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Living a Full Life

In John 10:10, Jesus says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” The context of John 10 lets us know that fullness is the outcome of following Jesus as verse 3 states: “He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.” When we trust that kind of a leader, we obey Him. Obedience spawns holiness and, as a result, we produce the fruit of the Spirit. Even in the midst of disaster, trials and troubles, the full life of being loving, kind, patient, joyful, gentle and all the other aspects of abiding can be ours.

Jesus identifies in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5 what blessedness is: being poor in spirit, mourning, meekness, hungering and thirsting for righteousness, all things that don’t line up with a trouble-free life. The Apostle Paul added to the list with his example of being content regardless of circumstances (Philippians 4:11). Clearly, the full, abundant life is not dependent upon good circumstances but is a heart issue of responding to God in trust and love.

In contrast, the thief—Satan—aims to steal, kill and destroy. From the outset, Satan’s goal of destroying the perfection that Adam and Eve enjoyed was accomplished by an evil whisper that, “God is holding out on you. He doesn’t want your best. He isn’t really good.” When Adam and Eve believed those lies, their peace, joy, love and gentleness were destroyed. The full life they’d enjoyed was overtaken by blame-casting, selfishness and distrust of each other and God.

Whom to believe—the Good Shepherd or the lies of Satan—is the challenge you and I face each day.

Living Under the Rain of God

God longs for us to be like a well-watered garden, flourishing, full of joy, always in blossom, even during times of famine. In the Bible, the prophet Elijah experienced an extreme drought for three and half years. Even though his circumstances could have easily kept him discouraged, he activated His faith through praising God and thanking Him for all He had done. It wasn’t long before the heavens opened up and provided rain for the people in the land.

When you are in a dry spell, decide to be like Elijah and continue to give God praise. The key to staying flourished and keeping vitality in our lives during dry times is to send up praise. By praising God at all times, what happens naturally with rain accumulating in a cloud will be the same spiritually in our lives.  When you keep sending up praise, that cloud, like a rain cloud, can only hold so much before it releases and comes bursting down. It’s a cloud of God’s blessing raining down favor, keeping you protected, giving you good breaks, and making sure you are always in blossom.

When times grow difficult and thoughts of “It’s never going to change” come into your mind, that is when it’s time to switch over into praise and say, “Father, I want to thank You that You’re changing things in my favor.” Remember, God has promised to prosper us even in the desert!

Living in the Rain

“Just as the rain and snow descend from the skies and don’t go back until they’ve watered the earth, making things grow and blossom…so will the words that come out My mouth not come back empty-handed. They’ll do the work I sent them to do” (Isaiah 55:10-11, Message).

Rain is symbolic of God’s blessing, favor, and refreshing. His Word is like rain that causes us to flourish and blossom in every area of life. The scripture says we should live like a well-watered garden, vibrant and growing. We should live under God’s cloud of blessing. How do we do that? In the natural, a cloud is formed when moisture vapors rise up from the earth into the atmosphere. Eventually, the moisture is so abundant that the rain begins to fall. In the same way, your praise is like the invisible vapors that rise up to heaven and form a cloud. Eventually, your praise will activate an outpouring of God’s blessing, favor, and provision in your life.

Do you feel like you are in a dry season? Begin to praise and thank God that He is bringing you through to a place of refreshing. Magnify and bless Him for His goodness in your life. As you turn up your praise, God will turn up the rain and you will experience His abundant outpouring. You’ll experience His blessing and provision and live as an over comer in every area of your life.