Life and That More Abundantly — Part 5
“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
As I mentioned yesterday, the love we are commanded to have for God is above all other loves that we may have for anyone or anything else. God exclusively deserves the highest measure of our love that no other has claim to, nor should be the focus. The measure to which we naturally love and cherish those in our human relationships, (mothers, fathers, husbands wives, children, brothers and sisters, friends and neighbors) should pale by comparison to our love for God.
This may be hard to fathom, but it is God’s expectation of us ultimately.
“He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.” Matthew 10:37
Are you desperate for God? Is He the very source of your every breath? Do you think of Him constantly? Are you always looking for ways to please Him and bless Him? Does your heart beat a little faster when you consider how awesome He is in Majesty and Splendor, in beauty and power, in wisdom and strength, in glory and blessing? Or are those expressions of your being reserved for someone else or for something else? Just food for thought, no condemnation.
When the Scriptures say we cannot serve two masters [Luke 16:13] it is dealing with more than serving two gods. “Masters” refers to anyone or anything to which you submit yourself to be under authority. Something or one you see as equal to or even above or before God.
If God is to be God in our lives His position of ultimate authority must stand singularly alone and higher than any other. Without that position of authority He is not truly respected and regarded as God. If anything takes precedence over what God has commanded of us then that thing is god to us, not God.
To fully acknowledge the exclusive authority and highest priority of God over our lives is to begin to position ourselves for the fullest measure of His extravagant love, in His promise to Abraham and his seed, expressed toward us in the day to day walking of our lives.
When we pray we desire God to hear us and we desire to receive a favorable reply to our petitions. Are our prayers only a one-way exercise? Do we expect God to give us the fullest measure of what we desire in our prayers while we only give Him lip service in the things He has summoned us to do? Here is the critical touch point for this conflict. It isn’t God who looks at our petitions in prayer and then compares them to His naughty or nice list like Santa Clause to decide how much He will grant us if anything at all.
No. God is more willing to bless us than we are to be blessed. The problem is in our own hearts and the true reality of our earnest expectation. When we know we are not being obedient to His call and we are not giving Him our exclusive love, trust and allegiance it’s hard for us to then believe that He will do for us any more than what we are willing to do in obedience to His Word. If at the heart of our trust we put more faith in our strength and human ability to get the job done than God’s willingness to meet our needs, then that will be the limit of the measure to which we will trust God to act in our behalf.
But if we truly believe, as the prophets of old believed and as many faithful Christians believe today, that God is the first and final authority and sovereign ruler over of all creation and there is no greater word than His and His Word will never fail, then we are strategically positioned for the flow of God’s goodness and blessing toward us no matter the present circumstances.
Now, it’s important to understand that the flesh, the human soul will fight your desire to put God first and foremost above all other things or persons. That’s its nature. Doing the will of God from the heart doesn’t always come easily, but it will always be rewarded.
“The Lord shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the work of thine hand: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow.” Deuteronomy 28:12
“For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.” Hebrews 6:10
“And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work…” 2 Corinthians 9:8
“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you…” Matthew 7:7
“And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.” John 16:23
These are not mere empty promises or ornamental words of fluff to adorn some utopian concept of happy land where everyone dances among the daises eating Willie Wonka chocolates. These are the sure and immutable Words of the Almighty God.
They are fully weighted with His Glory, and worthy of our acceptance and trust. We need only to open our hearts to believe them and receive them. And the best way to have that confidence is in yielding ourselves in all of our lives to place Him first place in our hearts and, therefore, in all things, all relationships, all activities of our hands and words and of our thoughts. Not only is this possible, it is guaranteed by the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
“That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.” Ephesians 1:12-14
The Holy Spirit in us is the Assurance that we are God’s heirs and that we will receive the fullness of all that He has promised us now and in the ages to come.
“But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: that in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:4-10
We are created in Christ to walk in the fullness of life and that more abundantly. Not just full and rich but more full and more rich, ever overflowing and extravagant resources to be blessed and to bless the world.
“And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee:and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” Genesis 12:2-3
Don’t resist God’s extravagance, embrace it and let Him flow it to you (in earthen vessels) through you (on earth to every corner of the earth) to fulfill His Kingdom’s purpose on the earth.
“Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.” Luke 11:2