The day after my last blog entry, God began pressing another topic into my heart. A scripture began looping in my head and at one point it became so overwhelming that I knew I needed to share it.
“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.”
~John 10:10 (NKJV)
The word “abundantly” also continued to dominate my thoughts. What does abundantly or abundance mean? In my opinion, I would define its meaning as “more than” or “in addition to” or “in excess or surplus.” Basically, to have abundance, is to not only have what you need, but to have so much more, even enough to be a blessing to others.
Think about the time when Jesus fed five thousand people with only five loaves of bread and two fish.
I just want to stop and marinate on this for a bit.
The disciples only had FIVE loaves of bread and TWO fish.
And after Jesus blessed the food, giving thanks to God, they were able to feed five THOUSAND people.
Not only that, but they had plenty of food left over. They had a surplus. They had more than they needed. They had abundance!
So they all ate and were filled, and they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments that remained. Now those who had eaten were about five thousand men, besides women and children.
Think about the times when we have prayed and asked God for something. When He blessed us, did He simply give us the bare minimum?
When God blesses us, He ALWAYS gives us more than what we can ever ask or think. Just like Scripture says, God always blesses us in excess:
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,
And so when this topic of abundance came to mind, one question persisted above any other:
If Jesus lived and died so we could live more abundantly, why do we continue to enslave ourselves?
God had first posed this question directly to me in order to challenge my current mindset. If you’ve read my previous blogs, you know God has been preparing me for my next level of blessings….blessings that would be more than what I could ever ask or imagine. Blessings that would be in abundance. In this question, God challenged me to really look at my current level of spiritual maturity. More specifically, He had challenged my level of trust and faith in Him.
You see, God had shown me a glimpse of the magnitude of my blessings and unfortunately, I had unconsciously gravitated back to fear. But God didn’t want me going backwards, so He quickly posed that very question:
“My daughter, why do you continue to enslave yourself when I brought you salvation through My Son?”
I had to do some serious self-reflection:
Why did I doubt myself (when I have Jesus working in me)?
Why did I revert back to fear (when God didn’t give me a heart of fear)?
Why did I limit myself (which consequently would limit God’s powers working in me through Jesus)?
Why did I continue to enslave myself- remain confined to the limits of this world- when Jesus freed me thousand of years ago?
SN: God really does know how to ask some deep questions (in the most gentle and loving way J)!
Where God is taking me, He revealed, among other things, I had to also leave fear behind.
Fear is never from God. Enslavement is never from God. He never dwells in places where those things reside. And so, if I wanted to dwell where God was… if I wanted to go where God was leading me, I had to leave behind the very things not of God.
After I resolved to do just that, He pushed this question even further into my heart.
Why do we continue to enslave ourselves when Jesus died so that we could live more abundantly?
While this question does apply to non-believers, I really felt pressured to speak to my brothers and sisters who are in Christ.
We have this precious gift of salvation. This gift gives us freedom. This gift has broken the very chains the rulers of this world sought to keep us in. So why do we struggle to embrace this liberty? Why do we struggle to really live as if we’re free?
In my opinion, Simon, one of the twelve apostles, provided great examples of living as if he was really free through Jesus. Simon was bold and courageous. In Matthew 16:13-20, Simon was the first to identify Jesus as the Son of God, resulting in Jesus shifting his name from simply being Simon, meaning “he has heard,” to (Simon) Peter, meaning “stone” or “rock.” Jesus also revealed that He would build His church upon Peter through Peter’s role in the ministry.
In Matthew 14: 28-29, Peter was also the only one trusting enough to ask Jesus to command him to walk on water.
How freeing is that???
To do something that earthly had appeared impossible, such as walking on water. How incredible is that?
After we accepted Jesus into our lives, God gave us that same power:
I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe Him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated Him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms.
~Ephesians 1:19-20 (NLT)
Here’s the thing, this post isn’t really for baby Christians either- those new to having a relationship with Christ. This is for experienced Christians- those who have seen God move in their lives over and over and over again. Those who have witnessed miracles that could only come from God.
If we know the power of God… if we know we have access to that power source through Jesus Christ, why do we live our lives that indicate otherwise?
Why do we choose- and yes, everything is a choice- to live as if we are powerless?
Jesus was an extraordinary man and His death gave us an extraordinary gift, so why do we choose to live ordinary lives?
Why do we do let fear restrict us from enjoying a life filled with fellowship with God? A fellowship- might I add- that connects us to the Entity that is without restriction.
Why do we limit ourselves when our Spiritual Father is without limits?
