Subjectivity and the Will of God

In the lead-up to the Truth Matters conference in October, we will be focusing our attention on the sufficiency, authority, and clarity of Scripture. One of our previous blog series, Looking for Truth in All the Wrong Placesstrongly emphasizes those doctrines. The following entry from that series originally appeared on June 19, 2017. -ed.

Subjectivity and the Will of God

by John MacArthur / Wednesday, August 28, 2019

If you rely on internal, subjective messages and promptings from the Lord, what prevents you from imagining the input you want from Him? Moreover, what reliable, objective mechanism exists to keep you from misinterpreting your own imagination as divine instruction?

As we saw last time, many good souls and even some heroes of our faith fall into that same error, mistaking imagination for revelation. Many—perhaps most—Christians believe God uses subjective promptings to guide believers in making major decisions. A thorough search of church history would undoubtedly confirm that most believers who lean heavily on immediate “revelations” or subjective impressions ostensibly from God end up embarrassed, confused, disappointed, and frustrated.

Nothing in Scripture even suggests that we should seek either the will of God or the Word of God (personal guidance or fresh prophecy) by listening to subjective impressions. So how are we supposed to determine the divine will?

Virtually every Christian grapples with the question of how to know God’s will in any individual instance. We particularly struggle when faced with the major decisions of adolescence—what occupation or profession we will pursue, whom we will marry, whether and where we will go to college, and so on. Most of us fear that wrong decisions at these points will result in a lifetime of disaster.

Unfortunately, many of the books and pamphlets on discerning God’s will are filled with mystical mumbo-jumbo about seeking a sense of peace, listening for a divine “call,” putting out a “fleece,” and other subjective signposts pointing the way to God’s will.

That kind of “discernment” is not at all what Scripture calls for. If we examine everything the Bible has to say about knowing God’s will, what we discover is that everywhere Scripture expressly mentions the subject, it sets forth objective guidelines. If we put those guidelines together, we get a fairly comprehensive picture of the will of God for every Christian. We can summarize them like this:

  • It is God’s will that we be saved. “The Lord is . . . not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). “God our Savior . . . desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:3–4).
  • It is God’s will that we be Spirit-filled. “Do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. . . . Be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:17–18).
  • It is God’s will that we be sanctified. “For this is the will of God, your sanctification” (1 Thessalonians 4:3).
  • It is God’s will that we be submissive. “Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right. For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men” (1 Peter 2:13–15).
  • It is God’s will that we suffer. “Therefore, let those also who suffer according to the will of God entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right” (1 Peter 4:19). “For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake” (Philippians 1:29). “Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12).

 

If all those objective aspects of God’s will are realities in your life, you needn’t fret over the other decisions you must make. As long as the options you face do not involve issues directly forbidden or commanded in Scripture, you are free to do whatever you choose.

Whatever you choose? Yes, within the limits expressly set forth in God’s Word. If those five objective principles are consistently true in your life—if you are saved, Spirit-filled, sanctified, submissive, and suffering for righteousness’ sake—you are completely free to choose whatever you desire.

In fact, God providentially governs your choice by molding your desiresPsalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart.” That doesn’t mean merely that He grants the desires of your heart; it suggests that He puts the desires there. So even when we choose freely, His sovereign providence guides the free choices we make! What confidence that should give us as we live our lives before God!

This is not to suggest that we should attempt to try to decipher God’s will through what we can observe of His providence. That would thrust us right back into the realm of determining truth subjectively. But we can be confident as we make choices that God will providentially work all things together in accord with His perfect will (Romans 8:28Ephesians 1:11). We needn’t be paralyzed with fear that a wrong decision might ruin our lives forever.

There are some caveats that need to be stressed here: Obviously if your desires are sinful, selfish, or wrongly motivated, then you are not really Spirit-filled, or else you are not pursuing sanctification the way you should. Your first responsibility is to set those areas of your life in order. In other words, if you are pursuing self-will and fleshly desire, you have stepped out of God’s will with regard to one or more of the major objective principles. You need to come into line with the objective, revealed will of God before you can make whatever decision you may be contemplating.

