The More Abundant LifePursuing an authentic relationship with Jesus ChristBy Dan AugsburgerPart 4 of 5 on the More Abundant Life
Acquiring The More Abundant Life
I. Desiring the More Abundant Life
Acquiring the more abundant life is the work of the Lord Jesus from first to last. We can only receive it! The way I receive it daily is by inviting to come and dwell in my heart every morning before I do anything else, urging him come into my family, my ministry, my work, my financesin short, in everything! And as an indwelling Saviour, he is perfectly adequate to meet every need encountered during the day. And, yes, His indwelling changes my behavior.
As Ian Thomas put it so well: Godliness in action: all that you arenothing, to all that He iseverything, to the Lord Jesus Christ exclusively
that He is gloriously adequate
The testimony of my life is that He is more than able! Just this week I have found him to be perfectly adequate to selecting topics that were especially needed for my speaking appointments; perfectly adequate to give me the words to convey His messages; perfectly adequate to give me the illustrations to work with people of all ages; perfectly adequate to have me in a store at the same moment that another hurting person would be present so I could go and witness to that person and her husband whose divorce was to be final that day; perfectly adequate in terms of energy and every other consideration.
Why should we experience a full of self experience, when we can experience one that is full of him?
II. Pursuing the New Life
I think it will helps to understand that He leads His children from the natural, Egyptian self-centered tendencies, to the needed God-centered relationship that was intended before the fall. In the process He delivers us from Egypt, teaches us in the wilderness, and then He takes Canaanite cities through us.
In Gods providential leadings, He allowed a Pharaoh to come to the throne who didnt know Joseph. Out of self-centered, self-dependent, paranoia, he began making their lives difficult by first having the male population limited, then making their lives more difficult through various forms of slaveryand all were indoctrinated in less than ideal ways of living through their ongoing contact with Egyptian society.
Because the people were greatly suffering, but also because they couldnt imagine life outside of that society, they asked for Gods intervention, but sought that intervention in Egyptthey were praying, Bless me in Egypt prayers. God heard their prayers and responded the only way He could: by allowing the pressure to mount until they realized they needed more than BLESSINGS IN Egypt, but DELIVERANCE FROM Egypt. But it took a long timeover 80 yearsfor the love of Egypt that existed in their hearts to be driven out so that they would even consider leaving the familiaralbeit horribly uncomfortable familiarlife they were accustomed to in Egypt; and even after departing, they were always wanting to return.
After being delivered FROM Egypt, they had to relearn how to walk with God, learn how to live in such a way that they could receive all the blessings that God wanted to grant them in Canaantruly marvelous blessings that Egyptian society couldnt begin to compare with, but which they could hardly imagine while still living in Egypt or wandering in the wilderness. As they wandered through the wilderness they learned that God was able to deliver them; learned the importance of following His directions; learned to accept His timing; learned to accept His leadership and His designated leaders in their midst; learned to accept His providentially ordained trials; learned about His commandments; learned about his way of living; etc.. And every step of the way He was teaching them to look to Him as their Sun, their Rock, their overflowing Water, as their Bread, as their Daily Provision! God wanted to get them into the promise land as soon as possible, but He knew they wouldnt succeed unless they learned to obey and trust Himlearned to look to Him as their all. They would not be the ones conquering Egypt, He would be, but He could only do so through instruments that were convinced of their own inability, the adequacy of His wisdom, His marvelous and generous intentions, and His abounding capacity to care for them; and who would carefully obey His instructions and would trust Him to go forward even when it seemed suicidal.
Sadly when finally brought to Kadesh Barnea, though they had learned much about obeying, they were still learning to trust, and accordingly sent spies into the land, listened to the doubting majority, and turned back into the wilderness where they were blessed and kept by God, but enjoyed wilderness blessings instead of promise-land blessings.
After many years of wandering and keeping, after many years of following the cloud overhead, they finally returned to the border of the promise land, crossed over the river on dry land, and GOD began taking Canaanite cities through them as they trusted AND obeyed.
III. Acquiring the New Life
Would you like that life for yourself? Invite him to come into your heart and life today, and see the difference He can and will make.
I stand at the door and knock; and if any man hears my voice and opens the door,
I will come in and sup with him and he with me! Revelation 3:20
Next: Maintaining the More Abundant Life