Instead of making New Year’s resolutions, every year between Thanksgiving and the new year I start praying for a word of some kind for the upcoming year. This year, I really felt God impressed on my heart the scripture John 10:10 along with the words “life, and life more abundantly.”
I love how Jesus wanted to make it perfectly clear in John 10:10 who was doing the stealing, destroying and killing (the enemy), and that His purpose was to come and give life and life more abundantly. God wants to bless us. He came to destroy sickness, poverty, and the works of the enemy. He came to give us life and life abundantly. This abundant life is void of sickness, hopeless, fear and poverty. God gets blamed a lot for sickness and bad things. People think He does these things to bring Himself glory and to help teach us. But that’s only a lie from the enemy. He, the enemy, wants to see us sick and poor. The enemy does not want to see us living the abundant life. Jesus said that if we have seen Him we have seen the Father because He (Jesus) only does what He sees from the Father. Jesus is revealing to us the nature of God. He is showing us who God is. Jesus never put sickness on someone. Jesus never tormented someone. Jesus never left someone where they were. This is who God is. If it really were the will of God for us to go through challenges and sickness to teach us things or to give God glory, then we would have seen Jesus do it! But we don’t. You can’t find a single example of Jesus refusing to heal someone because the person needs to go through it to be closer to God or for any reason whatsoever.
People will call you selfish if you want the blessing of God. People will think you’re not a “good Christian” if you desire good things from God. But the truth is, that’s what God wants more than anything! Blessing us is what gives Him the most glory. Blessing us bring Him pleasure. It is God’s will for us to live this abundant life Jesus died to give to us.
Have you ever wanted to give your child a new toy that you knew would bless them, but when you said, “come here” they ignored you? I’ve gotten so frustrated at times like this because I’m thinking, “just obey. I’m trying to bless you! You have no idea what I want to do for you.” Well, welcome to God’s world with us! We get sick and say, “God show me what You’re trying to teach me in this! God, I don’t know why You are putting me through this, but I trust you.” and God is like, “Come to me! By My stripes you WERE healed! It is not my will that ANY should perish. I have come to give you life and life more abundantly. It is my good pleasure to give you My kingdom.” Being a parent has taught me so much about how patient and loving God is with us (LOL). I would never put sickness on my children, and yet Christians think God does it to us all the time. If you would do anything to help your child get well, or do anything so they don’t even get sick in the first place, then why do you think God wouldn’t do the same for us? Even when my children are disobeying and get hurt as a result of their own disobedience, I never willed it to happen to them. That was not my doing or even my desire so they’ll “know better next time.” I would never let them get hurt to teach them how to obey me. That’s abuse. I want the best for my children at ALL times. And you know what? Jesus said in Matthew 7:11, “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” I am no better than God. I’m not nearly as good as God. So if I would do anything to bless my children, God would too. God has an abundant life for us to live. I want to live the life He has for me and that includes His blessings – for the spirit, soul, and body.
We had been feeling for almost year that God was wanting to move us to a different church. We absolutely LOVED our church and especially our pastor so this was very difficult. We started praying about where we might potentially want to go to church if we did make a switch, and we just didn’t feel peace about anyplace. When Covid stay at home orders came in, we started live streaming our regular church service. Around May or so, a newer church plant was doing live stream only services until their church building was complete. The pastor was in our “circle” and was even a guest teacher at the Bible school Daniel works at. So we started live streaming both our regular church’s service and the new church’s service every Sunday. We started feeling a tug at our hearts that this was the church God wanted us to be a part of. We decided that whenever they had their first in-person service that we would go and try it out. We both felt like once we tried it, we’d know if that was where we are supposed to be or not.
I bring all this up to say, two days after I got this John 10:10/life more abundantly word, we went to the opening of the church. The pastor said that in his family at the end of every year they would pray about the upcoming year and get a word. I was so excited and surprised that they did this as well. Guess what the word for the church was? John 10:10 – This is the end of sickness and disease, and the beginning of life and life more abundantly. God is so good. I really believe that God is moving us in this season of our lives to get us where He wants us to be. I believe we will grow as a family and receive life and life more abundantly more than ever before. As I’ve mentioned before, the decision to change churches was not an easy one. We prayed a lot about it. We cried about it. There was/is nothing wrong with the church – I grew SO much in that church and I will always be so incredibly thankful for that church, and glad I obeyed God when He directed me to that church. The pastor sowed so much into me and he became such a mentor and part of our family. He performed mine and Daniel’s wedding ceremony. He did the baby dedication for Olivia. He feels like family to us. But I also know that you have to be where God calls you. And we believe we’ve been called to move. We’re excited about our new church and look forward to the amazing things God has for us here, but it is definitely very bittersweet. My post got a little derailed and I went off on a rabbit trail just so that I could include God’s faithfulness in that story of confirming His word to us for 2021 as well as confirming which church He was calling us to. God is so good.
2021 is a year where we step fully into God’s abundant life for us. This is the end of sickness and disease, and the beginning of life and life more abundantly. So here’s to 2021, full of change but I know it will be overflowing with blessings and life more abundantly!