How to Live an Abundant Life | Ashley Varner

How to Live an Abundant Life

There’s a lot of buzz around having an Abundance Mindset. Is having an abundance mindset even biblical? How can we “deny ourselves and take up our cross” and at the same time “live an abundant life”?

In today’s video, I’m sharing what abundance means, what the world gets wrong about abundance, and how you can live an abundant life starting right now.

Resources Mentioned:

Thrive Bible Study Vault: https://ashleyvarner.com/thrive
Renew180 6 Month Program: https://ashleyvarner.com/180

Highlights From the Episode

There’s a lot of buzz out there around the word abundance. And if you have been in the personal development space for very long then you have heard this idea of bringing in abundance into your life or having this abundance mindset. And what I wanna talk about today is is this mindset even biblical? Is this something that Christians should be striving for? Because we hear verses like, “Deny yourself pick up your cross and follow me”. And at the same time we hear John 10:10 that says that Jesus came to give us an abundant life, a full life. And so I wanna talk to you today in this video about what abundance means, what the world gets wrong about an abundance mindset, and how you can live an abundant life right now. let’s get started.

Hey there, my friends, my name is Ashley Varner and I am the host of the Renewed Mind. Thank you for being here. I always appreciate those of you who watch and listen on the podcast. And I just wanna say thank you for wanting to be closer to the Lord, for growing closer to Him, by changing your thoughts, taking them captive and learning how to control your emotions. So today I wanna talk to you a little bit about an abundance mindset. And let’s just talk about where that comes from, what it means, and then see how we’re able to implement that into our daily Christian walk.

So the verse that I want to really expound on is John 10:10, and Jesus is talking about how He has come to give us abundant life. Some translations might say allow you to live life to the fullest.

And if you look up what it means to have an abundance or what the word abundance means, in the dictionary, it actually means an extremely plentiful or over sufficient quantity or supply of something.

I like to go back and think of what are the things that I absolutely 100% need in my life? What are those things that it’s just absolutely non-negotiable for me? Because I want to have an abundance of those things, right? And the idea of abundance is this idea of having more than enough or actually way, way more than enough, right?

And I think that sometimes the world gets this mixed-up view of what abundance means because they think of more than enough. And that starts to cause them to think, okay, well, that means that I need more than enough stuff, more experiences, more happiness.

Whenever I think of this idea of more stuff, there’s nothing wrong with having things. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying new clothes or, you know, having a nice home. There’s nothing wrong with that. But whenever we start to put more emphasis on things than people or the Lord that’s where the problem comes in.

So whenever I teach my kids and I’m teaching them about stuff and it’s sometimes it doesn’t go very well because they’re kids and they like toys and all of that, but I try to always teach them we love people and we like things. Because that is where the drawing line is. That’s where the defining line is. And so sometimes whenever we get into this abundance mindset or we start trying to do some, you know, thought work on abundance and we think, okay, it means that we have to have more than enough stuff.

The World’s Mixed Up View of Abundance

So we start to fill our pantries with years and years of food, we start to fill our closets with more clothes than we could even wear. And that doesn’t bring really a true abundant mindset. The next area is more experiences. So you might be one of those people who is really minimal. You don’t like a lot of clutter, but you really wanna have an abundance of experiences.

You’re spending a lot of your time traveling or doing those things. And again, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to travel, wanting to experience the world. And it comes into play whenever that starts impacting more important things in your life. So if you are traveling every single weekend and you are not plugged into a body of believers, that’s gonna be an issue. That’s not going to help you to have an abundant life. If you are really neglecting the things that matter the most.

Another area that people always are looking for is more happiness. So whenever I think of like gurus and stuff that talk about an abundance mindset, a lot of times that’s what they’re talking about. They’re talking about more freedom, more happiness, more independence. And we need to remember that at the end of the day God’s goal for us is not just to be happy.

And I know that that can be kind of a harsh statement to hear, but really the goal at the end of the day for a Christian is to become more like Jesus. And so, as you are growing in Him, of course there’s gonna be this joy that wells up inside of you, but it’s not all about this moment right now. It goes beyond just this moment. It goes beyond just your happiness in this moment.

And ultimately the world’s mixed-up idea of abundance ends up being more of me, more of what I want, more of what I think is gonna make me more comfortable, happier, more fulfilled, all of those things. It all comes down to self. So let me talk a little bit about what Jesus means whenever he says abundance.

What Jesus Means When He Says Abundance

Abundance, and what Jesus was talking about in John 10:10 is himself. Abundance is a plentiful supply of Jesus. Jesus is the only one who can give us more than enough of the only thing that we really need, which is Him, right? He is the only thing that is non-negotiable in my life. And He is the only one that can give me more than enough of him.

