(week 33/11)
Olubi Johnson

Last week, we saw that God wants us to lay down our lives in this world by suffering self-denial as a daily habit to crucify the sin-nature in our souls and bodies.

However, as we do this it is vital to understand that God wants us to enjoy all things richly in this lifetime:

1Timothy 6:17 KJV: Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;

Mark 10:29-30 KJV: And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s,  (30) But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.

However, we can only fully enjoy all things richly in this life if we allow the Christ nature and character to dominate our souls and bodies.  In fact the degree to which we grow in Christ is the degree to which God will allow us to enjoy these things.

3John 1:2 KJV: Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.

This is because if we try to enjoy these things without spiritual growth Satan will use these things to lead us away from God and destroy us like he did with Solomon:

Ecclesiastes 2:10-11 KJV: And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them, I withheld not my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced in all my labour: and this was my portion of all my labour.  (11) Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.

1Kings 11:4 KJV: For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father.

Proverbs 1:32 KJV: For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them.

So, we can and should learn obedience like the Lord Jesus by suffering (Heb. 5:7) self-denial to get a spiritual education to grow into the perfection and fullness of Christ.

After suffering a while, like this you will then enjoy all things richly for the rest of your life, while still serving God and humanity with the wisdom, wealth and power of the Spirit without measure that you inherit by growing into the perfection and fullness of Christ.

1Peter 5:10 KJV: But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.

Job 36:11 KJV: If they obey and serve him, they shall spend their days in prosperity, and their years in pleasures.

So decide today to ‘hate’ and so lay down your life in this world to obtain the higher life in Christ and so enjoy all things richly both in this life and in the life to come!

1Timothy 4:8 KJV: For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.