And again, our freedom to choose extends only to issues not specifically addressed in Scripture. Obviously, no one who is truly saved, Spirit-filled, sanctified, submissive, and suffering for Christ would willfully disobey the Word of God. No Christian has the freedom, for example, to violate 2 Corinthians 6:14by marrying an unbeliever.

Above all, we must use biblical wisdom in the choices we make. We are to apply wisdom to all our decisions. Look again at the beginning of Ephesians 5:17: “Do not be foolish.” To be Spirit-filled is to be wise—to be discerning (see Exodus 35:31Deuteronomy 34:9; also see Ephesians 5:18 with Colossians 3:16). The biblical wisdom that is the hallmark of the Spirit-filled person is the platform on which all right decision making must be based. We are to consider our options in this light and pursue the choices that seem most wise—not merely what feels best (Proverbs 2:1–6).

This means that if we contemplate God’s will biblically, we will remain in the realm of objective truth. The Bible never encourages us to try to determine God’s will by subjective impressions, “promptings” from the Holy Spirit, the “still, small voice” of God, or miraculous signs like Gideon’s fleece (Judges 6:36–40). If we seek to be led in subjective ways like those—especially if we neglect objective truth and biblical wisdom—we will surely run into trouble. Making decisions based on subjective criteria is a subtle form of reckless faith.

One of the significant contributions of Garry Friesen’s landmark book, Decision Making and the Will of God, is a chapter that explores the pitfalls of attempting to discern the will of God through subjective impressions. “Impressions Are Impressions” is the title of the chapter. [1] “If the source of one’s knowledge is subjective,” Friesen writes, “then the knowledge will also be subjective—and hence, uncertain.” [2]

At one point Friesen raises the question, “how can I tell whether these impressions are from God or from some other source?” He writes,

This is a critical question. For impressions could be produced by any number of sources: God, Satan, an angel, a demon, human emotions (such as fear or ecstasy), hormonal imbalance, insomnia, medication, or an upset stomach. Sinful impressions (temptations) may be exposed for what they are by the Spirit-sensitized conscience and the Word of God. But beyond that, one encounters a subjective quagmire of uncertainty. For in nonmoral areas, Scripture gives no guidelines for distinguishing the voice of the Spirit from the voice of the self—or any other potential “voice.” And experience offers no reliable means of identification either (which is why the question comes up in the first place). . . . Tremendous frustration has been experienced by sincere Christians who have earnestly but fruitlessly sought to decipher the code of the inward witness. [3]

Even more significant than that is the fact that Scripture never commands us to tune into any inner voice. We’re commanded to study and meditate on Scripture (Joshua 1:8Psalm 1:1–2). We’re instructed to cultivate wisdom and discernment (Proverbs 4:5–8). We’re told to walk wisely and make the most of our time (Ephesians 5:15–16). We’re ordered to be obedient to God’s commands (Deuteronomy 28:1–2John 15:14). But we are never encouraged to listen for inner promptings.

On the contrary, we are warned that our hearts are so deceitful and desperately wicked that we cannot understand them (Jeremiah 17:9). Surely this should make us very reluctant to heed promptings and messages that arise from within ourselves.

This, by the way, is one of the critical deficiencies of Wayne Grudem’s position on prophecy. While defining revelation as “something God brings to mind,” Grudem never explores the critical issue of how to determine whether an impression in the mind really comes from God. Yet this would seem to be the most pressing question of all for someone who is about to declare a mental impression a prophecy from the Lord.

By contrast, Friesen writes, “Inner impressions are not a form of revelation. So the Bible does not invest inner impressions with authority to function as indicators of divine guidance. . . . Impressions are not authoritative. Impressions are impressions.” [4] Surely this is the true path of biblical wisdom.

Haddon Robinson goes one step further: “When we lift our inner impressions to the level of divine revelation, we are flirting with divination.” [5] In other words, those who treat subjective impressions as revelatory prophecy are actually practicing a form of fortune-telling. Those willing to heed inner voices and mental impressions may be listening to the lies of a deceitful heart, the fantasies of an overactive imagination, or even the voice of a demon. Once objective criteria are cast aside, there is no way to know the difference between truth and falsehood. Those who follow subjective impressions are by definition undiscerning. Mysticism and discernment simply do not mix.

