Abundant life is life with a capital L.

Hebrews seemed a difficult book for me. I’d heard much teaching on this writing, but it was never my favorite place to read—until I opened the Amplified Version.

I found this expanded meaning of the word faith: “leaning the entire personality on God in absolute confidence in His wisdom, power, and goodness.”

At the time, I was having a lot of trouble putting that concept into practice. Years earlier, I’d fully surrendered my life to Christ, acknowledging him as Lord. But life’s twists and turns often brought discouragement and defeat.

Where’s the victory?

One day I noticed on my messy desk a book, They Found the Secret, by V. Raymond Edman, former president of Wheaton College. He related the experience of twenty well-known Christians who found the key to abundant living, including John Bunyan, J. Hudson Taylor, Andrew Murray, Oswald Chambers, Dwight L. Moody, Charles G. Finney, Amy Carmichael, Eugenia Price, and Frances Ridley Havergal.

I’d read most of the stories before the book got buried until a stack of paperwork. Reading it again etched in my heart forever the secret to living abundantly in the chaos and uncertainty on this earth: relying on the life of the indwelling Christ.

Edman, who had served as a missionary to Ecuador, through difficult times came to “the realization that only total abandonment to God could lead to experiencing God’s fullest blessing.” His book began as a series of magazine articles to show how the indwelling life of Christ “was the source of every believer’s spiritual strength.”

From the introduction: “Every now and then we come across a life that is radiant, revealing a richness, a warmth, a triumph that intrigues and challenges us…The details of their experiences are usually quite different; yet…we begin to see a pattern that reveals their secret. Out of discouragement and defeat they have come into victory. Out of weakness and weariness they have been made strong. Out of ineffectiveness and apparent uselessness they have become efficient and enthusiastic.

“The pattern seems to be self-centeredness, self-effort, increasing inner dissatisfaction and outer discouragement, a temptation to give it all up because there is no better way, and then finding the Spirit of God to be their strength, their guide, their confidence and companion—in a word, their life…

“The crisis of the deeper life is the key that unlocks the secret of their transformation. It is the beginning of the exchanged life…the indwelling of the Lord Jesus Christ made real and rewarding by the Holy Spirit…life with a capital L.”

I rejoiced to learn other believers had waded through despair and near hopelessness before discovering the secret to the amazing life John 10:10 promised. “…I am come that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly.”

When I gave my heart to Jesus as a child, I didn’t understand that he came into my life as Savior and Lord. Being so young, I wasn’t even sure I’d done all he required to get into heaven. After battling doubt, I settled the issue forever, claiming the promise of Romans 10:13. “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Something was still missing.

How could I access all that joy and peace I’d heard so much about? I searched until I found the secret: absolute surrender to the Lord Jesus Christ and constant reliance on the indwelling Holy Spirit.

Many years have passed since that unforgettable day when I surrendered all I am and have to the Lord forever. I stumbled for a while learning to walk by faith, “leaning the entire personality on God in absolute confidence in His wisdom, power, and goodness.” I’m finally getting the hang of it.

So thankful the Lord pursued me until I could be satisfied with nothing less than living life with a capital L.

How’s your Christianity working for you? Consider surrendering your life to the Lord, using this simple prayer.

Lord, I surrender my life completely to you—husband, children, marriage, career, home, possessions, finances, talent, time, treasures, ambitions, past, present, future. I want to follow you wholeheartedly. Take the throne of my life, and reign in my heart as Lord of all. Fill me with your Spirit so my life overflows with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Use me for your glory. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Welcome to life with a capital L!

Tell me what you’ve learned about living abundantly in Christ. And please share this with your friends!

* They Found the Secret (Zondervan 1984) is still available on Amazon.

© Dianne Barker 2019

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