Friday, May 27, 2011

May 2011 - Abundance

Baseball – when throwing a ball, where you look and where you point your finger is where the ball goes, regardless of where you SAY you want it to go or even where you truly WANT it to go.  Saying and wanting are not enough. It takes focus and choice of what to point at.  Keep this illustration in mind as we continue.

You can spiral up toward God or spiral down away from Him – it is your choice; you cannot remain still.

The enemy steals, kills, and destroys. He may have stolen your hope, dreams, goals, etc., or killed or caused destruction to a person or thing that you love/treasure/etc., but don’t let him continue to steal, kill and destroy as a result of you not choosing to focus on God and the good that God IS and the good that God WILL bring forth.

So here is where it gets tough...and here is where I pray that you understand my heart and what I mean, and don't get turned off by how harsh this may come across. It is not meant as harsh, and it is difficult for me to live out - so I'm certainly not asking of you anything I am not striving for myself!  Just read it all the way through with an open mind, and ask God to show you His truth.

We can focus on the “not enough” or focus on the “abundance.”  We don’t have a “right” to ANY good thing. We have longings, often placed in our hearts by God, but we do not have a RIGHT to anything.  Rather than lament the short time we had with someone, we should be aware of and thankful for the abundance we DID have. We do not have a right to tomorrow, or even to the next second of today – for our own life, or for the lives of those we love. Every moment we HAVE had is proof of God’s blessings, of His abundance, of His love toward us. Sure, it feels like much less than love to have these losses, but each loss also represents abundance. Every good thing, every good moment, every good anything is abundantly more than we deserve. Perfect life, where our every longing was fulfilled, could only have happened in the Garden of Eden. Because we are not there, perfect life cannot happen. But God chooses to still shower abundance upon us. Can we see it? Will we choose to look for it?  Will we trust that it is there? Will we look back and realize that it has been there all along? Will we look ahead and KNOW that it will be there in our every moment?

Even if the ONLY thing you can see in your life, or in a situation, is that God was/is with you – isn’t that still proof of His abundance? For as many times as we have each failed Him, disobeyed, fallen short, He still is with us…isn’t that abundance? Yet we have so much more than that! Of course loss still hurts, and it may always hurt. Of course we grieve – God also grieves. He is not the author of stealing, killing, or destroying. He is the author of life. He is the healer, the great physician, the provider, the giver of strength. 

The enemy wants us to believe that because of one loss, or even multiple losses – because of something that was stolen, killed, or destroyed, that there will never be a time of redeeming that loss, never a time of restoring, never a time when abundance is seen again. But to believe the enemy is to allow him to continue to steal from us, to continue to kill and destroy that which God has purposed in our lives. It is to choose to miss out on the abundance that is happening all around us, the abundance of now. 

This is all about perspective. This is about remembering, grieving, longing, yes – but also about remembering, hoping, SEEING. (What will we remember? For perhaps it is the stuff of remembering that is the first step of both spirals.) Oh that we may SEE the abundance all around us – in our own lives, and not just in the lives of others. For when we see, our perspective changes. And while we grieve, we also find life. For God gives life, and he has abundance waiting for you and for me.

Back to the baseball illustration.  If we focus on the stealing, killing, and destroying, if we point out all the things around us and in our lives that are lost and stolen, then our lives will head in the negative direction, spiraling downward. The more of the negative we focus on, the more negative we see, and it is overwhelming and fills us with despair. BUT if we focus on the giving, the abundance, if we point out all the things around us and in our lives that we HAVE, things we have no right to have, we will go in a positive direction, spiraling up closer and closer to God. And the beauty of this is that as we spiral up, we see more and more of His goodness, more and more of His abundance in our lives.  Spiraling up doesn’t mean an epiphany every time you open the Bible, nor does it mean that you spend half of every day having a quiet time. It just means that you are desiring Him more, leaning into His truths, seeking His face in each day. 

It’s not some super-spirituality that only a few can attain. It is a relationship in which God is inviting each of us to share life with Him.

Where will you focus? Where will you point? Because where you look and where you point is where you will go. Want it, say it, focus on it, point toward it. Point with relentless abandon. Point even when it doesn’t make sense. Point even when everything in your natural body is screaming at the injustice of what you are experiencing. Point to God and His abundance. It is all you have. And it is everything. 

And it is enough.

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