(Adapted from Reckless Faith.)

 

Additional Reading on Psalm 37:4

https://fsmandfsmwo.blog/2017/06/14/delight-yourself-in-the-lord/

https://fsmandfsmwo.blog/2018/12/14/delight-yourself-in-the-lord-2/

 

DELIGHT YOURSELF IN THE LORD

A RADiCAL Divorce Recovery Conference for Women • February 13-14 • Kansas City • "Your Heart's Desires" www.midlifedivorcerecovery.com

December 14, 2018

Dare to Trust Devotional

“Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4

Too often we read Scripture without concentrating on what we are reading and therefore miss completely what God has to say to us. We read quickly without delving into the depths of what has been written. We need to read God’s Word slowly, thoughtfully, incisively with a desire, not only to understand what is being said, but to seek to apply to our lives the truth or principle before us. With this, we need to have eyes to see, ears to hear and hearts open to respond to all God wants to reveal to us. The Holy Spirit has been given to us, not simply to dwell within our hearts, but to teach and give us discernment to understand His Word and make it a reality in our daily walk.

What do you think it means to “delight yourself in the Lord?” We quickly read the following words “and he will give you the desires of your heart” without realizing this promise is to those who “delight themselves in the Lord.” So let us see what it means to delight ourselves in the Lord.

First, “delight” means to find great joy and pleasure in someone or something. If we are to delight ourselves in the Lord we will have to withdraw from the base desires we have in the things of this world that hinder, distract, and impede the focus of our hearts on Christ. Paul admonished the believers in Corinth to “Come out from among them and be separate…touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you” (2 Corinthians 6:17). We cannot delight in the Lord when a divided heart contaminates our lives. God responds to a clean heart and pure spirit that is bent to being filled to overflowing with His Spirit.

The major thrust of our heart must be to fix our desires on HIM. We must cultivate the habit of a holy intimacy with the Lord. This takes discipline on our part responding to the Holy Spirit as He seeks to draw us unto the Lord. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you a hunger and thirst to know the Lord in a new and living way that will bring you into this personal intimate relationship. It will be the joy of your heart and the love of your life. When we are receptive and responsive to the Holy Spirit, He will create in us a peace that passes human understanding, a joy that is unspeakable and full of glory with a desire for the Lord that will enable HIM to give us the desires of our heart.

When God is the desire of our hearts, our seeming disappointments will be His appointments to prove anew His grace and mercy to us. He becomes the sufficiency for all our need “according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). Fear, anxiety, and apprehension are lost as we rest and abide in His care and compassion.

God wants to encompass our life with His presence and power. His virtues, attributes and works should be ever before us and spur us on to an abandoned faith in the One who is “the same yesterday, today and forever.” Looking steadfastly to Jesus will create a deeper admiration of who He is and elicit our allegiance, reverence, and respect. It is then we will know the joy and peace from finding our delight in the Lord. The resources of His grace are infinite.

To delight in the Lord is to find the desires of our heart the very expression of His will, plan, and purpose in our life. His desires for us become our desires. He delights to give us what will be for our good, for His glory, and to magnify His name. “Delight yourself in the Lord and he shall give you the desires of your heart.”

© 2007 by Ed Powell

A few years ago I shared the following when posting another devotional on the same subject; it holds just as true today: As I am sure most of you have heard of the “prosperity” and “name it and claim it theology” cults. They love for the second half of this verse “and he will give you the desires of your heart”(ESV) saying just ask and God will give you whatever you desire even a new Cadillac. What they fail, so miserably to do, is make the connection, that the desires of a true believers heart will always be aligned with the Lord’s will and calling for your life. This devotional clearly points out it is NEVER about you and ALWAYS about the Sovereign Lord of Lords who saved you. As we near the day that we celebrate the birth of our saviour take time to reflect upon the true desires of your heart. – Mike 

 

Delight Yourself in the Lord

Truth For Life – Daily Devotional June 14, 2017
Delight yourself in the Lord… Psalm 37:4

The teaching of these words must seem very surprising to those who are strangers to vital godliness, but to the sincere believer it is only the reminder of a recognized truth. The life of the believer is described as a delight in God, and we are reminded of the great fact that genuine faith overflows with happiness and joy.

