The Not-So-Secret to an Abundant Life

by Andy Wood on June 29, 2015

in Allocating Your Resources, Esteem, Five LV Laws, Life Currency, LV Cycle, Principle of Abundance, Words

Hidden Clock

In the mood for a little detective work?  Care to uncover a secret that may have right in front of our noses for years?  It certainly was in mine, and I was oblivious.

Would you be interested in mining out some clues if I told you that when you do, you may have discovered one of the most powerful life and success principles known to humanity?  And that if you master this one skill, the transformation in your own life, to say nothing of your influence and circumstances, can be breathtaking?

Am I exaggerating?  No, if anything I’m understating the potential of this discovery.

Getting this – I mean really getting it – can explain why you tend to sabotage yourself after you’ve made progress toward a goal.

It may explain why churches or individual leaders lose their influence, or why they nourish it.

It may explain why you have made progress toward healing, then somehow hit a wall.

It may explain why your relationships go in frustrating cycles – hot today, cold tomorrow… intimate today, lonely later.

Finding this secret is like discovering a clock on your wall that’s been there the whole time, quietly ticking away, pointing to the correct time, but you may have never noticed it.  In one sense it’s obvious – in another, it probably calls for a closer look than you have given it.

Will it help you win the lottery?  Doubtful.  But it could lead you to a place where you never pine away for sudden wealth again.

Will it solve all your relationship problems?  Maybe, maybe not.  But it will position you to gain the most from every relationship you have or want to have, whether others cooperate or not.

I wish I could tell you that this secret has been locked away in some government vault and is now being released to a select few, and that if you pay me $3,999.00 I will share it with you, along with seven free bonus offers.  But the thing is, this secret has been in open view for anybody to see – and it’s free.

Still here?  Ready?  Okay, no more hype. 

Start with a Before and After Picture

Your first set of clues is a series of before and after pictures in a famous story from the Bible – the story of a young man named Joseph.

Scene 1:  Here’s an obviously-blessed and favored Daddy’s boy who has dreams from God – but lacks the wisdom to keep his mouth shut.  At worst, he’s bragging.  At best, he’s a little naïve.  Either way, he can’t even get along with his family – how’s he supposed to be this high-impact world leader?

Scene 2: In just a matter of weeks the same guy has had a complete change in circumstances.  He is now alienated from his family and assumed dead.  In truth he has been sold as a slave to an Egyptian government official.  But get this: everything he touches has such obvious favor and blessing from God that his master wisely puts him in charge of his entire estate.  Gone is the dreamy talk of all the stars and planets bowing to him.  This boy has done some growing up, and fast.

How do you account for that?  Yes, the scripture is clear that “the Lord was with Joseph.”  But I’ve known plenty of people that “the Lord was with” who didn’t see such a transformation.  Was there something Joseph did or didn’t do that positioned him to receive and extend God’s blessing?

The Temptation

Then came you-know-who.

I find it interesting that the Bible doesn’t waste a lot of space trying to psychoanalyze Potiphar’s wife.  We don’t know if she was lonely or bored, evil or just in a weak moment (day in and day out).  What we do know is this: at a season in a man’s life when he is most lonely and most vulnerable, she relentlessly tried to seduce him, and every single time he refused – even to the point of being willing to be lied about and imprisoned just to keep his character and clean conscience.

Here’s a guy who previously couldn’t keep his mouth shut… and now he’s demonstrating extraordinary strength in the face of withering temptation.

Can you explain that?

Out of the Abundance of the Heart…

Maybe the mystery is solved in what Joseph had to say.  After all, Jesus said, “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.”  That’s certainly how the young man had demonstrated his immaturity earlier.  So in the face of the temptation, what does he reveal in his heart?  After all, these are his first recorded words after being sold into slavery. I’d say they’re pretty important.

“Look,” he told her, “my master trusts me with everything in his entire household. No one here has more authority than I do. He has held back nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How could I do such a wicked thing? It would be a great sin against God” (Genesis 39:8-9, NLT).

Before Joseph said “Sorry” to the seductress, he said something else.

He said that his master trusted him.

He said that he had authority equal to his master in the house.

He said his master had held nothing back from him other than his wife.

What does that sound like to you?

What Joseph COULD Have Said

Joseph could have been caught whining and complaining.  He was a slave when he dreamed of ruling.  He was far away from his family, presumed dead, alone in a foreign culture.  He was unmarried and doubtless lonely.  And he didn’t deserve all that had happened to him.

He could have griped and fussed… all the way to a powerless life of failure.

But he didn’t.  He discovered something that kept him resilient and faithful – ready for the right opportunities and resistant to the bad ones.

And that something… is gratitude.


Yes, that.

I just heard some of the air go out of your balloon.

“I know, I know, we all need to be grateful.”

No, I don’t think you do know.  I think this is one of the most untapped sources of spiritual, emotional, and relational power available to you and me.  I don’t think we – that is, Western or American Christians – have truly grasped the power of crafting a life of gratitude.

I don’t mean counting your blessings.  That focuses on the blessings and makes you an idolater.

I mean recognizing the good hand of a great God in your life.

Earlier I mentioned that this “secret” is like a clock hanging on your wall – so visible, so quietly and faithfully communicating its truth that it’s easy to ignore.  But even a cursory look through the Bible reveals both the joy and the benefits of expressing thanks to God, whether you feel like it or not.

I’m starting to get it.  But I still don’t get it.  It’s still in my oven.  But this much I know… this kind of intentional gratitude does not come naturally.  It must be developed, honed, disciplined, creatively crafted.

What kind of difference would it make if every day was Thanksgiving for you?

How might your life be different if instead of ranting against a world gone mad or drunk, you rediscovered the faithful hand of a good God instead?

What would it do to your relationships if, instead of venting frustrations or shredding somebody in anger, you instead thanked God for the people who would be crying at your funeral, frustrating as they can be?

How would your world change if, rather than chasing the next fad or cool gadget, you first thanked God for the possessions you already have?

What would it do to your health if, at every onset of a so-called negative emotion – jealousy, anger, sadness, loneliness – you disciplined yourself to reset your focus onto the goodness of God?

I’m telling you, there is something here.  And I know you get it on some level.  I get it on some level, too.

But there’s more here than we know.  And I’m wading in to see what I can discover.

Care to join me?

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