So how does all this breaking news impact my daily life? Let’s review.
God makes all things new. This amazing adventure called “the Christian life” began when I trusted Jesus as my Savior and Lord. He did this incredible thing—he made me a new person!
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
The past is gone! I have a new life centered in Christ! I’m no longer defeated by past mistakes and controlled by regret. Christ offers forgiveness and cleansing and opens the door to exciting opportunities to serve and glorify him.
I have assurance God can handle impossible. My walk with the Lord is not a blissful stroll through meadows of fragrant flowers. Sometimes it takes me through stony ravines where crashing thunderstorms blind me to my next step. I cry out to him, believing, “For with God nothing shall be impossible” (Luke 1:37). And he rescues me…again and again.
I keep going forward, confident that nothing can touch me without his consent and knowing God is stronger than all the giants.
When the rogue disciple Judas led soldiers to the Garden of Gethsemane to arrest Jesus, his beloved follower Peter drew a sword and swung it at a servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear. Jesus restored the ear and told Peter to put up his sword. “Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?” (Matthew 26:53).
That encourages me to live without fear since vast divine resources are available for any need in my life.
I can live in joy no matter what. That liberating reality means circumstances cannot rob my joy, a fruit of the indwelling Holy Spirit. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control…” (Galatians 5:22-23 NIV).
Whatever life throws at me, because the joy of the Lord is my strength, I can also set my heart to choose to joy and rejoice in the Lord.
I can live in hope in lonely places, knowing I’m never alone because the Lord is with me and I have hope, no matter how desperate the situation. ). “Thou art my hope, O Lord; thou art my trust from my youth” (Psalm 71:5).
All of this adds up to one awesome fact—I can live the abundant life anywhere! Jesus spoke of this way of living in John 10:10. “…I am come that they might have life and have it more abundantly.”I can live the abundant life anywhere! Jesus spoke of this way of living in John 10:10. “…I am come that they might have life and have it more abundantly. Click To Tweet
What is abundant life and how do we get there? The possibility of this amazing life sent me searching.
At age seven I’d trusted Jesus as my Savior and Lord, but I struggled with doubt for many years, uncertain that decision would get me to heaven. At age twenty-eight I finally settled the fact, claiming the promise of Romans 10:13. “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
The Lord gave me a thirst to know him better and let my life be pleasing to him. But something was still missing. Where was all that joy and peace I thought came automatically with the Christian-life package?
As I searched for the answer, God honored the promise of Jeremiah 29:13. “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.”
I learned joy any peace are part of the cluster of fruit produced by the Holy Spirit when we surrender completely to Christ (Galatians 5:22-23). But I couldn’t understand how to surrender. A book by a Christian author suggested thinking about an altar such as those in biblical times, placing on it everything in my life, and offering it to God.
In prayer I did that, making a total surrender—all I am and have forever, no strings attached. Immediately I sensed astonishing joy and peace. I’d found the key to abundant life—surrender.
But the Lord had much more to teach me about “walking by faith” and “abiding in Christ.”
Grasping to hold on to my joy and peace, I struggled in this new life and in God’s time began to understand those concepts. Walking by faith is simply trusting Jesus. Abiding in him is just staying as close as I can get, resting in his arms, like a child climbing into her father’s lap. It pleased his heart to teach me precious truths.
- God makes all things new.
- God can handle impossible.
- God is stronger than all the giants.
- I can live in joy no matter what.
- I can live in hope in lonely places.
- I can live the abundant life anywhere.
These hard-learned truths did not come quickly or easily. This condensed version reflects many miles of my walk, crying out to God and listening for his answer as I practiced abiding through a continual surrender of every circumstance, walking with him moment by moment, depending on him alone.
Abundance is not a place. It’s a Person. Although I have much to learn, I know this—I can live the abundant life anywhere.
Absolute surrender is the sweet dimension that turns the ordinary Christian life into an extraordinary adventure.Absolute surrender is the sweet dimension that turns the ordinary Christian life into an extraordinary adventure. Click To Tweet
If you desire to know the Lord better, consider printing this article and keep these points in mind as you pray, asking the Lord to teach you. He promised, “I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go. I will guide thee with mine eye” (Psalm 32:8).
I’d love to hear about your journey to the abundant life. Please leave a comment. And I’d appreciate your sharing this article with your friends.
© Dianne Barker 2021