Ungodly persons and mere professors never look upon religion as a joyful thing; to them it is service, duty, or necessity, but never pleasure or delight. If they attend to religion at all, it is either because of what they might get or because they are afraid of the consequences of neglect. The thought of delight in religious exercise is so strange to most men that no two words in their language stand further apart than holiness and delight.

But believers who know Christ understand that delight and faith are so wonderfully united that the gates of hell cannot manage to separate them. Those who love God with all their hearts find that His ways are ways of pleasantness, and all His paths are peace. The saints discover in Christ such joy, such overflowing delight, such blessedness that far from serving Him from custom, they would follow Him even though the whole world rejected Him. We do not fear God because of any compulsion; our faith is no shackle, our profession is no bondage, we are not dragged to holiness, nor driven to duty. No, our piety is our pleasure, our hope is our happiness, our duty is our delight.

Delight and true faith are as interwoven as root and flower, as indivisible as truth and certainty; they are, in fact, two precious stones glittering side by side in a setting of gold.

Tis when we taste Thy love,
Our joys divinely grow,
Unspeakable like those above,
And heaven begins below.

One-Year Bible Reading Plan

Devotional material is taken from “Morning and Evening,” written by C.H. Spurgeon, revised and updated by Alistair Begg. Copyright © 2003, Good News Publishers and used by Truth For Life with written permission.

As I am sure most of you have heard of the “prosperity” and “name it and claim it theology” cults. They love for the second half of this verse and he will give you the desires of your heart (ESV) saying just ask and God will give you whatever you desire even a new Cadillac. What they fail, so miserably to do, is make the connection, that the desires of a true believers heart will always be aligned with the Lord’s will and calling for your life. It is NEVER about you and ALWAYS about the Sovereign Lord of Lords who saved you. – Mike 

What do you Desire?

Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.Psalms 37:4

I remember thinking, when I first because a Christian, how wonderful prayer would be. All I would have to do was let God know what I wanted, and He promised that I would have it. I began searching my life for the true desires of my heart, and was surprised to find that they weren’t cars, money, or houses, but love, peace of mind, and happiness. The more I prayed, the more I became aware that the true desires of my heart were the desires of Jesus’ own heart. They had been there all along, but I had never recognized them before.

Prayer is not a way for us to make ourselves wealthy and prosperous. The Christian’s mind should be set on higher things. When we pray to the Lord, always remembering to say, “Thy will done,” we will find the truth of Christ squarely centered in our lives.

Prayer: There are few people I would rather spend my time with than You. Lord, though often I don’t spend time with You as I should. Forgive me when I forget to turn to You. Make Your desires my desires. Amen.

{True believers claim Christ and Christ alone; we stand on the Word, Sola Scriptura alone for our desires is that of glorifying God alone, Soli Deo gloria, alone. Mike}

From: http://www.crosswalk.com

 

 

The Abundant Life

 

Preached Aug 27, 2014 @ Lakeshore Baptist Church

image.pngThe 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

John 10:10

 

 

    Because of the weakness in doctrinal teaching from pulpits today many buy into the false teachings of these name and claim it prosperity teachers. They want you to believe that simply becoming a Christian (how is another matter) entitles you to a better life. That is a life filled with joy and riches.

    According to Kenneth Copland; Bible believers should receive a hundredfold return on their giving. Really? Here are some of the texts they use to justify that position.

Genesis 26:12 Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received in the same year an hundredfold: and the LORD blessed him.

Mark 4:20 And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.

Mark 10:29-30 And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s, 30 But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.

2 Corinthians 9:6-12 But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. 7Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. 8And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work: 9(As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever. 10 Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;) 11Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God. 12For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God;

    Another says; God wants to do something new and supernatural in your life. Did you know He wants to do something supernatural in your finances? L. Comes; of Joel Osteen Ministries quotes:

Isaiah 43:19 says, “Behold, I am doing a new thing! …Do you not perceive it and know it and will you not give heed to it? I will even make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” (AMP)

He then says; can you perceive it? Are you making room for it in your mind, or have you already made up your mind not to expect anything new due to your present circumstances? God is interested in all your needs, desires, and even, your prosperity. In fact, Psalm 35:27 says that God delights in the prosperity of His people.

