New Age philosophy has stained the truth about what it means to live an abundant life. It makes it appear that, as human beings; we have the power to live abundantly by tapping into life forces outside of God, the Creator. A lot of New Age teaching elevates the self above all else, leaving us wanting more in the absence of God. New Age teachings have a knack for making people feel comfortable without a need for responsibility. It can often appear to be a one-stop shop for all things spiritual, unbounded by the perceived restrictions and commandments of a benevolent God. Modern prosperity preaching incorporates many New Age teachings, and the pews of mega-churches are packed with many hell-bound abundant life seekers.
Understanding and application of God’s word are keys to unlocking the door to abundant living. Many Christians today want to live the good life, but don’t want to be yoked with Christ. God promises us an abundant life; it is His desire that we enjoy our sojourn on earth, but He also expects us to maintain a healthy relationship with Him. We cannot live and enjoy the fullness of life without being obedient to God’s word. Here are four truths about abundant living that Christians need to know to maximise their lives:
Abundant living is God-focused. Colossians 3:2 reminds us that we cannot live a complete life if our minds are not focused on God. Too often, we find Christians using God like a spare tire; He is only necessary when we are in need. We want the best of what God has to offer, but we want to have it, along with all the other distractions. A God-focused life is one that finds joy and happiness seeking after the things of God (Matthew 6:33). We understand that God’s purpose for us takes centre stage, and everything else is a by-product of His goodness in our lives.
Knowing contentment comes from abundant living. This is the age of more; we want more of everything and are never truly satisfied with anything. When we don’t get what we want, we become whiners and begin to treat God as if He has never done anything good for us. The apostle Paul reminds Christians that contentment is a learned habit (Philippians 4:11–13). His ability to celebrate God’s goodness is not determined by his circumstances. The devil has led us to believe that having more will make us happier, but we all know wealthy people who are unhappy. God is the source of our contentment, and we cannot live abundantly if we don’t tap into the source.
Giving service is an expression of abundant living. Romans 12:3–8 outlines an array of acts of service that Christians are expected to engage in. Every promise and blessing that God affords us is to be given back to humanity in service. There is no greater satisfaction than knowing we have helped make someone’s life a little easier. Christians who don’t love to serve have missed the mark because our Savior’s life was one of service. Our service must not be out of mere obligation, but rather out of the joy of being privileged to share in the ministry of Jesus Christ. When we learn what it means to serve, we will focus less on our selfish desires and find more joy in fulfilling the will of God.
Living abundantly is living in hope. One of the best things about living the Christian life is knowing that we can live in hope. Nothing beats hope; when everything else around us fails, it is hope that keeps us pushing on. We live in a world of many contradictions, and sometimes, because of all that is happening, we are tempted to succumb to hopelessness. Hope keeps us alive and reminds us that all the failings of this life cannot compare to what God has in store for us. Yes, we must strive for better in this life, but that is not where our redemption lies. No matter what we have access to now, it will fade away with time; the only thing that remains constant is hope. As we press towards living the good life, let us remember that hope is also a measurement of abundant living.
Abundant living is not a pie-in-the-sky phenomenon. As Christians, we can all live the life God promised, but we must understand how to get there. There is God’s part, and He will not fail to deliver, the rest is left up to us. Knowing and understanding how abundant life works is the key to enjoying a happier and more fulfilling life.