Why Many Christians Never Taste the Abundant Life Jesus Promised

Step into the rhythm of the Holy Spirit to find abundant life.
Step into the rhythm of the Holy Spirit to find abundant life. (Ezra Jeffrey)

Have you ever been like me, thinking, "What is going on?" I love the Lord, go to church and study the Word, but sometimes things just don't seem to click.

Jesus promised us an abundant life. He told us to be of good cheer, He had overcome the world. One day as I was meditating on some things in my life, things I didn't understand, I heard a whisper in my heart, "Find the rhythm of life."

After meditating on this for months, little by little I began to feel like I was beginning to get a glimpse of that rhythm. I began to see it was not what I was doing that was important in my life, but who I was and, of course, who I was effected what I did.

The Holy Spirit began to bring to my remembrance Scriptures I had hidden in my heart years before. One was 1 Thessalonians 5:23, which says, "May the very God of peace sanctify you completely. And I pray to God that your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ."

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We are to keep our whole spirit, soul and body blameless. I realized in that moment how each area affects the others and that our spirit, soul and body had to flow together in "rhythm" so we would not stumble and fall in life.

It is hard to get out of bed a little early to read the Bible and have some quiet time when you are totally exhausted because you have not taken care of your body, have not exercised, eaten a healthy diet and are stressed out over money. It is also hard to be a positive influence on your family and friends when you are discouraged, depressed and disappointed, a reflection of an unhealthy soul.

After serving the Lord on the mission field and traveling to the nations for several years, everything in my life seemed to collapse. I could not cope with my life. I was totally exhausted, I had no desire to study the Word of God, and I felt totally alone. What happened?

After a year in this condition, the Lord sent an "angel" to tell me God loved me. I had never met the woman face-to-face, but I had encouraged her with a letter after reading her book. She was cleaning her desk one day and found the letter I had sent. God spoke clearly to her, "Call her and tell her I love her." When I heard those words, I began to weep and the healing process started in my heart. God had not forgotten me. In fact, I believe He called a stop to my traveling to save my life.

I had gained 75 pounds during this time, and now I was fighting guilt and condemnation in this image-obsessed world. I cried out to the Lord for help. "Lord, I need a word from You." I love to hear God's voice, and I knew that Jesus said that His sheep follow Him because they hear His voice (John 10:4, 27).

One day the Lord spoke, "Break the habit." I knew immediately what He meant—my food habit. From that day, He began to reveal to me how I had to walk in unity with myself to conquer this battle. I had to pursue health in my spirit, soul and body to overcome in this world. I had to keep my temple strong and take care of it so I had the strength to renew my soul and build a strong spirit.

I believe that's what is missing in this "diet-crazed, body-imaged world" that has crept into the Church. The devil has always used food to destroy God's people. Why can't we stop eating when we know certain foods are not good for us? Why does all the information about health seem to go right over our head? You cannot fix a spiritual problem with a natural solution. Food addiction is fast overtaking smoking to being the No. 1 cause of death from a preventable disease.

One day, I saw the words, "The devil wants you fat!" My heart was pierced. The last thing I wanted to do was please the devil. "God," I cried, "please forgive me for not taking care of my body." When I submitted my food problem to the Lord, He gave me a battle plan that worked from the inside out, and took 90 pounds from my body. I had found the rhythm of life! My spirit, soul and body had to walk in unity to overcome in this world. When Jesus promised us abundant life, it was not an abundance of things; it was an abundance of joy, peace and righteousness. Romans 14:17 says, "For the kingdom of God does not mean eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit."

My testimony of deliverance and finding my rhythm in life is shared in my book, Why Diets Don't Work – Food Is Not the Problem. The book and workbook are available on amazon.com.

Joyce Tilney is the Founder of Women of God Ministries, teaching women today from women of yesterday. She is an author and Bible teacher. Visit wogministries.com for more information. Her book and workbook, Why Diets Don't Work – Food Is Not the Problem, share her testimony of how the Lord helped her lose 90 pounds. Visit the website whydiets.com for information.

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