    Really? I am not sure how Is 43:19 relates but ss that what Ps 35:27 really says?

ESV PS 35:27 Let those who delight in my righteousness shout for joy and be glad and say evermore, “Great is the LORD, who delights in the welfare of his servant!”

    The KJV says “which has pleasure in your prosperity”. Listen it is a matter of rightly discerning the Word of God. The Greek word used for prosperity is Shalowm, yes the word most folks would associate with peace. Its most common meanings are completeness, soundness, welfare, and peace. Yes it does mean health and prosperity but ONLY in the context of our welfare.

    Ok before I chase a rabbit let us go back to our base text:

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 John 10:10

    There can be no doubt that Christ came to give life. Equally we can see that the life He offers is an abundant one. So I ask you, are the claims of these modern pulpiteers valid? I dare say not. One must read in context what Jesus is speaking of in order to understand the abundant life we are promised.

    Our Lord has just finished telling all that he has come into this world for JUDGEMENT John 9:39, then starts His discourse in being the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd that has come not to steal kill or destroy His flock but give them life (eternal) not only an ordinary life but an abundant one.

Strong’s lists the Greek word here for abundant as Perissos – per-e-sows’

• Exceeding some number or measure or rank or need

• Over and above, more than is necessary, superadded

• Exceeding abundantly, supremely

• Something further, more, much more than all, more plainly

• Superior, extraordinary, surpassing, uncommon

• Pre-eminence, superiority, advantage, more eminent, more remarkable, more excellent

    Again there can be no doubt that God’s intent is for us to have an abundant life. So let’s look closely at what I believe the bible tells us about it. I want to break it into three sections for ease of study. They are God’s Plan, God’s Purpose and Man’s Performance.

God’s Plan

    God’s plan is simple and unchanging from before the foundation of the earth. His plan was always for our wellbeing, always focused on Christ, fulfilled in Christ and by His Grace and mercy alone.

    Does God’s plan include great health, wealth and prosperity (material) in this life? For some yes, to claim it is for everyone is to make a mockery of scripture. I know many a Pastor, far greater men than me who struggle to make ends meet, who have infirmities and consider themselves greatly blessed by God.

    Consider this if God’s plan was for everyone to be “prosperous” with things of this world why bother with the first commandment? Since for certain our focus would shift away from God unto those material things.

Isaiah 35:2 Was predicted for the New Covenant

It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the Lord, and the excellency of our God.

Psalm 72:7 Fulfilled in Christ

In his days shall the righteous flourish; and abundance of peace so long as the moon endureth.

Romans 5:17-18,20 Given through Chris

17 For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) 18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. 20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:

Ephesians 1:3-6 By Grace alone

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: 4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

God’s Purpose

    I am not God. Ok, I know Duh! So I cannot be (nor anyone for that matter) expected to know God’s purpose in every circumstance. What I do know is He is sovereign and in control of everything. That He always without fail looks out for the best interest of his children. That the things we go through in life are used to [provide us with greater rewards; the ability for greater service; more joy, thanks and rejoicing; and to recharge the batteries when needed.

Matt 13:11-12 Greater Reward 11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. 12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.

1 Cor 15:10 Greater Service But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.

2 Cor 8:2 More Joy How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality.

2 Cor 4:15, 9:12 More Thanks

• For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.

• For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God;

Phil 1:26 Added Rejoicing That your rejoicing may be more abundant in Jesus Christ for me by my coming to you again.

Titus 3:5-6 Renewal and Reenergize Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; 6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;

    God abundantly provides for us. He has furnished all we need in this life. Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ understood this when he wrote 2 Peter 1:3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:

Man’s Performance

    If you are still with me we have learned that God has a plan and purpose for our lives. Now what do we do with that? Sit back and reap the benefits? Complain when we see those (believers and non-alike) around us with more stuff? Maybe we should be like the psalmist and declare: The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O Lord, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands. (PS 138:7) And maybe as we rejoice in His Grace and mercy we can finally recognize what James meant when he wrote For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also (2:26).

   The true measure of a man is not is the worldly stuff he possesses. No the true worth of a man is found in his obedience and relationship to God.