I want to reference to my last blog entry, Part One of “Follow the Yellow Brick Road…” In reference to where I had discussed possible reasons why God doesn’t say anything, I mentioned one reason might be because God trusted our judgment in making the right decision.
In these situations where we have been blessed with peace from God regarding our decision, why do we wait to act on those decisions?
A follow up question I have to ask:
What are we waiting for??? Another sign? A burning bush? A booming voice? The Rapture???
Seriously, why the hesitation?
Again, although God first delivered this message to me, I know God put this on my heart to share. Someone reading this entry is hesitating. You know what you’re supposed to do. You know the next step. God has given you the green light. But you’re waiting.
Is it a business?
Some type of lifestyle change?
Or maybe it’s about a job or relocation,
You’re hesitating and waiting.
Ask yourself, “Why?”
Please know, the longer you wait, the longer you allow the door to be open, you permit the devil to step in. First, it’s one stinky foot- just a little doubt. Maybe you’re questioning if you really heard from God.
If you haven’t already experienced this, let me tell you- the devil is NEVER satisfied with just one foot in the door. Next, he sets another foot in…soon his whole stinky presence, filled with stinky doubt, has entered. You’re questioning yourself and your ability. You question your worthiness. “Is this really for me?” “Do I deserve this?” “Can I really do this?” “What if I fail?” “What will other people think or say?”
Sounds familiar? Trust me, I know from personal experience. This has unfortunately been my life for years now. Please don’t let the enemy get even one foot in. Don’t give room for doubt or fear.
To whoever this message is for, I implore you- please trust God. He’s saying, “Now is the time.”
I’ll say it again: “Now is the time!”
Jesus died so we could live more abundantly. Let go of the shackles. Let go of the chains. This battle is a mental one- once we truly embrace our freedom in Christ, once we truly hand over our weaknesses to God, our lives will reflect that freedom.
I do want to go back and address the questions I asked above. It is natural, and I would even say it’s accurate to doubt our own abilities. We know our past. And we know we are limited to do anything on our own. Please understand that once you give yourself over to Christ, you stop living within your own means. You stop living on your power and strength. While we, alone, are limited. We have Christ who dwells in us and He is anything BUT limited!
If God has put something in your heart, a desire or dream or goal, trust it. Trust Him. He will not set you up for failure.
Remember: God created you, so if the Creator thinks you’re worthy, guess what- you’re worthy!
There’s only one “but” though- and this is a big BUT….
You. Have. To. Step. Out. On. Faith.
Faith without works is dead (James 2:17).
Although Jesus can command for the impossible to happen, we have to be like Peter and be willing to step out of the boat.
*** I do want to take a moment to speak on a different, but equally important topic that has also been on my heart ***
If you are new to this fellowship with Christ or if you are contemplating a relationship with Christ, I would like to first say, “Welcome!” 😀
Earlier, I was spending time with God and I became so happy because I absolutely love our moments together. All of a sudden, I grew emotional because I had this sudden urge to share that happiness with others. I wanted to share my Father with you because He really is that wonderful!
Although I can sit and talk about how amazing God is until I’m out of breath and energy, I don’t want you to take my faith and make it yours. My description of God will never do Him justice, so I encourage you not to listen to me. Don’t take my word on how good God is. Instead, I implore you…I beg you to please just try Him yourself.
The deeper I get into my relationship with God, the more He reveals Himself to me, and the more I fall in love with Him.
Through God, I’ve become so full, so abundantly overwhelmed with joy and I truly want everyone to have that same joy too. I want everyone to experience that depth of happiness and love. I truly feel everyone is worthy of having this precious relationship.
In order to do that, you can’t take your friend’s or spouse’s or mother’s or father’s faith and make it yours. You gotta have faith of your own. You have to have a relationship with Christ that you can call your own.
Can I share something?
It’s not a coincidence that you’re reading this blog right now. It’s not by accident that you’ve been thinking about having a relationship with Christ either. God put that desire in your heart. His children know His voice and follow it (John 10:27).
God wants a relationship with you because He loves you so much. But the choice is yours.
I implore you, now is the time.
Please seek Him. It doesn’t matter where you are right now (God will surely come to you)! You don’t even have to say it out loud right now. Just in your heart, acknowledge that you want to have a relationship with God.
Ask Christ Jesus to come into your heart; embrace Jesus as your Lord and Savior and welcome His blessed salvation.
Jesus died so you can live more abundantly. What are you waiting for?
The time is now!
If it is God’s will, I will conclude by saying, “Until next time!”