I was sitting at our dining room table, pregnant with our younger daughter, slowly going through the motions of the day. The cup of decaf coffee rested on the table, untouched. Before me, I had my Bible open to a page which showed highlighted marks of much rereading of the same passage. Just days before, I had decided to study once again the Gospel of John. The dear apostle’s love story about the Savior has long been one of my favorites. I was feeling a bit lost, in a spiritual desert, questioning God about the past months’ events. A failing business which caused great financial stress headed an ever-growing list of complaints that I had been bringing to God daily in prayer.
I was on the tenth chapter of John when I read the verse that would propel me into a new phase of my spiritual walk. This verse was there, highlighted and underlined, proof that it had been studied several times before. But that day, John 10:10 jumped out of the page to embrace my heart: “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”
I sat there for a minute, drinking it in.
Abundant life?! “I am not living an abundant life!” I admitted to myself. Maybe overly hectic and certainly full, but not the kind of abundance of which Jesus spoke. Not at all.
While meditating on Jesus’ words, a sober realization filled my soul. I was going through the motions of religion: attending church, reading the Bible and saying my prayers. But deep down inside, I felt empty and, well, unfulfilled. My faith was shallow and my walk was frail. No, life was not abundant at all.
The realization of my fragile spirituality made me genuinely sad. My fluctuating pregnancy hormones helped me admit that I could benefit from a good cry. However, more than anything else, I realized that I wanted more. The very abundant life that Christ promised, that’s what I wanted. A rock-solid faith, one that saw beyond one’s circumstances, that’s what I needed. Yes, I wanted what Jesus promised and I became determined to find it!
I found out that I was not alone. According to a Barna Group survey from 2006, 45% of Americans were professed born-again Christians. If that is true, how can we explain the state our society is in today? If more Christians lived from Monday through Saturday the lives that we sing about on Sunday morning, not only our nation, but our world would be a better, happier place.
Unfortunately, I am afraid our group is not confined to the space outside our church doors. You will actually find us saying powerful, moving prayers in front of our Bible study groups; you will find us lifting our hands up high in worship on Sunday mornings and even serving in different ministries within our churches.
However, if you were to look inside our hearts and minds, you would probably find a disconnection between what we say is true and how we actually live and act in our lives, simply because we do not really know how to apply God’s truths to our lives. Bridging the infamous 12-inch distance between one’s brain and one’s heart is decisive when it comes to living a purposeful, spirit-filled, world-stunning life.
Can you relate? Do you feel like there is a disconnection between what you say you believe and how you act out your faith? This was a challenge that led me to a spiritual awakening that changed my life forever and inspired me to write my first book. And given the comments and reviews that I have received so far, it seems like we are all thirsty to find that abundant life.
Patricia Holbrook is a Christian author and national conference speaker. Her first book “12 Inches: Bridging the Gap Between What You Know and How You Feel About God” is now on Kindle, and pre-selling at Barnes and Nobles, Amazon and other retailers worldwide. Visit her blog to read her devotionals at www.soaringwithhim.com or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
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