And I would say that there’s never enough of Him because as you draw closer to the Lord, and we’re gonna talk a little bit more about having a deeper relationship with the Lord next week. But as you get closer to the Lord, as you build and grow in Him, what you’re going to see is that there’s never enough. You never can get enough of Him but thankfully there’s always going to be that never-ending supply from Him of Himself to you.

Now, I think that whenever we think of an abundant life sometimes we think that it’s gonna be always fun or always full of everything that we could possibly need or want, but really living an abundant life means living a life that is full of Jesus. And even during hard times, you can have more of Jesus. Even during difficult times, you can have a life full of him.

This is something that I have been experiencing in my life over this year. I have really been intentionally seeking the Lord more and more trying to just have a deeper relationship with Him on a level that I haven’t had before. And that has taken me through some hard times.

So this year has not been the easiest of years for me or my family, but it has been in a year full of Jesus. And this is something that I think we forget about and we miss, because we think that if things are going hard, if things are difficult then it must not be God’s will for us. And that is not the truth. Some of the most difficult things that I have done have 100% been God’s will for my life. And at the end of the tunnel, I guess you could say, at the end of that long road, they have been some of the most fulfilling and joyful times in my life.

One that I can think of that I will always think about whenever I think of faith and a long road of trust is adopting our son. So it took two and a half years for us to be able to adopt our son. He was in our home for that entire time. And that was a long, difficult road. Does that mean that he wasn’t supposed to be with us? Absolutely not. We knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that God had called us to take him in, that God wanted him and to be part of our family. But that didn’t mean that the road was gonna be easy all the time.

So I wanna encourage you if you are going through a difficult time, if you are struggling through something that you feel like God has called you to, or maybe he’s called you out of something, and it’s a struggle for you, it’s really hard for you, I just want to encourage you that he is there in the midst of it. He is not blindsided by the fact that this circumstance happened. And he is offering you a full life even during those hard times.

And whenever I think about Jesus giving me more and more of Him, it’s so amazing to see that he doesn’t just stop at that, right? He gives us so much more of Him and gives us a life full of Him. So in Matthew 6:33 we also read that Jesus says, seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added onto you.

So it’s not just that Jesus is willing to give us more of Him, but He’s also willing to give us more of the things that we need. And if you look in that chapter a little bit further up in those verses that Jesus is preaching on people asking, you know, what should we eat, and what should we wear, and what are all these things that we need, what do we do? They were really worried about their lives.

And this is whenever he says, you know, the lilies of the field don’t work but look how the Lord dresses them and how the birds of the air don’t have to store away in barns but the Lord feeds them. And He’s saying, if you seek after me first, if you want me with your whole heart first, if you’re willing to seek after me to have an abundant life full of me first, then all these other things are gonna be added onto you.

And I think that this is something that we should take as comfort because whenever we seek after Him, He takes care of us. And the Lord is so faithful. I have never been in a time in my life. I have been serving the Lord since I was a small child.

And there has never been a time in my life where He hasn’t shown himself faithful to me. There has never been a time. There never will be a time. And I think that sometimes whenever we serve the Lord and we’re seeking after Him there’s something that He calls us to do that it can sometimes feel like we’re not getting our needs met.

Because more of Jesus usually means voluntarily giving up something else. And that’s the part that’s hard for us, right? That’s the part that’s hard to align with this abundance mindset, is now this idea of taking up our cross, right, denying ourselves.

Because like I said, more of Jesus, in order to have more of Jesus, we have to sometimes let go of all these other things that are vying for our time. Things that are kind of pushing against what God wants for us.

More of Jesus Usually Means Voluntarily Giving Up Something Else

And I wanted to share something that I heard in a sermon a long time ago that has really been at the top of my mind this year. And this story is just an example of what it looks like to have to give up something else in order to get the best thing, which is more of Jesus.

And whenever I, my husband and I have been planting trees around our property. And then whenever they’re really small my boys were out there watering them every single day. They were, you know, filling ’em up, making sure that they had plenty of water so that they could grow, so their roots could get solidified.

And then I was reading and I heard in this sermon about how when trees are solid, whenever they have their roots have kind of started sinking in, that people like horticulturalists and stuff, whenever they are taking care of their trees they start to starve the trees in a manner of speaking, they don’t water them nearly as much as they did when they were brand new trees. And the reasoning for this is that if you have all the water right on top of the surface the roots of the tree are going to grow more horizontal across the ground than deeper.

And so if the tree has to look other places for water like if the gardener, whoever is not watering on top of the soil, the tree has to now tell its roots to get deeper into the ground to start searching for water deeper underneath the ground. And that is how trees are able to stay strong over tons of wind storms and things like that. And that’s why some trees in those wind storms, or in those tornadoes or whatever, they will fall over really quickly. They will get torn up out of the ground very easily because their roots have maybe they’ve grown, but they’ve grown horizontally. And so there’s more of a shallow root system.

