Thursday, November 11, 2010

Living out of Abundance

Recently, my church hosted a conference with Eric Johnson (son of Bill Johnson, Bethel Church in Redding, CA). He spoke several times on living from a place of abundance- and it has completely wrecked me (in a good way). So, I thought I'd share some of it with you, and see if you get wrecked by it too!

Fruit vs. Report
Every day we are bombarded with tons of bad reports and some good ones too. For some reason, it is often easier to believe the bad stuff over the good? Why is this? Why do we question good news? For example- you may here that your Great Aunt has been diagnosed with cancer, and has only a week to live. That same day, you may hear of a friend who has been completely healed of cancer and is 100% healthy. My gut reaction to the Great Aunt- is sympathy and empathy. My reaction to the friend is often- Wow! Really? I'll say it again-

Why are we so quick to believe bad news? Why do we question good news?

In Numbers: The Israelites had been wandering around in a desert for years, and they finally come to the land that God promised to them. They send a bunch of guys to go and check out the land and bring back a report. The guys literally bring back the fruit from the land and tell everyone of its abundance, but then they bring the report- There are giants, and they are stronger than we are! Numbers 13 says, "they gave a bad report". I absolutely LOVE Caleb and Joshua's response. They chose to focus on fruit. They said,

"The land we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land. If the Lord delights in us, the He will bring us into this land and give it to us.....Only do not rebel against the Lord, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the Lord is with us. Do not fear them."

When we choose to focus on the report and what we see, we miss an opportunity to see what He sees. There are so many things that we encounter every day, and we have a choice- do we walk in fear or faith? The Associate Pastor at my church likes to ask? What is your "F" word? Fear or Faith?

So how do we choose faith?

As soon as I had children, I became really good friends with fear. I felt like "if I don't worry about this, then no one will- and something bad will happen!". YUCK! Fear felt way more comfortable than faith. Faith felt more like neglect and carelessness. Not true.

I think that the Jesus used the mustard seed not to show us how much he can do with how little, but to show us that faith is a process and it will grow.

Living in a Place of Abundance
So the question rose up within me, do I really believe that God will take care of my family? I realized that I really don't. I believed that God can give me wisdom on how to take care of my family, but not that I can entrust Him with the care of my family. wow.
I also realized that about 90% of my prayer life consists of just asking him for things. Last I checked, that's not much of a relationship. I want a relationship. I have challenged myself to limit how much I ask God for things- its my way of boosting my level of faith and trust in Him.

And it is working.

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