Abundant Living

DSC_0099001_1499142684805I just saw someone get hit by a car.

What the heck? As I gasped and watched people get out of their cars to go help this girl, I couldn’t stop picturing the way she flew into the air, completely out of control and scarily vulnerable to the pain ensuing in those few panicky moments before she fell back onto the car. Her mouth wide open with agonizing screams, that I couldn’t hear through my rolled-up windows, shook me. Unfortunately, I don’t know if she’s okay – I didn’t really know what to do, so I stopped for a couple minutes and then some people in front of me got out of their cars and rushed to help. I ended up driving past eventually. It got me thinking – what? That was literally my question – what just happened? What in the world? What is this?

Maybe to some of you the idea of seeing someone get hit by a car isn’t super weird, but I was so caught off guard!

So, my questions turned into one question – what does this mean?

Life is so fragile.

On top of this, I received the all too familiar message about my grandmother – back in the hospital again. What the heck? What does this mean?

Life is so fragile.

Heart Prep

The last few days, I’ve been meditating on God’s promises to me – the way He’s made personal promises to me about who He’s calling me to be, where He’s calling me to go, and I’ve been struck by how much resistance I’ve given Him.DSC_0083

One life. That’s it. I don’t want to waste it doing things that don’t matter and aren’t in accordance with what He is calling me to – “Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18) As I walk in joy, prayer, and gratitude, everything else will make a lot more sense when I’m trying to hear His voice and walk in His calling – I have to start with joy, prayer, and thanksgiving and continue with those things being ever-present in my heart for the rest of my life if I really want to fully live.

One life. That’s it. I don’t want to spend it doing selfish things that try to capture other people’s attention – the goal is eternal.

“If you live for people’s acceptance, you will die from their rejection.” (Lecrae)

I have one life, and I don’t want to spend it sitting comfortably in my routine – if you’re not uncomfortable, if you’re not being stretched, if you’re not being challenged, check where you are with God. Granted, there will always be seasons where we are just resting – us and God – but there’s always stretching, always growing, that we can do in the midst of every situation.

“Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.” (Colossians 2:7)

Press in in every season because there’s a great deal of growth we can always be experiencing – perfection doesn’t come until after our dying breath, so until then, I’ll do what I can to learn what it looks like to continue pressing in – spending all my time pushing towards the goal, pushing towards eternity, doing everything to just get more of Him – “I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” (Philippians 3:12-14)

That’s where the abundant life Jesus talks about comes from – walking in His will.

But much like you might do, I often find myself asking – how do I know His will? And the answer I always hear is – Press in! Pray more! Seek Him more! And my question is always – HOW?! How do I reach these places of abundance?

Sitting

For the longest time I didn’t know, but then it hit me. Much like when you’re searching for internal healing, it’s important to let other people speak truth over you. We were made for

community, and other people have gifts that God has given them so that they can influence you. The most profound ways God has moved in my life has started with prophecy and a willingness to step into how God wants to speak through other people.

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However, we can’t simply rely on people to tell us what God wants us to hear – sit down and read the Bible. Stare at the same verse over and over again if you have to. Write about one verse – what sticks out to you? And just keep reading it – over and over again until truth gets to your core. Until truth gets through all your walls, through all your insecurities, through your shame, through the darkness of your heart. How do you do that? Let healing take place in the deepest parts of your heart. Well, how do I let healing take place? If you haven’t yet, look at this post from a few days ago – This is Where the Healing Begins. Learn what it looks like to sit in your pain, share your story, be vulnerable with God – then once He’s reached in and cleaned out your deep, painful wounds in the darkest places of your heart, He can fill them. You’ll find it a lot easier to hear Him whisper to your heart in the everyday moments, in big moments, in sad moments, in joyful moments, and most of all, walking in the will He has laid out for your life will be much clearer as the pressing in to His heart becomes a natural desire and drive for your soul.

But you have to let Him clean you out. It’s like when you pour hydrogen peroxide on a wound – it hurts a ton, but then, in a little while, it heals correctly, doesn’t get infected, and allows your body to act in the way it ought to instead of moving in a modified way because of the pain of a deeply infected, incorrectly healed, scabbed and bleeding scar.

Then, at this point of great vulnerability, with our dirty, infected wounds wide open, God begins to work on our wounds, and things make a lot more sense when we’re that intimate with God – that’s where He whispers, and we can actually hear. You have to be close to hear a whisper.

“After the earthquake a fire passed; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.” (1 Kings 19:12)

Don’t waste your life, but don’t live in fear that you are wasting it – just live.

Just live knowing you can ask how and why and what the hell?! God wants to answer our questions, and He uses so many things to do that – people, His word, prayer, silence…

“Be still, and know that I am God!” (Psalm 46:10)

That’s a command, by the way. Be still! Be still! Be still! In fact, “be still” in this verse actually means let go.

Let go, and know that I am God!

Well – how do I “let go”? Go to a quiet place, and sit. Sit in silence, sit with yourself, and stop going, going, going. Don’t waste your life so fast that you come to a point where you don’t know who you are, you don’t know your destiny, you don’t really know Him.

I’m convinced that Satan’s greatest goal isn’t to get us to worship him but to get our eyes off Jesus so we become ineffective. How does he get our eyes off Jesus? By interrupting our intimacy with God with pride. God communicates His calling on our lives in those quiet places, in the most vulnerable places, in the most uncomfortable places (to be honest).

Really Live20160321_121538_008

If you’re having trouble hearing God, ask – what is it that you spend most of your time thinking about because that’s what you’re putting above God. We’re stumbling on the road home, and that’s okay, but instead of settling for stumbling the rest of our lives – remind yourself of the promises of abundance He gives. We’re called to live abundantly – not in mediocrity or going through the motions.

So, why is it so hard? Because the beginning of abundant living is uncomfortable. So, get uncomfortable. Getting uncomfortable isn’t about being in some weird place where something feels off – it’s about sitting in the broken places, recognizing your pain, praying about it all, and letting God work. Don’t let the walls of pain, fear, and shame around your spirit stay standing – knock them down with truth and healing will come, and with it abundant life.

Life is to short to live it in caution, fear, and uncertainty – don’t live without risk, without hanging on to every word that comes from Him, because that’s the fullness of life that comes from the Father. Living knowing your walking in His will – that’s the abundant life we’ve been promised.

“The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” (John 10:10)

His explicit purpose is a rich and satisfying life for us – an abundant, fulfilling life. We don’t just have to hold out for eternity – how ridiculous would that be?! Expecting that we can’t exist in a place a freedom and promises fulfilled now? This is where Heaven begins – we are the citizens of Heaven, so let’s live like it!

Live in a place of freedom because that’s what you were designed for. Live in freedom, live in peace, joy, love, and above all, abide in Him – purpose found.

•••

With Love,

Hannah

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