The quality of life we want to live begins in our minds. Each of us has to decide what our abundant life looks like. It will never be a one-size-fits because people value different things. As a Christian, my abundant living is built on what Jesus says in John 10: 10 “I have come so you may have more out of life; I have come so you may know how to maximize your life”. If such a life were not possible, we cannot trust anything Jesus said, but I have been proving in my pursuit, therefore the statement has merit. The problem is not in Jesus’ statement the problem rests with how we understand and apply what Jesus said. Here are a few things I believe make the quest for abundant living possible:
Recognizing God as the source. James 1: 17 reminds us every good and perfect gift comes from God. Before we can begin the journey of abundant living, we must know who our source is. When we know the source, we can appreciate we must stay connected to benefit from it. Too many times, we require a better quality of life, but we are living disconnected from the source. A river not connected to its source will eventually dry up. A Christian not connected to God, the source of all things, will eventually run dry. God is the beginning and end of our search for abundant living.
Obedience is a requirement. 1Samuel 15: 22 Saul was scolded by Samuel and told without fear God needed his obedience more than his sacrifice. We all want the best of what God has on offer, but how much are we willing to live in obedience? Some things are incompatible with abundant living and the people of God cannot indulge in such and be pleasing to Him. The quality of life we want to live has to be aligned with how God requires us to live. If what we desire conflicts with the commandments of obedience, then God will have no hand in it.
Faith is a key principle. Hebrews 11: 6 without faith we can do nothing for God and He can do nothing for us. As we strive for abundant living, we also have to learn to trust where God is leading. 2Corinthians 5: 7 impressed on us the importance of walking by God’s insight and not our own. Our vision of life is limited even on our best days, but God knows the inner and outer workings of all things. Trusting our instincts is good, but exercising faith in God to provide us with direction is even better. As we grow to live abundantly, don’t forget God already has insight into the outcome of our lives and all we need to do is trust the process.
Our talents are a part of the journey. God has invested in us and entrusted us with an array of things to make the journey smoother. What are we doing with our stewardship? It is not how much we have, but how much we do with what we have. Sitting and asking God for more so you can have more is counter-productive. Whatever talent God has blessed us with, great or small, is sufficient to help us live a better quality of life. The problem is we have not taken the time to discover our talents and we can use them to serve humanity and serve ourselves. We are better at pouring into others while we are dying of thirst. Our talents are for service to others, but they are also to serve us in the quest for abundant living. A buried talent does not serve God, it does nothing to fulfill His purpose; it doesn’t human because nobody knows it and it doesn’t serve us because we don’t understand its value.
Valuing the little things. A major part of our discontent as we seek to live abundantly is we have forgotten how to value the little things. We are so focused on the big picture we forget there is beauty in simplicity. Don’t try to overcomplicate your life by filling it with unnecessary things. Nothing in life is worth our sanity. Good friends and family are key ingredients in achieving a life of happiness. Cherish the times you get to build memories with the people you love because they will not always be available. Stop spending all your time planning a better life for the future and use every opportunity to live life now.
God wants to live complete lives, but it doesn’t happen by accident. We have to be deliberate about pursuing abundant lives. We have to envision the life we want and make it happen, and it is not impossible. God would not give us a promise to something out of our reach, but it comes with some conditions. We recognize Him as the source of all good things, be obedient to His will for our lives, learn to exercise faith, use our talents wisely, and place value on the things that matter. When these things come together, we can start having the abundant life Jesus promised.