The Key to Abundant Life

My dog likes to prance around with her favorite toy. She takes it everywhere, including outside where she drags it through dirt, grime, and other smells that I’m glad to not know. It’s her absolute favorite, even though it is grungy and the squeaker barely works.
She plays this game where she’ll bring it to you, place it in your hands, and wait.
She did this the other day and this thought hit me.
God asks us to give Him our life. But what kinds of things do we hold on to that, when compared to God, are just as grungy and stinky?
I provide for my dog. I feed her, shelter her, love her, etc. But when her toy is in the picture, she’ll always choose it over me. God showed me that this is exactly how we treat Him. He provides for us, shelters us (from things seen and unseen), loves us, etc. We give Him our attention until our favorite things are in the picture with Him. This could look like anything from normal time consumers to hidden fixations. We tell God that He can have our everything and we say He is Lord over our life. Yet there are things that we haven’t given to Him that seem small but actually hinder our whole relationship with God. My dog’s fascination with her small grungy torn-to-pieces toy completely uproots our relationship because it matters more to her in that moment than I do. The same thing can be said for things in our life. We don’t realize it but those things could look like our children, our money, our future, and our secret addictions. These can look normal, but to live a life totally committed to God it requires trust.
Many of us, when it comes down to it, have trust issues with God. These are some of the thoughts that I know I’ve had before:
Is He really good?
Will He really satisfy me like His Word says He will?
If I give everything to Him I will just have an empty life that is boring and the world will leave me behind.
I have to compromise to have fun or to have experience.
There is a statement found several times in the Bible I have found to hold a magnitude of importance. It can be found in several passages such as Hosea 6:6, Hebrews 10:8 , and Matthew 9.
These references all say the same thing yet there is still one more reference that I’ve held close to my heart for years.

Psalm 51:16-17 says:
“You do not want a sacrifice, or I would give it;
You are not pleased with a burnt offering.
17 The sacrifice pleasing to God is a broken spirit.
God, You will not despise a broken and humbled heart.”

The Lord wants every part of our heart and life. He is our creator and therefore knows every single one of us fully. He knows our wants, our needs, how to protect us, and how to give us live more abundantly than we can ourselves.

John 10:10b says:
“I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance.”

He promises us that when we give Him our life fully, there won’t be a void left. Rather it will be a life overflowing with more than we could imagine. He fills us not just to the brim but so much that we overflow with His presence and His attributes such as joy strength and peace.
I have told God several times that He is my all and He can take the lead in my life. But over the last two years I’ve come to realize that I had more of a grip on it than I thought. I would tell Him that He was my everything but in reality, my grades and future came first. They were my security and my hope for money and prestige. I kept coming to God, all excited like my dog does to me, but I came with my hope in something else and couldn’t let it go.
I have since realized God’s hand on my life and have learned to give those areas of my life to Him. The amount of peace I have is like none other I’ve ever felt before too. I thought I knew peace, but when I gave these final areas up to God I had this greater peace come over me. I have concrete knowledge and faith that He will protect me and hold me up. I do not have to fear my future and wonder where my needs will come from. When you give everything (literally everything) up to God, the promises He gives us become sweeter and more filling. They’re not just an added bonus, they are the tenacious gifts of our hope.
I pray that God will reveal to you what areas you may have in your life that need to fully given to Him. Trust is the hardest thing for people to do, but once you get past it there is rest like none other that comes from the Father. We can trust Him. Let go of the grungy dog toys and see the Master, God, who sees you and loves you just for who you are.

 

Picture from: ohpioneer.com

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