â€œNo eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love himâ€ â€“ BUT God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. 1 Corinthians 2:9-10 (NIV, my emphasis)
So often when we think of the â€˜perksâ€™ of being a disciple of Jesus â€“ we think of His words in John 10: â€œI have come that they may have LIFE â€“ and have it ABUNDANTLYâ€ (NRSV v. 10 my emphasis) And my usual interpretation of this verse brings me to thinking in terms of THIS life and the financial and abundance of THINGS and STUFF that I would like to have or be able to do. Jesusâ€™ words are â€¦ WONDERFUL. HOPEFUL. A PROMISE. But itâ€™s not about money and big houses and long vacations. Itâ€™s about the EXTRAORDINARY LIFE that God â€“ my Father â€“ wants to give to me, His daughter. Iâ€™m wishing for a skateboard for my next birthday and my Father wants to give me a personal jet! Iâ€™m complaining and feeling sorry for myself because I donâ€™t have a skateboard and my Father is waiting to teach me how to fly so I can have the jet!
Jesus said that loving God with all that I am and loving myself and others are the greatest commandments. (Matthew 22:37-40) He also said that I am to go and make disciples. So how do these to basic commands connect with an abundant life?
Itâ€™s true that I donâ€™t have much financially. Because of my Father â€“ I am already rich. I have a husband who loves God more than me. All my biological children and the many children of my heart love God more than me. We will spend all eternity together. Thatâ€™s rich. Thatâ€™s an abundant life. I could have nothing else to â€˜countâ€™ and I would be rich.
Paul says that I canâ€™t even CONCEIVE (imagine, envision, visualize, conjure up) what God has ALREADY prepared for me! He so knows me that He knows already the â€˜best of the bestâ€™ that He could have waiting for me! He gives me glimpses of what it is: in the faces of those I love, in the giggle of my grandchildren, in His creation â€“ a kitten, the Aurora Borealis, an orca whale, a rose, a soldier, Niagara Falls. His Spirit speaks to me and says, â€œLook! Look, Jody, look at what I made for you to see today! Thatâ€™s just a glimpse of what is to come for you!â€
11 You are the only one who knows what is in your own mind, and Godâ€™s Spirit is the only one who knows what is in Godâ€™s mind.
12 But God has given us his Spirit. Thatâ€™s why we donâ€™t think the same way that the people of this world think. Thatâ€™s also why we can recognize the blessings that God has given us.
13 Every word we speak was taught to us by Godâ€™s Spirit, not by human wisdom. And this same Spirit helps us teach spiritual things to spiritual people.
14 Thatâ€™s why only someone who has Godâ€™s Spirit can understand spiritual blessings. Anyone who doesnâ€™t have Godâ€™s Spirit thinks these blessings are foolish. 1 Corinthians 2:11-14 (CEV)
Oh, my friends. Let us stop today and just allow our Father to love us and show us â€¦something. Let us be expectant and keep our eyes open for just that â€¦ something â€¦ that God wants to show us. The world may be bashing us and life here is tough but God is STILL on the only throne that is eternal and the ruler of the only Kingdom that can not be destroyed. Let us live our abundant life.