One of the scriptures I see so commonly used in discussing God’s will for us is found in John 10:10. Jesus describes the enemy’s task and HIS task with clear separation. He says, “The thief comes not, but to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10). How does the thief steal, kill and destroy? Well those three descriptions I believe line up with the three temptations, as illustrated when Jesus was tempted by the devil. 1 – He tried to get Jesus to eat of something other than the Word of God, (one was a fleshly food and the other a spiritual food). Perhaps this is illustrated in our desires to quench our appetites and thirsts with wells that run dry, other than everlasting well of Christ. 2 – He tried to get Jesus to end his race, disobedient to the will of the Father. 3 – He tried to get Jesus to take the bait of his fleshly desires by showing him the kindoms of this world and all the riches within. If you’ll just bow down to me, I can give you all of this “stuff”… I can see these so dominant in what we face today. Obviously, nothing the enemy was selling had anything to do with “life more abundantly”… the statement in itself demands complete contrast.
When the Lord began to unravel my way of thinking, I would often get so overwhelmed with revelation I couldn’t hardly hold it inside of me. I called my mom nightly and talked her ear off discussing what the Lord was showing me and sharing scriptures with her that I was led to. It was really beautiful to share this process with her because I could feel the intensity of breakthrough that made the flesh squirm in both of us – but rang so true in our spirit that neither of us could let go of the ongoing conversation. She would often call me or vice versa randomly in the middle of the day to discuss a conversation with someone that came in her store, or a message from the Holy Spirit while she was driving or I would share with her something that happened to me. It’s hard to explain to someone who’s never had these confirmations unpacking with such clarity but what I was finding out is that when the Lord is teaching me something, it lingers and pops up repeatedly. He does things with confirmation – almost like little winks to show me that He has me on the right track concerning a thing.
Anyway, I remember one night my mom had experienced a really bad day. She was really upset and she confessed to me something to the effect of, “I just don’t know if this is God’s will for us to struggle. Jesus said He came to give life more abundantly.” Chasing after God seems to be a process of receiving and waiting. And waiting upon the Lord is not very pleasant. In fact it’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever done – especially considering patience has always been one of my weakest areas. Yet sometimes, I get these brief moments where I just GET IT. I mean, something will unravel and it’s so mind-blowing that I know that I know that I know I couldn’t have taken in all of the pieces that were formulating at one time because there’s no way I could’ve handled it or digested it. Perhaps this is what Paul spoke of when he told the church of Corinth that he had to give them milk because they were babies in Christ – they couldn’t handle the meat. Disclaimer – I completely consider myself a baby in Christ at best.. Not puffing myself at all like I’m full of wisdom.. that will make more sense in a minute.
So tonight, i was making the bed and this scripture came back to mind. And I know there’s meaning that is completely hidden to what seems good “on the surface of carnal thinking” because all of the other revelations the Lord has shown me concerning the purpose and “change” (boy did things change when Jesus defeated the cross), and I know there was never an intent for the children of God to chase after abundance or reverence abundance in the natural form (earthly abundance).
The word abundance in the greek is Perissos, (exceeding) – and it’s root word is peran, which means “from beyond” or “from the other side”. And we know that LIFE is defined as Jesus – HE IS the LIFE. So in this context, “Life more abundantly” means Jesus, HIS life. It’s not ours at all, it has little to do with OUR life… as James clarified when he said “Whereas you know not what shall be tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appears for a little time, and then vanishes away.” James is saying basically that MY LIFE is of no value, no importance and no substance – it’s a temporary form of matter that evaporates into the nothing.. When he says vapor, I think of those e-cigarettes that produce a cloud of vapor that you could hardly catch with a camera before it disappears into thin air.. It can only be seen but for a moment and there’s no substance to make it last or preserve it. It’s virtually NOTHING. Jesus spoke on this also as he apparently placed no value on OUR LIVES, stating that we must LOSE OUR LIFE in order to gain LIFE. And what is life gained? HIM. He is life. So when Jesus says that he came to give life more abundantly He’s speaking of himself. He came to give HIM (THE LIFE) and He is the only thing that remains. So does this mean we are meaningless, temporary, nothings? Yeah.. without Him, we’re nothing.
The only thing we can ever be is a vessel (a body part to him), otherwise, we’re nothing but a corpse. And this truth has ruffled my flesh so much that I begin to see the battleground very differently – not me against the world.. but me against HIM.. I am my own worst enemy because my mind and my ideas and wants and desires for myself are for MYSELF.. (as God said the carnal mind is enmity with God) – it wars against Him because it thinks ITS important and deserving and in some shape or form holding some sort of control or power to become and manifest into what it wants. When in reality, vapor can never manifest into anything… when the vapor is gone, there will either be nothing left or the revealing of something that was hidden inside and the only thing inside that can remain is JESUS (the life).
Life more abundantly is not a description of our lives or anything we can achieve here – it’s not even anything the senses of this body can behold. Hence why Jesus told them they can’t “see” the Kingdom. It’s within. It’s a possession of life inside of something that otherwise has no life, (like this vapor). Hence why Paul said “it is no longer ME that lives… But Christ IN ME” – Life had entered Paul and that LIFE, who’s name is Jesus had manifested inside of a vessel (the kingdom within). When God sets this place in flames, the only thing that will not be burned is the source of LIFE and the consuming fire himself – Jesus. If His seed, planted in this dirt (cause that’s all I am – made from the dust and to dust I’ll return) – but if HIS seed in me has occupied and flourished into the fullness of HIM, then HE in me will remain.. HE IS LIFE and LIFE MORE ABUNDANTLY – it’s not a catchy phrase “I am the LIFE the WAY and the TRUTH”… It’s literal and spiritual beyond measure of the mind’s comprehension of carnal things.
HE IS LIFE… everytime I say that to myself I just feel so small, grasping to understand how big HE is. I feel so non-existent, which is a beautiful thing to helps me see that HE IS existence.
Thank you Lord for this day and in all of my errors and mistakes, thank you for the grace of Jesus not yet finished inside of me, but HIS seed flourishing more each moment, until the harvest is ripe.
He must increase, but I must decrease.
He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all.
And what he hath seen and heard, that he testifieth; and no man receiveth his testimony.
He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true.
For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.
The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand.
- John 3:30