A Simple Formula
John 10:10 says,
"The thief cometh not, but for to steal and to kill and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. " KJV
I've recently, been thinking a lot about this abundant life I'm supposed to be having. I'm struggling with it, because I'm not sure I'm understanding the meaning.
For instance, if I look in the Old Testament, abundance seems to have a lot to do with numbers. The whole creation week has things teaming with abundance. He even tells Adam to fill the earth, abundantly. Then during the plagues, He brought forth frogs abundantly. Lots.
So, if abundant life means "lots" as in lots to do, I'm there. It's abundant all right. Abundant laundry, abundant dishes, abundant shopping, chore enforcement, attitude adjustments, dinners, clean-up, augh! But I don't think (at least I hope) in this context He means just lots. I think He means lots of life. So...what does he mean by life?
Because lots of time my "abundant" life looks like this:
When I want it to look like this:
But, if I look at the first part of the verse I see there's an antagonist (bad guy) who is seeking to steal, kill and destroy.
So, what's he stealing, killing and destroying? I think the answer must be:
But God has the opposite plan. He's giving more of life. So, if He promises more, why does my day often seem a lot like less? Like when I look up from the chaos, there's so little of the abundant life. There's more of the survival life going on. I think perhaps there's a thief in there.
I was lying in my bed contemplating this. Okay, true confessions, I was actually kind of whining at God (I'm not proud of it, but that's the truth).
And it hit me. It's a simple formula: Abundant life=trusting God.
In some areas I trust God really well. I really believe Jesus came and lived a perfect life and died on the cross and rose again. I believe there is a real heaven and that someday I'll go there. So, I'm good to go there and I often get really excited about that eternal life. Which is good.
However, I also understand there are areas I've always struggled with trusting God. And some I don't even realize trusting God is part of the necessary plan. Like, organizing my house or losing weight; how is that a trusting God thing? But, then again, if I'm not trusting God, who am I trusting? I think perhaps I'm trusting a thief (my own flesh, worldly systems, lies of the enemy). A thief who is trying to steal my joy and destroy my abundant life.
Then I thought, how can I grab onto abundant life if my hands are holding on to those things? Have you ever tried to hand something to a child who won't take it? It's annoying. And pretty much impossible. "Here...here...here! I am giving this to you. Take it!!!" Maybe that's how God feels.
I do see how trusting equals less time worrying. Less time being afraid, which means fewer times being angry. The absence of those three things right there would make life more abundant. Less filled with "why" questions (as in why me?) and more with "what" questions (what are you up to, Lord?). Believing He really is going to work all things together for good.
So then I was trying to figure out how to trust. Then I got it. This trust thing is like a muscle that atrophies when we don't use it. Thus the trials, be they little or small are part of learning to flex the, "I trust you, Lord," muscle. Which is a key to abundant life.
So, this week the Lord's working on some of those hard to trust areas and it's hard for me. I said it's a simple formula, not an easy one.
This is a new thought for me so tell me what you think? Is it heresy or Biblical?