But if those trees have been starved, if they haven’t been, I guess drought might be a better correct term, but if they haven’t been watered so easily and they’re able to dig their roots deep into the ground, those are the trees that are more solid and strong and have the strong foundation underneath them.

So that whenever winds come, they’re not easily pulled out of their roots because the roots are so deep. Now, I want you to remember that example as we talk about what it means to voluntarily give up something else in your life in order to have this deeper connection with the Lord.

And what that means in regards to abundance is that if we really wanna have more of Jesus, if we wanna have this life that’s full of Jesus, it’s going to mean letting go of some other things.

So I have three areas that I have just found in my research and in my own personal walk that will help you to see, like, these are some of the areas that we are called to give up.

The first is comfort. So there can be even good things in your life that if you tend to depend on those things more than Jesus, those things maybe need to be pulled back a little bit. Those needed to be kind of voluntarily given up. And what this looks like in my life has been certain traditions or ways that I’ve lived my Christian walk for years and decades that I have had to voluntarily give up in order to have more of Jesus.

And I’ll share more about this in future videos likely but this has been a really personal process for my husband and I where we have had to make decisions, where we have let go of religious traditions, and maybe these things that are comfortable to us. We’ve had to step out of our comfort zone in order to really know Jesus on a deeper level and really to follow him and know that we can hear his voice. But there might be other things that are comfortable for you.

In years past my family was very comfortable and my family was, we just had things going on. We felt really good about where we were and that’s right whenever God had us voluntarily give up that comfortable life to accept in foster kids and to bring in our youngest son and adopt him. So there are going to be things that even if they’re good things, God is going to ask you to give up that comfort to be uncomfortable so that he can grow you in ways that wouldn’t have been able to happen otherwise.

Another area is self. So these are things like selfish desires that we have or things that we want with bad motives, and there’s nothing wrong, like I started this whole video, there’s nothing wrong with having nice things.

There’s nothing wrong with having a closet that has clothes in it, all those things, but it depends on where your motive is. If you are constantly getting that new car or constantly getting that newest this or that, that gadget or that dress or whatever it is to show off or to try to be better than someone else or whatever it is, whatever your motive is, is what God really cares about.

So I just really want you to think about those selfish desires that might be in your life or even those self-filled habits that you might have. Maybe you are just constantly on the television or on your phone and you need to let go of some of those things in order to have a more abundant life that’s full of Jesus.

And the last area is pride. So I think that this is something that can definitely impact Christians more than they realize. And I would even say Christians who have been Christians for a long time, and I’m speaking to myself here, I know that giving up your pride is something that is so difficult for us, right? It is things like not admitting whenever we’re wrong or thinking more highly of ourselves than we ought to.

If we can lay those things down, if we can take on the attitude that Jesus did, of being a servant and being humble and loving others, that’s something that is going to help us to have more of Jesus. Because if you are unable to admit when you’re wrong, if you’re unable to just be willing to say you’re sorry, or just thinking more highly of yourself than you should, thinking of yourself as better than other people, that is something that’s definitely going to stop you from being able to have more of Jesus.

Conclusion

I just wanted to say that after all of that last point it might seem like Jesus’ version of abundance isn’t as fun or satisfying as the world, but only he can satisfy the real and deepest desires of your heart. Only Jesus can do that.

You can have so many things in your closet. You can have so much money in your bank account or whatever it is. You can have so many friends that are following you, but none of that is gonna bring true abundant living without Jesus.

Nothing can give you abundance like living your life God’s way, because God’s way is always going to be better.

That is all that I have for you guys today. I did want to make sure to mention that there is still the Thrive Bible Study Vault available. It is 12 months of Bible studies. It’s at a really reasonable price. They’re all audio-based Bible studies. So you can just click on that day, listen to it, do the workbook, and really just start to deepen your relationship with the Lord.

Thrive Bible Study Vault: https://ashleyvarner.com/thrive

And then if you’re really looking for a way to renew your mind and transform your life, then I want to recommend that you check out Renew 180. It’s a six-month program that I created. We talk about a strong pillar each month about things like body confidence, changing your mindset, growing, and changing your environment so that you can have a real transformation into the woman that God has planned for you to be all this time.

Renew180 6 Month Program: https://ashleyvarner.com/180

So I hope that you guys enjoyed this. We’re gonna be back next week to talk about how to have a deeper relationship with Jesus. I hope that you will join me. It’s gonna be a little bit different video but I think that you’ll enjoy it. And I will talk to you guys next time.

Have a great week.

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- Ashley Varner

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