By Elizabeth Lohr


As a teacher of home Bible fellowships in the past, I had taught this verse many times:

John 10:10:
The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

I mean, for years I taught that verse. I remember teaching that the more-abundant life meant abundance in every category: mentally, physically, financially, spiritually, etc. Wow, if a person could only believe it, he could have an almost perfect life! Or so the logic seemed to imply. One flawed implication led to another, until it seemed that if a person did not have abundance in every category, then he was not believing the Word of God. That’s not what I meant at all, but one could logically get to that point. Only now, 28 years after I seriously started studying the Bible, do I really believe that I fully understand that verse.

The life that Jesus Christ came to make available to us – life more abundant – is centering oneself in the will of God. After the new birth, being baptized in the Holy Spirit, and receiving and using the supernatural gifts of the Spirit, we are able to communicate with God freely and with certainty. At any given moment I am ready to do God’s bidding; whether I am to go here, or go there, speak this one thing, or minister to that person, or to stop and pray over a certain person or situation. It has nothing to do with what abundance in things a person has: jobs, homes, titles, money, or good marriages and wonderful kids. Or even more noble things like peace, happiness, good health, or long life. The life more abundant is not measured in things.

Paul wrote in Philippians 4:1: “I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.” But it doesn’t mean to take a vow of poverty unless God instructs you to do that, and it doesn’t mean to focus on amassing great wealth unless God directs you to do that!

The more abundant life is above the mundane things we see around us, physical comforts and nice belongings. This abundance doesn’t mean having way above our basic human needs of food, shelter, clothes, etc. (I need a house, so why not have a mansion?). It is yearning to hear God’s voice, wanting him to direct your paths, trusting him to work in you – then doing as he directs, day by day. It is using the gifts he has given you; it’s communing with him – talking and listening (prayer). A person can have fantastic homes, cars, riches, no worry over finances with millions in the bank (and thousands to tithe), but if that person doesn’t know God’s direction for his own life, he’s never satisfied, and will at times, and for sure eventually, be miserable.

To find out what God’s will is for your life doesn’t mean to spend your life trying to discover the one thing God wants you to be “when you grow up spiritually.” But when you understand something that God wants you to do, and you do it, and you know you’ve done God’s will, then the joy and satisfaction, the pleasure and awe in the knowledge that you are Almighty God’s vehicle whom he trusts to carry out his will on earth, these are the ultimate riches of the more abundant life!

Brother Andrew wrote in his book The Calling, “The real calling of God is not to a certain place or career, but to everyday obedience ... and that call is extended to every Christian.” The life more abundant is a day-by-day thing, responding to God’s voice as he directs you through your life.



From the March 2003 issue of The Vine & Branches