Lev 26:3-13 Given to the obedient 3 If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them; 4 Then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit. 5 And your threshing shall reach unto the vintage, and the vintage shall reach unto the sowing time: and ye shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely. 6 And I will give peace in the land, and ye shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid: and I will rid evil beasts out of the land, neither shall the sword go through your land. 7 And ye shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword. 8 And five of you shall chase an hundred, and an hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight: and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword. 9 For I will have respect unto you, and make you fruitful, and multiply you, and establish my covenant with you. 10 And ye shall eat old store, and bring forth the old because of the new. 11 And I set my tabernacle among you: and my soul shall not abhor you. 12 And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people. 13 I am the Lord your God, which brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, that ye should not be their bondmen; and I have broken the bands of your yoke, and made you go upright.

Deut 11:26-28 We have a choice Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; 27 A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you this day: 28 And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the Lord your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known.

Eccl 5:10-12 Worldy Abundance cannot fulfill us 10 He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity. 11 When goods increase, they are increased that eat them: and what good is there to the owners thereof, saving the beholding of them with their eyes? 12 The sleep of a labouring man is sweet, whether he eat little or much: but the abundance of the rich will not suffer him to sleep.

Mal 3:10-12 and Matt 6:32-33 Is conditional

10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. 11 And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts. 12 And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the Lord of hosts.

• 32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Luke 12:15 Not the measure of a man 21 So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God. 22 And he said unto his disciples, therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on. 23 The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment.

Luke 12:23-21 Can be forfeited 15 And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth

    One of the other prime scriptures used to declare God wants us to be healthy wealthy and wise as it were is:

Psalm 37:4 1 Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.  2 For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.  3 Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.  4 Delight thyself also in the LORD: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart 5 Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass

    Can you identify their glaring error? Delight thyself in abundance? Commit thy ways to Abundance? Of course not how absurd; we are to delight in and commit to Christ. Who in case anyone forgot is the Word of God In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God John 1:1 and we have just seen what the Word of God really says about this abundant life.

C.H. Spurgeon; in his work Treasury of Scripture Knowledge on Ps 37:4 says: There is an ascent in this third precept. He, who was first bidden not to fret, was then commanded actively to trust and now is told with holy desire to delight in God. Delight thyself also in the Lord. Make Jehovah the joy and rejoicing of thy spirit. Bad men delight in carnal objects; do not envy them if they are allowed to take their fill in such vain idols; look thou to thy better delight, and fill thyself to the full with thy more sublime portion. In a certain sense imitate the wicked; they delight in their portion — take care to delight in yours, and so far from envying you will pity them. There is no room for fretting if we remember that God is ours, but there is every incentive to sacred enjoyment of the most elevated and ecstatic kind. Every name, attribute, word, or deed of Jehovah, should be delightful to us, and in meditating thereon our soul should be as glad as is the epicure who feeds delicately with a profound relish for his dainties. And he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. A pleasant duty is here rewarded with another pleasure. Men who delight in God desire or ask for nothing but what will please God; hence it is safe to give them carte blanche. Their will is subdued to God’s will, and now they may have what they will. Our innermost desires are here meant, not our casual wishes; there are many things which nature might desire which grace would never permit us to ask for; these deep, prayerful, asking desires are those to which the promise is made.

    Let us look back to our main text for a moment before I close. Dr. Gill in his commentary makes an interesting point: the sense is, that Christ came that his people might have eternal life, with more abundant evidence of it than was under the former dispensation, and have stronger faith in it, and a more lively hope of it: or, as the words may be rendered, “and that they might have an abundance”: besides life, might have an abundance of grace from Christ, all spiritual blessings in him now, and all fullness of joy, glory, and happiness hereafter.

CONCLUSION

    The story has been the same throughout the ages God does want His chosen to have an abundant life. 1 John 1:1-4 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; 2 (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. 4 And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.

That joyful abundant life we all crave is available to those who:

• Are obedient to His commands

• Put away sin

• Ask God for it

• Are unselfish in asking

• Are committed to asking

• Expect it in Faith

• Accept whatever is given if it was good enough for Jesus it is good enough for us.  Matt 26:42 He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.

In HIS Service