Strength For Today

A journey of keeping my heart, mind, and body in TODAY

Abundant Living

on March 19, 2014

John 10:10

 10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

I am stuck in the middle of a rotten-terrible-no-good-very-bad moment.  Everything about this moment feels blah.  I am lacking the motivation to do anything.  I don’t even want to be writing this entry.  Not really.  Literally, I have a major case of the “blah’s” right this instant.

Travel back to this morning with me, if you will, for just a minute.  This morning, I felt inspired to write.  And the inspiration was to write on John 10:10 – abundant living.  I started writing, but was unable to finish the entry, and set it aside until now.  As I re-read what I had written, there was nothing there.  My mind would not continue where it had left off.  It would have ended up be a myriad of things I am supposed to be feeling instead of how I really am feeling now.  And isn’t that the purpose of this blog? To document my journey in TODAY?

So, in this moment, I sigh a deep sigh as I stare at the screen, and I commit to honesty.  I commit to transparency.  I commit to looking at John 10:10 at a moment like this and to tell you what transpires from there.  So – John 10:10 says

10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

I could start out by getting all wishy-washy about the abundant lifestyle I lead today. I could tell you how this abundance doesn’t come from material goods, relationships, or monetary reward.  I could say to you that my life is so amazingly full of all things good and wonderful, that I can barely contain my joy and it overflows to all those around me.  I could say those things to you.  And I wouldn’t be lying.  They are all true.

But that is NOT where I am today.  Not right now.  Right now, if I am honest with you – I am stuck in the stagnant waters of self-pity.  And, the funny thing is – I don’t even know why. Typically, I can pinpoint where my emotions stem from, but not today.  Not right now.  On the surface, my life is going well today.  I have everything I need, and then some.  I have a job, money in the bank, a warm bed, a roof over my head, food, wonderful relationships, a car to drive – the list could go on. Do you want to strangle me yet?  Do you want to shake me and scream, “What is the matter with you girl??? You have more in your life today than you ever have!! Why on EARTH are you feeling sorry for yourself????”  Well, if you did – you wouldn’t be alone.  I feel the same way.  I mean, just typing the words why are you feeling sorry for yourself made me sit up a little straighter.  Just typing out the things I have in my life made me think a little differently.  A little.

But sometimes, a little is enough.  Sometimes it is just a small change in perspective, a little flip of the thought-cycle, and small change in the angle I am looking at something, and WHAM!!!  Everything changes!  I can see the good, and stop sitting in the yuck. I can look at myself and honestly say “SNAP OUT OF IT!” and it actually happens.  Typically speaking, it is sometimes just the jolt from a friend’s words that will catapult me right out of my own destructive cycles of negative thought and emotion.

10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

Let’s look first at the thief – the evil one – Satan.

The thief comes to steal.  What does he steal from me?  He steals my peace.  He steals my joy.  He steals my confidence.  He steals my security.  He steals my emotional stability.  He steals my perspective.  He steals my sanity.  He steals my serenity.  He would steal my very life, if I let him.

The thief comes to kill.  What does he kill?   He kills my patience.  He kills my tolerance.  He kills my emotional sobriety.  He kills my progress.  He kills my vision.  He kills my desire.  He kills my motivation.  He would kill everything I’ve come to love, if I let him.

The thief comes to destroy.  What does he destroy?  He destroys my ability to walk with purpose.  He destroys my ability to see myself through God’s eyes.  He destroys my relationships.  He destroys my perseverance.  He would destroy everything I have, if I let him.

Please pay attention to the words if I let him after each of the previous paragraphs.  Satan can do nothing without my permission.  You see, Satan is already defeated.  Victory has already been established by the work Christ did on the Cross.  I stand a fully surrendered woman, sealed with the Holy Spirit.  I am a VICTOR with Christ.  Satan has no authority over me, unless I allow it.  He has no ground in my life, unless I give it to him.  It is up to me.  It really is.

This verse makes it absolutely evident that in life, we are presented with TWO very distinct choices.  It’s black and white – and at least for me – there is no gray area anymore.  I’m either walking WITH Christ or I am walking in the dark.  I’m either allowing Christ to give me life, or I’m allow the thief  to steal, kill, and destroy it.  I have a choice.  Every day.  More than that. Every moment.  With every circumstance I face, I have the opportunity to surrender it to Christ or to Satan.  We’ve already looked at what Satan has come to this earth to do.  Let’s look at what John 10:10 says about what CHRIST has come to do!

 I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

He came that I may have life.  Ok, you may say, we ALL have life – what’s the good news about that?  My answer to you is YES, we all have a life.  In the sense that we are living, breathing beings with a heartbeat and brain function. (which by the way, IS a miracle in itself and should never be thought of as anything LESS!!)  But, please pay close attention to the specifics of the wording in this verse.  EVERY word in the Bible has purpose.  This verse does NOT say that Christ came so that we may have A life.  No.  It says

 I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

To have life means to LIVE!  So, yes – I have a life.  The question is: am I really living it?  For so long, I merely existed in my life.  I survived – but I wasn’t really alive.  For me, it was like I was walking around in a constant state of passivity.  Like the life I lived was really living me instead of vice versa.  My circumstances ruled me.  I was a victim to the twists and turns, ups and downs, and the ever-changing state of my life as it unfolded around me.  I was like a reed being tossed by the wind – with no purpose what-so-ever.  And I was miserable.  I felt like I had no stable ground upon which to stand.  No roots to hold me firm in the constantly-changing soils of my life.  I was chasing my own tail.  Trying to capture the next big thing that would make me “happier”. Attempting to keep up with everyone around me, and never measuring up to my own expectations.  I was in a state of chronic loneliness even though my life was full of people.  I felt lost, unsure, scared, doubtful, pessimistic, and hopeless in the face of difficulties.  It was a truly depleting way to live life.

Is that what Christ came for?  NO WAY!  He came that I may HAVE LIFE and HAVE IT TO THE FULL!!  Abundant living.  Truly beautiful abundant living.  What does that mean?  That means, that when I CHOOSE to walk in the life Christ came to give me, I am amply supplied with all I need.  I have an abundance of peace, of joy, of confidence, of security, of emotional stability, of perspective, of sanity, of serenity, of patience, of tolerance, of emotional sobriety, of progress, of vision, of desire, of motivation, of purpose, of love, of perseverance, of LIFE!!  Everything the thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy, JESUS CHRIST comes to GIVE.

So, I guess, on a day like today – I need to take a step back and look at my focal point.  Where am I focusing?  Where am I living? What path am I currently on?  It is very clear that I have two choices.  The question is:  which one will I make?

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