. Being open with God has helped me to grow closer to God and love God more.
Next, I am trying to pour myself into the scripture. Sometimes we read the Bible and we change the text. We find things that we like and we believe in and we reinforce those. We use and memorize and quote Biblical texts that support our beliefs. I have found myself doing that, and I had to stop. I need to pour myself into the scripture and let it change me. My beliefs have to be set by the Bible and not let my thoughts change the scripture.
I have also found that I have to embrace all the scriptures. Have you ever used the Bible to contradict something from the Bible. If someone quotes a verse and you quote a verse in reply, then someone is wrong. The Bible doesn’t contradict itself and if you are using scripture to contradict scripture, someone is wrong. I have forced myself to embrace all the scripture, even those which push me, change me and make me change my way of thinking. I have to change, God word doesn’t need to change.
I have found that saying the right things, thinking the right things and believing the right things are not enough. I am sometimes pushed to do things that I don’t think I should do. I am tempted, I am pressured, I am tried and I struggle. I have to do the things I know I should do. That isn’t always easy, popular or comfortable, but it gives life. It gives abundant life to just live the life that Jesus wants us to live. That is where we find the great joy.
Lastly, I have to change my comfort zone. You hear all the time “get out of your comfort zone”. I don’t think that is the answer, because you won’t stay out of your comfort zone. You’ll go out for a while, then come back. If you are naturally shy, you can be outgoing for a while, but you’ll end up back where you started. Change your comfort zone, so that you are comfortable where Jesus is. Change your perspective that where Jesus is working, that is where you want to be.
There are the things I am working on to find that abundant life that Jesus offered. I am not there yet, I am hoping and praying and seeking and looking and knocking. I want to have abundant life, I want to have joy and peace and all those things that Jesus gives. I just need to remove the barriers of fear and anxiety, worry and stress, doubt and anger. All of those things are keeping me from what I really desire. So how about you my friend. Are you living my abundant life?