Summary: The first in the series looks the questions: Who am I? What am I? Where am I? What do I really want? What God has made us to be is a foundational principle in abundant living.
12 Secrets for Abundant Living
You know God uses the funniest things sometimes to challenge my heart with a message. The latest of these was a computer game my daughter got for Christmas called Roller Coaster Tycoon. In it you build a roller coaster park and try to make a profit. Well as usual I started playing at it without reading the directions (typical guy right). After a bit of failure I finally broke down and read the instruction manual to find out what I was doing wrong and VOILA - success. As I prayed about what to share with you God struck my heart with the similarities of my experience with this game to the lives of those who come to me for guidance. Only after some measure of failure in life do we ask God how to succeed. Frankly this morning I am tired of looking around me and finding the lives of God’s people in various stages of disarray and often despair. So I want to embark on an ambitious series over the next few weeks entitled 12 Secrets for Abundant Living. It’s based on a three of foundational principles:
1. God has a plan for your life - Jeremiah 29:11 says “I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.”
2. There is a battle engaged for your life - Jesus said in John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”
3. Too many of God’s people are losing the battle - Marriages, children, finances, life. Matthew 9:36 - “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.”
I share these with you not as a ordered stepwise process - but as a series of principles that must be in place - some will follow logically in an order others will permeate the process but all come from a foundation in the instruction manual for life - God’s word. So let’s get started.
How many of you want to have God’s abundance in your life, your marriage, your children, and your work? Good well it’s starts with the answers to 4 of life’s most important questions.
Who are you? What are you? Where are you? What do you really want?
1) Who are you? - That sounds like an easy question but it really isn’t. I am not asking you for your name - that’s easy. I am asking you who you are. The sad thing is that many people can’t answer that question because they don’t really know who they are. We wear so many masks and costumes - living this elaborate game of perception - wanting people to think we are something or are not something. Wanting to be something or not be something. Often we get lost in the masks we wear and the rolls we play and don’t really know who we are anymore. Life gets easier when you know who you are and you get comfortable in your own skin. What I mean by that is that you begin to recognize yourself for who you really are (good and bad) and begin to work out that life. The great part is that God knows you - Psalm 139 begins with these words “O Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You understand my thought from afar. You scrutinize my path and my lying down, and are intimately acquainted with all my ways. Even before there is a word on my tongue, Behold, O LORD, You know it all. You have enclosed me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me.” The first step to an abundant life is figuring out who you are - that requires a question of God. “God, since you know me better than I know myself, who am I?” Show me who you made me - show me the me you created - good and bad. Help me embrace the good and God help me refine the bad for your glory.
2) What are you? Again this seems easy on the surface but too many miss it. What am I is the question, “What did God make me to be?” Again Psalm 139 speaks to us as David declares, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” Some of you today don’t know what you were created to be - find out - if you need help let’s talk. Some of you know what you are created to be but for some reason haven’t become it. Fear, frustration, bad decisions, laziness, compromise, and sometimes even success have kept you from being what God made you. Some people dropped out of school, some quit looking, some are afraid to give up what you’ve got for what you were made for. Look our decisions in life may make it harder to get to but never give up on your dream. I was a pharmacist - a lot more money - but not more happy. The path you’ve taken may take longer but it’s still worth traveling.