“I have come that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10
What Does the Abundant Life Feel Like?
The abundant life in the Bible feels like this:
- Is Never in a Hurry
- Can do What you Intend to Do
- Has pervasive Joy with who you are and where you are in life.
With joy being a fruit and not something you can strive for, how do you live relaxed, never in a hurry, while at the same time being able to do everything you intend to do?
You dial in living the two fundamentals of the Way that will permeate every area of your life.
- Being disciplined in the appropriate way.
- Knowing what to do because you hear God.
Here’s how to know who you are and where you are in life while having pervasive joy, the abundant life.
Let’s dive in.
Disciplined Like This
There is an unhealthy aversion to the law. You are free, correct?
This law aversion is permeated in culture – If I discipline myself, doesn’t that restrict my freedom of happiness and spontaneity?
This single misunderstanding is what holds you back from actualizing your purpose and keeps you stuck in fear, doing nothing.
And worse, keeps you from experiencing the easy yoke of Christ.
C.S. Lewis reveals this game the demons like to play in Screwtape’s Letters advising how to keep a “patient” frozen from actions:
“You can make him do nothing at all for long periods. You can keep him up late at night, not roistering, but staring at a dead fire in a cold room. All the healthy and outgoing activities which we want him to avoid can be inhibited and nothing given in return, so that at last he may say, as one of my own patients said on his arrival down here, ‘I now see that I spent most of my life doing neither what I ought nor what I liked.’”
The reality is discipline; a law equals freedom. Not discipline is slavery.
How does being disciplined help you experience the abundant life?
- You feel better when you finish everything you start
- You experience the mind of Christ
Let’s go deeper.
“the mind of Christ”
When you submit your members to doing what Jesus did, what we refer to now as spiritual disciplines, like playing a complicated song on the piano proficiently, the mind of Christ grows, and behaviors become automatic.
You no longer have to ask what would Jesus do? The “beatitudes” are in your being.
Once experienced, the spiritual disciplines that make the easy yoke a reality will transform your home, business or workplace, and radiate light, love, and peace to every neighbor you encounter.
Because you will love God and love as Christ, the result of spiritual formation.
You would be working with God in your creativity, everywhere you are.
What Most Miss
What most miss about a spiritual life is they try to start “spiritual disciplines” before they have self-discipline.
This causes what Ephesians warns about, fits and starts. New years resolutions or a spurt after some other motivating factor but a few days in, back to the same old same old no spiritual disciplines practices.
William Law shows the needed fundamental to stick to the abundant life disciplines in A Serious Call:
“The disciple will become a disciple when he determines to direct his time, regardless of how un-spiritual that thing he does in the time directed, this discipline will over time permeate all areas of his life.”
When you are a disciplined person who can direct every minute of your day instead of drifting, you know who you are and where you are going.
A disciplined person that can do what needs to be done when it can be done in these times?
Here’s the second element of the abundant life in the Bible.
Knows what to Do
How would it feel to know what needs to be done every day? To hear God?
While we say with our words that hearing God is an aim, is it?
More common than not, concocting what you think will please a straw man is the focus, and contrary to this, there are two crazy examples of the normal Christian life in the Bible that you already know.
But have you thought of them as if they could be you?
If Revelation were released today, it would be banned by modern evangelism as too fringe and new age, but you should go there.
“and they will walk with me in white” 3:4,
“And he who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian, and around the throne was a rainbow that had the appearance of an emerald.” 4:3
“and he was given much incense to offer with the prayers of all the saints” 8:3
“let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666.” 13:18
“And he carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness.” 17:3
Numerology, incense, symbolisms of white, light, dragons, stones, and stars? Visions in the spirit that are self-proclaimed and can not be validated, tested by a 3rd party?
This guy’s mystical, leading others astray and is going to hell.
Then there’s Abraham from Genesis 15,
“He said to him, ‘Bring me a heifer three years old, a female goat three years old, a ram three years old, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.’ And he brought him all these, cut them in half, and laid each half over against the other. But he did not cut the birds in half. And when birds of prey came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away.” vs. 9-11.
Fascinating side question to ponder, why did Abram have to physically drive the birds of prey from carcasses laid out for God?
Then vs. 17, “When the sun had gone down and it was dark, behold, a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch passed between these pieces.”
This is the reality that occurred that sealed the covenant of Abraham’s descendants numbering the stars?
And you and I are afraid to potentially have an incorrect opinion on life that contradicts a board of men?
The End Goal
The world is hustle and bustle, lost, drifting, and teetering on chaos. Everyone in the range of your effective will needs a person with no fear of man and is the most sane, loving, helpful, and reliable person they know.
When you are the most disciplined person you know, able to do everything you want to do and stick with it
And from that grounded and at peace place, experience moment by moment revelations from God, you will experience the abundant life in these two ways.
- Have the disciplined mind and body of Christ
- Be able to hear God and say, God said.
What does this life look like?
Dallas Willard explains in The Spirit of The Disciplines,
“Turning from old ways with Faith and Hope in Christ stands forth as the natural first expression of the new life imparted. That life will be poised to become a life of the same quality as Christ because it indeed is Christ. He really does live on in us.”
When living this faith that demonstrates itself by works, verses like these will be your experience and natural first expression.
- Delivered us from the power of darkness and translated us into the kingdom of his dear son. Colossians 1:13
- I have come that they may have life and have it abundantly. John 10:10
- He that hath the Son hath life. 1st John 5:12
- God made us alive together with Christ. Ephesians 2:5
The abundant life, the incarnation will continue, in you.