Abundant Living

design (9)

When we attach all of our issues to ourselves like labels and allow them to dictate what we do, who we are, and where we can go, we inadvertently say that the cross, Jesus dying for our sins, does not hold enough power to carry the weight of our sins. Did you know, that anything that falls short of God’s expectation is sin? So even a wrong perspective of yourself is sin before God because it’s contrary to what He has already said about you?

“Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good.” Genesis 1:31a NKJV

We are a part of what He made, so that means we are very good in His sight. The words very good in this scripture literally means abundantly, excellent in richness and beauty. We hold great value in God’s sight and we don’t even fully know it or understand it. We instead see ourselves as:

Blemished, Bland, Tarnished, Unfit to be used by God, Incapable, Not worth much, Not enough…

And the list could go on and on. We have all felt this way at some time or another. We tend to let our shortcomings and mistakes define us instead of being defined by who God says we are. I once heard someone say, “Eve is known for eating the fruit from the tree, for being the one that led to the fall of man. But that still does not define who she was to God. Regardless of what she did, she was still greatly loved and valued by God. Her mess up did not change God opinion or outlook about who she really was”. What a way to look at things. The fall of mankind is one of the greatest tragedies to ever happen in history (second to Christ having to die for sins He did not commit), and God did not love her any less than before her mistake. Profound, right?

God does not love us any less because we make mistakes or see ourselves in a light that He did not create us in. Instead, He sees us, and the gifts He placed on the inside of us and loves us and reminds us of what we were originally created for. He has gifted us with amazing gifts to show Him in the earth. Some of us can love people unconditionally, some can sing in ways that bring about deliverance, some can write in ways that can transport people from the place are to an entirely different plain and space, some can make others laugh until the cry bringing joy into someone spirit, some can listen so intently that it speaks volumes and others can smile such comfort that it brings people to a place of ease and peace. The list of gifts God gives His people goes on and on beyond every idea we can come up with. But when we see ourselves through the lens of our sin or our shortcomings, we unintentionally say that God has lied about who He says we are and what He says we can do.

Sin is anything that falls short of God’s desire and expectation, like lying, being disobedient, or even seeing ourselves in the wrong light. Every weight of sin that mankind will ever commit, Jesus took it on His shoulders and it was nailed to the cross with Him. He is the only One that could ever truly carry sins weight. We aren’t able to carry the burden of all of our sin because we would be crushed underneath its weight, not being able to pay its price and suffer the penalty for it. That’s why Jesus had to take it all.

It’s tiring having some much negative self-talk going on in one’s mind; telling yourself that you aren’t good enough, strong enough, smart enough, creative enough, special enough, enough of enough. In part, this is all true; alone we are not enough but mixed with all of Jesus, our enough skyrockets through the roof. When we accept the fact that we can do nothing meaningful apart from Him, when we surrender, submit, and connect ourselves and our thinking to Him, whatever we do with Him and through Him will shake the earth in some kind of way. Today, God led me to Ephesians 1:8-10 which says,

With all wisdom and understanding, He made known to us the mystery of His will according to His good pleasure, which He purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.

As I sat and pondered, wondering why on earth would God lead me to this, I got an impression upon my heart: When we do what God says for us to and live as God desires for us to, we are in unity with Heaven – Heaven and Earth are unified under Christ. Isn’t that something? We allow condemnation from our mistakes, feeling like we will never get it right, to keep us from getting back in unity with Heaven. This is not God’s plan for us in any way, shape or form. When we make mistakes, we are supposed to run to God, not from Him. We have to give Him our sin and repent (change our mind) à confess your mess up, ask for forgiveness, turn away from that thing, and leave it behind you in the dust (with Christ’s help of course).

