Living in abundance is a decision, just as living in defeat is. Let’s talk about choosing abundance over defeat.
While doing my morning devotions, I recently came across the following quote by June Hunt, founder of Hope for the Heart:
“Your God is a God of grace who not only saves you from eternal death, but also saved you from a defeated life.”
Sadly, Christians often accept the atoning sacrifice of Jesus and claim his saving grace, but fail to walk in a daily state of victory. Jesus isn’t just our ticket to Heaven, He’s the key to abundant life NOW, regardless of what is going on.
For a long time, I lived as a saved person who failed to embrace the earthly abundance Jesus had promised me. After all, I was busy and had a lot of on my mind.
In my self-absorbed state of busyness and overwhelm, I’d surrendered the promise of abundance and exchanged it for one of self-pity. Sometimes I threw in bitterness too. Complaining and murmuring had taken their place in my mouth instead of praise.
I knew I needed to stop living as if I was defeated and start choosing to accept the abundance of Jesus. God showed me how. As I have faithfully practiced these three things, my defeated existence has given way to an abundant life.
1. DAILY QUIET TIME: My personal journey into abundance began when I started consistently doing devotions. Seven years ago, when my son was an infant, I purchased a Kindle so I could read with one hand while feeding and rocking him. Prior to this, I’d had put forth inconsistent, lukewarm efforts in this area. I soon found that spending time praying and reading God’s word was essential for my day. If I miss a day, things just don’t feel right, which can lead me down a path of defeat.
2. INTENTIONAL GRATITUDE: Give thanks all day, for everything. When I get up in the morning, I thank God for life and a new day. We pray before family meals. In conversation, we discuss how we’ve been blessed by God. If I’m stuck in traffic or annoyed at work, I thank God for a short commute and a good job. At night, I pray over my children, thanking God for them. Once I learned to give thanks instead of complaining, abundant joy flowed freely. Trust me, I am a recovering complainer.
3. HAVING AND DOING LESS: Like everything in God’s economy, this doesn’t make sense by the world’s standards. Doing less and having less actually produce abundance in my heart. Cleaning out a closet and donating things I don’t use brings me joy. Re-purposing what I have without buying something new makes me smile. Saying no to an over-scheduled life and yes to margin brings a feeling of fullness and contentment.
I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
Don’t get me wrong. I still have times of unrest. Once in a while I throw a pity-party in my own heart. Disappointment and discouragement visit me, but I have found it much easier to shorten their stay when I stick to the three steps above. The times I lapse into a defeated life are the times I haven’t given these positive practices enough effort.
In my self-absorbed state of busyness and overwhelm, I’d surrendered the promise of abundance and exchanged it for one of self-pity.
If you are feeling defeated, I encourage you to try incorporating quiet time, gratitude, and letting go of things into your routine. Once I finally embraced them, I was able to experience abundance, even in difficult times.
God forgive me for being content to squeak into eternity while living a defeated, pitiful life here in this world. I want abundance. I choose joy. Remind me daily of Your goodness and hold me close so I can behold Your glory. AMEN.