“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” – John 10:10 ESV
Most of us would agree that Jesus is our eternal life, even our very breath of life that sustains us on earth, and the risen life that has awakened our mere human lives to a new life by the spirit. But how do we define “abundant”?
How is it that I have spent so many years accusing God of holding something back from me? How is it that I can read John 10:10 and think it’s something to be accomplished, something to be attained here on earth and that I have not yet done so? That somehow, Jesus spoke the truth but He just hasn’t given life abundantly to me yet? Perhaps I’ve received 65% of that abundant life. Thanks, Jesus, for your eternal sacrifice, but I won’t have life abundantly until ________ (fill in the blank).
Now, we would agree that it would be ridiculous to fill that blank with a number of things. A million dollars, for example. 4 brand new cars. No debt and a mansion to boot. A peaceful ranch with all the horses and beautiful views a human could envision.
But why do we try to fill that blank with other things? Things the world says complete us? The American Dream. A perfect family. No sickness. No evil. A husband. Children. The perfect job. A ministry that thrives and never encounters a human problem. A perfect church. All worthy things to seek (the exception being the American Dream…), but how much weight do we put on these? How much are we expecting them to make our life abundant? Why are we somehow less than living without them?
The truth is, God never promised me any of those things. In fact, He guaranteed our world would have trouble. Does this mean He lied when He said our lives would be abundant?
On the contrary. Our lives are abundantly full of mercy, grace, love, peace, joy, purpose, the glory of the Most High God, truth, ministry to a broken world, freedom from sin, worship and beauty, and service to the Kingdom of Christ – storing up treasures that last eternally. More abundance awaits us, but yet we have God. We HAVE God. Here and now, His presence dwelling among us, His Spirit guiding us into all truth, His purpose being fulfilled to bring Him ultimate glory. We have HIM. In light of His goodness, I choose to believe that my abundant life is complete in the having of Jesus – anything else He brings my way is beautiful and holy icing on the cake. Our world needs followers of Christ than are about His purposes, His kingdom, His gospel of truth in the midst of darkness.
Can we dare to live like we’re lacking nothing? Can we trust Him enough to place more weight on life with Him than life with these other things? Can we stop settling for a life with God after other earthly dreams have not panned out? Can we instead live our abundant life to the fullest extent in the time we’re given? Can we see Him for all of His goodness in light of all the world deems good? Can we live our story like we trust the One writing it?
He’s holding nothing back from me. He is good. He is abundant.