Abundant Living - My Notes from the Door of Hope Ladies Gathering April 27, 2012
Thank you to all the ladies who were able to join us last Friday. Here are the notes from what I shared, without all the personal stories.
I. What is Abundant Living for the Christian? Where does it come from and how do I obtain it?
II. In order to know what the source is for the Abundant Life, we can turn to the words of Jesus Christ to lay our foundation:
"I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." John 10:10
"I am the way, the truth, and the life…" John 14:6
God alone, through Jesus Christ, is the source for the Abundant Life.
III. Now, let’s ask ourselves what is having an Abundance? Many of us may believe that having an abundance means having everything in life that we want. I believe, however, that it is having more than enough for the season of life you are in.
So, let’s discuss three different types of seasons we may find ourselves in so we can better understand God’s plan for Abundant Living…
IV. The Wilderness Season: Many of us have experienced a season of dryness and leanness…Israel did, too. Wandering through the desert doesn’t seem like Abundant Living, but it was exactly what God had in mind to teach Israel:
a. To worship only God
b. To obey His commands
c. To be thankful
d. To trust Him
Read Deuteronomy 8:2-10
V. Promised Land: What about the season of life where everything is going great in your life…you are in the Promised Land, except you can’t get your hands on the one thing you desire? Like the perfect job you are longing for? Or a husband? Or your dream of owning a home? Or a baby? Although we feel like we are living in the Promised Land, we have a hard time laying hold of the one thing we desperately want.
God recently reminded me of Psalm 37, “Trust in the Lord, and do good, dwell in the land and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.”
We often focus on the part where God says He will give us the desires of our heart. But God showed me that having the desires of my heart is conditional on delighting myself in Him.
You might finally get the thing for which you are longing, but it will not fulfill you if Christ is not your foundation. God does not want us to make idols out of the good things He wants to give us. It sneaks up on you. If you don’t learn to delight yourself in the Lord, you start making your hearts desire your priority instead of God Himself your priority.
In Elisabeth Elliot’s bookPassion & Purityshe says ‘God is not as interested in making you happy as He is interested in making you Holy.’ Holy means to be set apart to the Lord.
VI. Trouble: the last season I want to discuss is the season of trouble. Do our circumstances dictate whether or not we can enjoy God’s abundant life?
No, I do not believe they do. Psalm 23 is the perfect picture of experiencing God’s abundance in the face of great trouble.
God never said life would be easy. He told us there would be trouble…but He promises not to “leave us nor forsake us.” Here it says He walks with us through “the valley of the shadow of death,” and He “prepares a table before us in the presence of our enemies.”
The first line is also very striking, David confesses, “The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want!” Another word for “want” is “lack.” I shall not lack!
Clearly God has provision for us, even in the face of great trouble—so much so that David says, “my cup runs over!” That is the perfect picture of abundance!
David was not swayed by his circumstances, though he faced great trouble. We need to be people who are so close to Jesus, we can say the same when trouble comes.
VII. Summary: the abundant life is found in Christ alone. Not in what we do or do not have. How can we learn to delight ourselves in Him when we are in the Wilderness, or when we are waiting for the fulfillment of something we desperately desire, or when we are facing great trouble?
I believe we can learn to delight in Him by putting God first in our lives. Building our life’s foundation on Jesus Christ alone. Remember He came that you might have life, and have it more abundantly.
If you focus on what seems to be missing in life, you’ll totally miss out on what God has provided for the season you are in right now, you’ll miss seeing Jesus now.
It’s easy to become preoccupied with worrying about tomorrow. But worrying robs you of the joy God has for you today.
If you want a life that does not lack, that you can say, my cup runs over, learn to delight yourself in God. You will enjoy an abundant life!