Wow, I noticed something this morning reading John 14 that I have never noticed before. The chapter is bookended with this word – “going”.
Jesus begins the chapter saying “I am going to prepare a place for you…and you know where I am going and how to get there.” Jesus ends the chapter saying “let’s be going.”
Hmmm...I am going, you know how to get there, now let’s be going.
Have you ever had the feeling you were moving in the wrong direction? Chasing the wrong dream? Pursuing the wrong goal? I feel like John 14 is a call to us, a challenge to us, if you will, to keep our eyes on the right prize. To remember where Jesus is calling us to go. To check ourselves to be sure we are moving in the right direction. Jesus is going here (heaven), we know where that is (heaven), now let’s get going (moving toward heaven).
I was watching an episode of Gilmore Girls yesterday. Don’t judge me. In this episode, Lorelei and Rory opened their garage door, which they hadn’t been in for over three years, and it was full and running over with stuff. Stuff they hadn’t seen in years. Old toys, old clothes, broken chairs, baby toys. You name it, it was in their garage. It was full of…just stuff. An abundance of stuff.
Is this the abundant life we all crave? Does abundance mean having a garage full of stuff? Do you ever fall into the trap of “stuff” thinking? If only I had another dress, I’d be set. If only I had a new pair of shoes. If only I had … more stuff. I don’t know about you, but I have so much stuff, I need stuff to organize my stuff. I could fill a storage unit with stuff that I don’t want to get rid of but I don’t ever use. My husband said to me this morning, “next week we are going to go through these boxes in my office closet.” They are boxes filled with stuff that we haven’t unpacked since we moved into our home – THREE YEARS AGO!!! Seriously, why? Why not just throw the boxes away? We clearly don’t need what’s inside. It’s just stuff. If stuff is the measurement of abundant living, then I’ve got abundance in spades.
Yet, listen to what Jesus says in John 14. It’s so subtle, nestled right into the middle of the chapter that if you aren’t careful, you’ll do a drive by when you are reading and you’ll miss it. John 14:27 NLT begins with, “I am leaving you with a gift – peace of mind and heart.” There it is. That gift goes beyond stuff. That gift is abundant living. Peace of mind and heart.
You can have all the stuff in the world and at the end of the day feel empty – if you don’t have peace of mind and heart. Man, I don’t know about you, but I sure feel it when that peace is missing. That unrest that I feel in my soul. That “ugh” I get in my spirit. Abundant living is the overflow of the peace of the Spirit in our minds and in our hearts.
Isn’t it interesting that in John 14, the context is eternal life with God, the ultimate place of peace and rest and quiet for our souls. We search and search for the next best thing to satisfy us, to fill our lonely, to make us complete and Jesus says – it’s right here – it’s Him. It’s His gift to us – the promised Holy Spirit. A gift that is not at all like any other gift you can give or receive. Jesus promises us and offers us abundant living…a life beyond stuff. A life that is filled with peace of heart and mind. That’s the true meaning of abundant living and it comes only from knowing Jesus and having the Holy Spirit.
So, go ahead. Clean out your closet. Throw away your stuff. Or not. It’s really not about stuff. But please, pause, take a breath, make room in your day, your heart and your mind for the peace of the Spirit. Let’s get going in the right direction, with our eyes on heaven and our minds filled with peace. It’s the abundant life God promises for those who love Him.
Robin Smith has a passion for equipping people to see their strengths and to lead with their unique God given gifts. She has spent the last 15 years in higher education, focusing on developing student leaders and equipping students with the skills they need to be successful in the pursuit of their education and careers.
Robin has recently transitioned out of higher education to pursue her heart’s passion to help equip women coming out of trafficking as the Program Director at Refuge for Women Las Vegas. Robin serves on the Ignite Life board, volunteers with Refresher for Women and Refresher Girls and teaches the evening class of Speaker's Workshop. She loves to teach the word of God and empower people to live victoriously on their journey with Jesus.
Robin and her husband Homer have been married for 31 years. They enjoy God’s creation by hiking, walking, or simply enjoying the sun with a good book. They have two children, Jenna and Ryne, three grandchildren, Alex, Dylan and Vincent and 1 cat - Cedar.