Sweet Rest

1 05 2014

We don’t use words like abide anymore. In fact, my spell checker here on WordPress didn’t even have a suggestion for a different word! That’s too bad, for abide is a wonderful word. It’s present all around us, but because we don’t use this word anymore, we don’t recognize it when we see it in ‘inaction.’

Take babies, for instance. Little, sweet, fresh-smelling infants. They lay, content to rest in their parents’ arms.

The earth abides. Trees stand, gently swaying in the breeze. Plants quietly grow…and in due season provide flowers and fruit.

It just happens.

Instead, we live life mostly by striving. We strive to please people and to please God.

We get our knickers in a twist, trying to determine what is necessary to gain the approval of those around us. Like chameleons, we change ‘color’ to suit the person(s) we are with.

Where this gets us into trouble is when we are striving to satisfy God.

Life is lived by a list of ‘do’s and don’ts.’ All the focus is on outward behavior.

However, “Man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)

Behavior modification is of little value. Only a true heart change will do.

After all, how long would we keep a friend who ran our relationship like this?:

“Hi, Tami. Thank you for meeting with me today. You’re a good housekeeper.”

{Whispers to self, ‘Okay, that was adoration.’}

“I’m sorry that I forgot to give you a copy of the casserole recipe like I promised.”

{Whispers to self, “Confession. Check.”}

“I’m so thankful that you love me. The scarf you gave me was beautiful, too. Thanks for the gift.”

{“Thanksgiving. Check.”}

“Could you pick up my son from school? Oh, and I’m short on cash for the luncheon. Would you mind paying for me?”

{“Supplication. Check.”}

“Well, it was good to see you again. Same time tomorrow?”

Sadly, this was my relationship with the Lord for many years. No real communion. He never got to say anything. Because He is patient and gracious, He continued to show up, waiting and longing for the day that I would realize that He is indeed my Friend.

In addition to this, my actions were based on how people or the Lord would evaluate my Christianity.

If I said “No” to someone, would they blame Jesus?

If I was seen talking to a “known sinner,” would people think I was like them?

If I didn’t have a “quiet time” or missed church, what would people think?

Consequently, life was lived by a long list of rules, all focused on my behavior.

It was  like watching a peach tree grunt and groan as it tried to force fruit to develop! A seriously silly picture!

Abiding, however, isn’t something we can easily do. In order to abide, we must trust the One in whom we abide.

How do we develop this trust? By taking a risk and abiding in the Lord!

Kind of like walking on water. We won’t know that the Lord will sustain us until we try. 🙂

Step out in faith. The Lord is far more eager for us to learn that He is trustworthy than we are to know this amazing truth.

In the process, we will begin to really know Him as Friend, which makes abiding – and obedience – easier and easier.

Suddenly, we discover that we have found a place of sweet rest as we abide in Him!

*****

Thanks for taking time to read my ramble. This is a new way of living for me…and I LOVE it!

 

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15 responses

3 05 2014
Bride of YAHUSHUA

Blind faith is what pleases the LORD!

3 05 2014
lessonsbyheart

It is only when we’ve learned just how trustworthy He is that we can, indeed, walk by faith. We only learn how trustworthy He is when we exercise our faith. 😉

Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. 🙂

\o/

1 05 2014
Equipping The Saints

Great post! For Abiding in Christ, you might want to check my blog for the page, “About Equipping The Saints.” Blessings to you,

2 05 2014
lessonsbyheart

Lots of good stuff there. Just finished watching the video. Paul Wilbur is one of my favs – and I miss the dance troupe we had at our church. We danced and celebrated with many of his songs.

\o/

2 05 2014
Equipping The Saints

I thank you for your desire to engage in worship. God will lead you…

1 05 2014
Mel Wild

I enjoyed your checklist. Sad but true. Good stuff. Commune on… 🙂

1 05 2014
nopew

I can’t abide people who can’t abide 🙂 .Since I started my present career I have been blessed with a lot less stress so I can delight more in my life with Christ. But no matter the context, trusting in Jesus is both wonderful and hard. Thanks for this, since it gave me a chance to be consciously grateful for what God is doing for me.
Peace

1 05 2014
lessonsbyheart

This is our hard-won lesson at this time. Both my hubby and I are having to walk this out. If we didn’t we’d probably lose our minds. 😉

\o/

1 05 2014
Valerie Rutledge

Funny you use the word “abide,” I just blogged about that as well 🙂

1 05 2014
lessonsbyheart

So did Mel. Hmm. I wonder if we’re hearing from the same Source??? 😉

\o/

1 05 2014
Susan Irene Fox

Great image of the peach tree. Now, that’ll stick with me for a while! 🙂

1 05 2014
lessonsbyheart

😀

\o/

1 05 2014
Rebekah L

Ah, this is convicting. Thank you!

1 05 2014
lessonsbyheart

You’re welcome. 😉

\o/

1 05 2014
birdieklh

Amen and amen!

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