There are many accounts in the Bible where we read of Almighty God, our heavenly Father, protecting His children.  Exodus 14 records the children of Israel’s flight from Egypt.  They were fearful when they realised Pharaoh and his army were pursuing them and lost faith in God, and Moses, as they considered the danger of their predicament.  They did not believe, or know, that God was in full control and all was going according to His plan.  That last night before the Red Sea crossing,  the angel of God protected them with a pillar of cloud as their rearguard from the Egyptians.  Darkness engulfed the enemy and separated the two companies, (Exodus 14:20).  In the morning God had miraculously parted the Red Sea and the Israelites travelled across on dry ground.  The enemy pursued them but God caused the wheels to come off their chariots, producing a riot of fear and confusion, and they drowned as the Lord returned the waters over them. This was only the beginning of the Lord’s mighty miracles of His provision and protection in the Israelites’ wilderness journey.

God takes the wheels off the enemy’s chariot!  The weapons formed against us will not prosper (Isaiah 54:17) as we trust and obey, learning to live the life fully dependent on the Holy Spirit’s guidance.

When they were most fearful of the enemy, the Lord gave the Israelites a proceeding word through Moses: “……Fear not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will show to you today: for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you shall see them again no more, forever.  The Lord shall fight for you, and you shall hold your peace”,  Exodus 14: 13-14.

God’s provision for us in our salvation is fully comprehensive, fully inclusive of all we need.  The sacrificial death of Jesus Christ gives us access to all the fulness of God.  Everything we need is found in Jesus and His abiding life.  Jesus is the full expression of His Father.  John 1:16 declares of Jesus: “And of His fulness have we all received”.  OF His fulness, so we are in measure because we are on the journey to fulness.

Jesus declared of Satan: “The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy.  I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly”,  John 10:10.  Abundant life – this covers such a large spectrum.  We live in a broken world with broken systems.  Government and Social Services are no substitute for God’s plan.  A broken system makes futile attempts to deal with broken people.  Many are a fatherless generation seeking affirmation that can only be found in Jesus Christ.  There are so many in a society that is so destroyed from the plan God purposed for family.

So……what are the characteristics of a person living this abundant life Jesus promised to us.  We live in a depraved, broken world.  Do I understand the depravity of my own heart, apart from the grace and mercy of God? Jeremiah 17:9-10 declares “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked.  Who can know it?  I, the Lord, search the heart…..”.  When we allow our old nature of the natural man to surface in any self interest, it is needful that we quickly repent at the promptings of the Holy Spirit.  If we refuse in our pride, we crash through a red traffic light and disaster surely follows in some form.  That precious peace of God flies out the window!

A person accessing the abundant life Jesus spoke of will not be critical of those operating in a depraved nature.  They are to be pitied and not to be the object of critical judgement.  Only God knows their full history and what has formed them into wrong choices they have made.

Secondly, the abiding life of Jesus will not be present in a complaining, murmuring person at their circumstances.  The complainers did not enter the Promised Land but died in the wilderness!  The Caleb spirit cries “Give me this mountain”, when faced with adversity because He knew His God.  Daniel 11: 32 “…….but the people that do know their God shall be strong and do exploits”, through the power of His might!  We serve a victorious Saviour!

Thirdly, the abiding life of Jesus will evidence in my relationships with family, friends, work colleagues and neighbours.  They will be blessed.

Finally, my responsibility in all of this is “not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil”, (Genesis 3), but to know God and what He says to me through His Holy Spirit, my Guide in this life. Remember, the good is the enemy of the best! (The knowledge of good belongs to eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil).  Consider:  How good is the good if it takes me away from God’s plan?  How evil is the evil if it brings me closer to the Lord?  God uses the negatives in our lives to teach us His ways.  Here we can learn to know and trust Him in a deeper level.

The abundant life of Jesus Christ can be present in me in every good or adverse situation.  No circumstance phases Him for He has been given ALL power by the Father.  The abundant life is evidenced in people who carry the presence, the rest of God.  Hebrews 4:9 declares “There is a rest for the people of God”.  Full provision has been made for us by Jesus.  It is our birthright, but it is our choice whether we enter into it, or not. “Choose ye this day whom ye will serve”………

We are all on this journey to fulness…..of His fulness have you all received.  We may not always hit the mark on our journey, but let us learn from our mistakes and lean on the Everlasting Arms, ever going forward with our Guide. True prosperity is living in the power of the abiding life of Jesus demonstrating His joy, peace, faith, trust, health, victory, protection, liberty and power.  It is all encompassing, fully comprehensive in His provision.

Jesus is Lord of all, it is so…….but I need to quit the struggle and make Him Lord of my heart and life……then His abundant life can flow through me without obstacles of my making.   Abiding in the Vine!

Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash