What Does It Mean To Have Abundant Life?

God's Design for Abundant Living 
God created us to have an insatiable thirst as we live in this world. When sin entered the world, so did discontentment with life. God desires for us to seek more out of life. The problem is we displace our desire for more because of our discontentment.

The purpose of the tension we feel with what we want and what we have is to point us to God and to eternity. We're meant to desire more of God.

“O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water" (Psalm 63:1).

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they will be filled" (Matthew 5:6).

God wants us to have a life of abundance. But in God's economy, it never has to do with acquiring worldly possessions that will one day vanish. Instead, it's all about what's eternal.

What Some Get Wrong about Abundant Living 
Instead of desiring more of God, some seek to fill our need for more with what the world can give - material possessions, fame, achievement, recognition, popularity, and accomplishments. Then we read John 10:10, "I came that they may have life and have it abundantly," and we misuse it to read that God will give us an abundance of those worldly pursuits we crave.

What Is an Abundant Life? 
Jesus came so that we can have life because He is the embodiment of life. He said, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6). This life means eternal life in heaven. Because of Jesus' death and resurrection, we now have a way to be reconciled with God and have eternal life with Him in heaven.

Nonetheless, Jesus not only gives us the promise of eternal life in heaven, He also gives us an abundant life here on earth. But His abundance has nothing to do with worldly pursuits and everything to do with those attributes that make us more like Him and that we can carry with us into heaven.

How We Can Have an Abundant Life in a Broken, Fallen World 
Jesus gives us the fruit of the Spirit, and this is the abundant life. "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law" (Galatians 5:22-23).

Jesus wants us to have the best life possible in a world that is sometimes unbearable - a world full of cruelty, injustice, sadness, and pain. He knows that the only way that is possible is for us to take on His character of a life where inwardly we are satisfied because we know who we are through Him, who He is through God the Father, and where we are going - to heaven.

Our lives can be falling apart all around us, and we can still have an abundant life. The abundant life is a state of being from within, not a result of external circumstances. It is the result of the pruning God does to make us more like Him, and it is what we will take to heaven with us (1 Corinthians 3:11-15). An abundant life is a life that keeps on giving.

Which is Better - Abundance or an Abundant Life? 
At first look, we might be tempted to say, "What? I rather have a life of abundance so I can have the stuff I want and be happy!" But when you're in a state of crisis, what's worth more - a life full of fear, anxiousness, and tension, or a life full of tranquility and the fruit of the spirit? I think we'd agree that you can't put a price tag on love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control.

An abundant life comes from following God's ways, pursuing holiness, and seeking to be more like Him. "This God — His way is perfect; the word of the LORD proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him" (Psalm 18:30). As a result, others see the abundant life in you and are led to Jesus through your example: "In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven" (Matthew 5:16).

God created us to want more. But which kind of "more" will we seek? Abundance in worldly pursuits or an abundant life? The more we desire God, the more abundant our life will be.

Always Remember 
"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. - John 10:10

"But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. - Matthew 6:33

[written by Brenda Rodgers]