Sunday, October 19, 2008

Abide in Me...

God is beginning to nudge me in a new direction and even though I don't know what the trip will look like, I know the feeling. It's that feeling that I have become nestled down in my comfort zone too long and He is ready to stir things up! So after some much needed encouragement from a sweet friend, I decided to get a jump start on what God might be doing in my life. At the first sign of tackling a new assignment, I typically start studying, researching, surfing the net...thinking that I might be able to "train myself" so I can be ready for the task. (I love this, by the way.) But in my time with the Lord this morning, He showed me very specifically: "I want to train your heart, not your hands." This was not a surprise to me. God began speaking this to me at the beginning of the year that my focus right now is to "know Him more deeply and intimately, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His person." (Phil. 3:10) But this morning, He reminded me that this is still my assignment for right now and it has not changed. So I thought I'd read to you some really cool stuff that He pointed out to me today.

Right off the bat, I opened up "My Utmost for His Highest". It is my favorite devotional by Oswald Chambers. It says, "The great enemy of the Lord Jesus Christ today is the idea of practical work...that comes from the systems of the world. This work insists upon endless energy and activities, but no private life with God. The emphasis is put on the wrong thing." And he wrapped it all up by saying,"If you waste your time in over activity, instead of being immersed in the great fundamental truths of God's redemption, then you will snap when the stresses and strain do come. But if this time of soaking before God (I love that!)is being spent in getting rooted and grounded in Him, which may appear to be impractical, then you will remain true to Him whatever happens."

Then I opened up my 365 day Bible and read 1 Timothy 4:7: "Do not waste time arguing over godless ideas and old wives' tales. Instead, train yourself to be godly." At this point in my quiet time, I'm beginning to get the picture!

The New Testament verse went like this: "This is what the Lord says-the Lord who made the earth, who formed and established it, whose name is the Lord: Ask me and I will tell you remarkable secrets you do not know about things to come." (Jeremiah 33:2-3) Did you see that? He's saying you can ask a lot of people how to do a lot of stuff, but what I want is for you to ASK ME. So, o.k. I started asking and then picked up Andrew Murray's book on Prayer. Oh, my!

Andrew Murray was a missionary to South Africa and died in 1917. And even though he hasn't been around in 91 years, his message is timeless. In the preface, before you even get into the book, he says, "It takes time to grow into Jesus the Vine; do not expect to abide in Him unless you will give Him that time...It requires day by day time with Jesus and God." Don't expect to know Him, DeeDee, if you don't sit down long enough to KNOW HIM. And then I loved this: He uses the scripture from Matthew 11:28 which says "Come unto me." And then he quotes John 15:4 that says, "Abide in me." So Andrew Murray says, "You did well to come; you do better to abide. Who would, after seeking the King's palace, be content to stand in the door, when he is invited in to dwell in the King's presence and share with Him in all the glory of His royal life?!!" Not me! I would not be content to only peek, but I want to be embraced. I want to run to Him! Who could possibly accept the invitation to come...and then refuse to stay? But in fact, I do. Oh sweet relief, here is the prayer that stole my heart from a man who walked with God and now dwells with Him:

"O My Savior, if ever my heart should doubt or fear again, as if the blessing were too great to expect, or too high to attain, let me hear your voice to quicken my faith and obedience: Abide in me."

And that's my prayer, too. When I get so wrapped up in what I'm doing for You, Lord, remind me that the invitation is to come...and to stay. One day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere.