Keys to an Abundant Life
Most people never experience life to the extent they were meant to. Having a good job and making money doesn’t mean you will experience fullness of life. Many who have been successful and had more than they could have ever dreamed still end up disappointed.
Jesus said, “I am come that they might have life and life more abundantly” (John 10:10). Abundant living doesn’t just fall in our lap. So what can we do to move toward this abundant life Jesus promised?
Experiencing fulness of life is a choice. We must choose life! We can choose to either be in a funk or choose to enjoy the life we have. The Bible says, “See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, and death and adversity; I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, both you and your descendants” (Deuteronomy 30:15 and 19).
Be Faithful in the Small Things (Luke 16:10-12; Matthew 25:29)
Life is not a broad (long) jump. We don’t go from step one to step ten all at once. We must move from step 1, 2, 3, and so on, one step at time. We must be trustworthy in the little things of life first if we ever expect to experience the big opportunities in life. That’s why tithing is so important. (Read also Matthew 25:14-29)
Have an Attitude of Gratitude (Ephesians 5:19-20; 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18; Philippians 2:14)
Be thankful instead of complaining. It is so easy to complain. I have struggled with this somewhat my entire life. We can easily develop the outlook that if we don’t complain we don’t care. We will find ourselves getting to the other side of difficulties much quicker if we would adapt an attitude of gratitude.
Don’t Focus on or Neglect Yourself (Philippians 2:3-5)
We live in a world in which we are taught to look out for number one. If your entire focus is on yourself you will always end up empty. On the other hand, you can’t neglect yourself either. The key is to find the balance in completely focusing on yourself and looking outside yourself to the needs of others.
Maintain a Sober Estimation of Yourself (Romans 12:3)
Many either think too much or too little of themselves. It’s either one extreme or another. Some think they are all that – the world revolves around and can’t get along without them. Still others have too low of an estimation of themselves. They tend to think they are of no value, worthless, and can’t do anything. Balance is the key. The truth is without an element of ego no one would ever accomplish a thing.
Pursue Excellence (Philippians 1:10)
Many just want to get by and experience the bare minimum. They are addicted to mediocrity. They live this way in all areas of their life. If we are going to get the most out of life we will have to give everything our best.
Be a Visionary (Proverbs 29:18; Hebrews 12:2; Philippians 3:12-14)
You will only accomplish what you first envision (John 5:19). My good friend, Dr. Dave Rahn once said, “Future direction is much more significant than past successes or failures.” Keep your eyes off the past and on what’s ahead of you.
Keep your eyes on the course (your goals, dreams, or vision) God has set before you. Blinders on horses are used to keep them from looking away at other things, getting distracted and their eyes off the course. We need spiritual blinders to keep us on course.
Have a Support System (Hebrews 10:24-5; Acts 13:1-3)
Every one of us will need help at one time or another. We all go through times of difficulty. You can’t conquer life solo. We need the support of others. Get with a group of people who are positive, uplifting, and encouraging. Meet with them on a regular basis. Peter and John, when threatened, “went to their own company” (Acts 4:23).
We all need our own company to go to in times of trouble. Those who won’t condemn us but who will be there to support, pray for and encourage us. When Peter was arrested “prayer was being made fervently for him by the church” (Acts 12:5). Now that’s support.
Be Positive (Philippians 4:8; Proverbs 23:7a)
We live in a negative world. We’re surrounded by negative things and people. When you pick up a newspaper or watch the news most of the emphasis is on the negative. If we are to get the most out of life we are going to have to be different. Have you ever seen negative, critical people who had peace and joy (Romans 14:19a)? Let’s make a disciplined effort to retrain our thinking and outlook.
Have Faith (Romans 12:3)
Everyone has an element of faith. For instance, when you enter a room and sit in a chair you demonstrate faith in the chair. You did so when you sat in it. You were confident the chair would hold you up if you sat in it.
- Faith outside of yourself. Everyone needs something outside yourself that you can look to and trust in. Otherwise, we are doing nothing but trusting in ourselves and you will inevitably let yourself down at some time or another and most of us do so quite frequently. You need something (someone) you look to greater than yourself. Hopefully that is God Almighty.
- Faith in yourself (Philippians 4:13; Proverbs 23:7a). Believe in what you can do and are good at. Most aren’t good at everything but you can find a few things that you are really good at. Be confident in yourself and what you can do.
- Act in faith (Hebrews 4:2; James 2:17). If your going to accomplish anything you will have to step out and do something. Just like sitting in the chair, you must exercise faith and step out and do whatever it is that you are believing and hoping for. There are things in life that if you don’t jump in and do you will never get done. It will at times be scary, but ever so rewarding.
- Speak in faith (Proverbs 18:20-21). I am not nor have I ever been part of the Word of Faith movement. Nevertheless, there is always an element of truth in everything. We mustn’t throw the proverbial baby out with the bath water. We must declare what we are believing God for. What we speak forth comes from our heart. Jesus said, “Out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45). The wise man said, “As he thinks in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7).
If negative things are spewing out of our mouth perpetually, that is probably what we believe. We must change our heart and as a result change what we say. We will ultimately become what we believe and speak forth. Let’s renew our minds and hearts (Romans 12:2) and begin to speak forth what we believe God for in our life – His goodness (Romans 11:22, Hebrews 9:11, James 1:17)
Be Audacious (Proverbs 28:1b)
Boldness is the absence of fear. But you may say, what if I fail? What if you don’t? What if you succeed? There will be times you do fail, but you won’t always. If you never try you will never succeed. Those who shrink back in fear and never step out in faith and try things will never accomplish a thing. Those throughout history who have accomplished great things frequently failed. They often failed an innumerable amount of times before actually succeeding. Be bold and try things.
Work Hard (Proverbs 10:4; Hebrews 6:11-12)
The harder you work the luckier you’ll become. There is simply no short cut to good old fashion hard work. The lazy never experience abundance in life.
Make Steppingstones Out of Life’s Experiences (Philippians 3:14; 2 Corinthians 4:7-18; 11:23-33)
Life will throw difficult things your way from time to time. It’s what you do with those things that will make all the difference in the world. Difficulties can cause us to stumble and defeat us in life. They can also be used as steppingstones taking us to higher ground. It’s all up to you and what you do with them. Will the things of life keep you down or will you use them as steppingstones on the upward course? Let’s choose to keep moving upward.
Never Give Up (Hebrews 12:1-3)
Quitters never experience fullness of life. “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up” ~ Thomas Edison. If we are going to have abundance in life we have to be determined to never give up. Continue moving forward and upward. Never stop! If you will refuse to quit you will overcome and get the most out of life. It’s the devil’s job to get you to give up. Never quit!