"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly." – John 10:10 NRSV
I think it is pretty clear in this scripture that life with Jesus is supposed to be just that, life! It is supposed to be full of living, it is not just an expectation, but it is a promise from the Lord Himself.
I have realized that I have not been living as though I have life and life abundantly. I have been living as a servant, a person in constant servitude to those around them. While serving others is not a bad thing in it of itself, it can become a bad thing when done in the absence of truth. The truth is that the Lord wants us to serve others, and to do so willingly and with love.
The thief has shown in my life by stealing the joy that comes with serving those in my family. The joy I once had has been taken and now it feels as though I have to serve them out of habit and out of expectation. This has killed the peace I once found making myself available to them and has started to destroy the image I have of what it means to be a servant.
When things are asked of me, I respond with frustration. I respond with an attitude. Sometimes I have a delayed response, or I give no response at all. That is not how it should be. John 10 talks about how sheep know their shepherd, if there is someone other than their shepherd around, they will not follow. I think I can say it has been hard for me to know my shepherd when it comes to being there for my family, when it comes to living in this area of my life.
In the times I am asked to do something for a sibling, something I would rather not, I have taken a moment to thank the Lord that I can be there for them in that way. I have also been encouraged to set boundaries and not to be firm with them. These things are helping me to regain life and are setting me up to have life abundantly; but it is not always easy, here is something I pondered:
How can I have life and have it abundantly when there is a thief trying to steal, kill and destroy?
Prayer starts a fire in the havenlies. The more I pray and spend time with the Lord, the more I will be able to experience the promise of having life and life abundantly. Prayer also keeps me close to God. I am able to know His voice and know what He looks like. That will make it easier for me to see when something is presenting itself to me that is not Him, anything that is not of Him will take part in stealing a piece of the promises the Lord has spoken to me, having life and having it abundantly. Thanking the Lord for giving me the ability to help, setting boundaries and consulting His insruction gives life.
Are there any areas in your life you feel the thief has been stealing, killing or destroying a piece of your promise of having life, and life abundantly?
I will leave us with a prayer,
Father I thank you for your truth and for your word. Thank you that you desire to meet with me in prayer and to speak to me. I pray that you would help me to start having life, and life abundantly. I pray that I would be one of the sheep who knows your voice and would be aware of things that present themselves to me that are not of you. I ask that you would increase my awareness, wisdom and discernement. That I may be able to have life with you abundantly.
I pray all of these things in Jesus' name, Amen