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 NKJV

“Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.” Hebrews 4:13 NIV

He knows our flaws, our sin, the mistakes we will make, and yet He still chose us in spite of it all. He knows we won’t get it right on our own, and that’s why Christ had to come and die for our sins and resurrect with all power in might in His hand. We mess up when we choose to wallow in our pit of mess and allow it to define us. We make poor choices and accept our labels and other people’s labels for us over what God has already said about us. It sounds something like this:

You can’t do that, you’ll never be able to quit, you’re not smart enough to do that, you don’t have enough money or experience to ever do something like that, you’re too weak to ever let them go, you should just stick to what you’ve always done, you’ve always made poor choices in this area and you probably always will, just accept the fact that you will always be this way…

Blah, blah, blah, blah… all I can hear are the grownups from Charlie Brown: wa, wa, wa, wa, wa, ugh. And the list can go on and on, and what’s said can transform from person to person and situation to situation. The more we hear it, the more we begin to accept it and our shortcomings as law; as an unbreakable seal to remind us that we have failed and it will always be this way. BUT, that is a lie! There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (see Romans 8:1). Dictionary.com defines condemnation as the act of pronouncing one to be guilty. When Christ was beaten, battered, disfigured and nailed to the cross, He took all of mankind’s guilt and shame, due to sin, and paid the penalty for us all. He took the burden of our condemnation with Him to the cross and buried it for good in the grave. When He rose from the dead, our condemnation, shattered like glass fallen from a ledge to a wooden floor. It shattered in such a way that the pieces were like dust and existed no more.

So, knowing all of this, why do we still walk around believing the lie of the devil that we aren’t good enough to do the impossible even with Christ, that we will never get it right, we’ll never loss that weight, that we will never get our finances in order, that we could never pull off what God has told us to do? Thinking about this, I know that we must reevaluate some things in our thinking and belief system. Maybe these lies are easy to believe because we don’t fully believe in the power and magnitude of what Christ did on the cross. Maybe it’s not so much that we don’t believe in its magnitude and authority, but we just don’t fully understand what exactly was done by Christ dying on the cross. Maybe we just don’t believe it for our own lives; that it works for others, but that you are just too far gone for Christ to reach you where you are.

“Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, That it cannot save; Nor His ear heavy, That it cannot hear.” Isaiah 59:1 NKJV

Yes, our sin does separate us from God, because He is a holy God and sin cannot come near Him, but Christ conquered this thing to bring us back into right standing with God. His death and resurrection reconciled our relationship back to God and now when we repent and ask for help, we are pulled in to God.

Or maybe we don’t believe because we aren’t spending enough time with Him to be reminded of the truth. Quality time with God is vital for our survival in this life. Without it, we become debilitated.  Any earthly relationship can be strengthened by spending time with that person. Talking to them, listening to them. The more time you some with them, the more comfortable you get with telling them your issues and asking for help. You get to know their heart for you, and you start wanting to be pleasing to them and do the things they like and give them nice things.

And He said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” Matthew 22:37 ESV

This is the same with God. And the things we should want to give Him is our whole heart, our mind, our time in reading and studying His word with Him, our resources, our ear to listen to His instruction, our dedication to be diligent in the things He has shown us and told us to do and the list goes on. These things please Him. But we can only get to this place if we are willing to make Him our priority.

“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33

Making our relationship with Christ our number one priority will allow us to be consistently reminded of who God is, who He says we are, what He has already done, what He will continue to do and what we are able to do with His helping hand upon us. We must be willing to put Him in His rightful place because without doing this we will have no defense system to fight against the deception and threats of the enemy we’re fighting. We make time for everything else, but always have an excuse for why we can’t spend time with Christ. Time with God builds our defense walls and provides the artillery we need on our walls for when the enemy tries to sneak up on us. Broken down walls are like a welcome banner to the enemy to come in and loot our riches: our joy, our peace, our finances, our wisdom, our vision, our strength, our trust, the truth, etc. Those are great treasures that the devil would love to steal. He can’t use them, but he can destroy them.

“the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10 NKJV

How about we start living in the abundance that Christ came to give us. What are some ways we can live in God’s abundance? Leave a comment below.

I love you all, and I am praying that this will send the jolt into your life that God desires. God Bless,

Arnita Faith