The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

John 10: 10

 

There is an old cultural expression. It is one that is not used all that much any more, and it goes, “This is living!” Yet it was almost never applied to anything that had all that much to do with true life. This exclamation of pure joy at life was typically used to refer to desirable or aspirational aspects of life such as cars, vacations, and houses. There is nothing wrong with any of these things; yet, they do not bring life. In fact, these sorts of things, when they become the center of our focus and when seeking them forms our primary motivation for each day of life, can become dangerous distractions away from God’s purpose for us. Even more disturbing is the fact that anything that turns us from God and His will tends to cause people to make themselves the center of their own universe.

 

For many of us, it is fairly easy to say, “Yes” to this idea, and we do this as we feel good about the fact that we have mostly left those days and that manner of thinking behind us. It is relegated to a phase in our personal history that might be known as the Time of Maturing. Yet, almost everyone continues to struggle with making choices about the way that we think and the things that we do that profoundly impact our personal life-death balance sheets. All people who live in this world are dwelling in a place where good and evil spiritual forces are engaged in a constant struggle for control and for dominance. Everyone who seeks to follow Christ is not just living in this place, but we have chosen to live here with a large target on our backs. Our minds and our hearts will be assaulted and assailed in an unending attempt to pull us away from Christ and His purpose for us.

 

However, God does not leave us alone in this struggle. He calls us to Himself first so that we can get to know our Lord and Savior in an ever deepening and intimate manner. As we know Him, God gifts His people with understanding, wisdom, strength, and discernment so that we can face our daily struggles with a peaceful mind and a fearless heart. As we seek Him and meditate on His word, God speaks into us and provides us with the ability to make choices between those endeavors that will lead us toward the abundant life that He desires for us to live and those other options that we have which would deplete and discourage us. We are all gifted and called by God into service to Him. No one can do everything; in fact, that is exactly what God does not want. Instead, as we submit our will to Him, Christ will lead us into life.