I must confess that it is a real challenge to abide in Christ when things become busy for me. More specifically, when a flurry of unscheduled things come up. But God is great and in the midst of busyness and stress, the Holy Spirit reminds me to keep my focus on Christ.
As I look back on the past few weeks, here’s something I have discovered. As I seek to abide in Christ, I can actually see God’s hand in my life a lot clearer. A very familiar passage that I pray often is Prov. 3:5-6.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
Looking back, I actually see God doing this! Here’s what I mean: I start this journey to abide in Christ in a deeper and more intentional way. I don’t really know what to do so I pray and ask God to lead me and make my path straight.
- So first, He leads me to camp in on John 15, the chapter about the vine and the branches. Perfect place to start.
- Then I feel His leading to start reading Andrew Murray’s “Abide in Christ.” Where does Murray start the book? John 15, of course. And I gain so much insight and application on my journey to abide in Christ.
- After about 3 weeks, I feel God lead me to start John Bevere’s DVD study on the Holy Spirit. And have the entire family go through it with me. So on Sunday nights, that’s what we do. As I was doing the study one day, I realized how vital the Holy Spirit is in abiding in Christ. In fact, I can’t abide with the Holy Spirit. I must say, it has been a wonderful study.
So now I am praying and seeking God through prayer and the Bible. I read a chapter from Murray’s book about 5 days a week. We watch a lesson from Bevere’s study and read a chapter from his book 5 days a week. And it’s been so good. I can actually see God making my path straight! And He’s bringing the family along for the ride.
- Then while going through my email I see one from Bethel TV and was about to delete it. I felt like the Holy Spirit was saying, “STOP! Don’t delete it. Read it.” So I did. Then I was going to delete it. Again, the Holy Spirit nudges me, “STOP! Don’t delete it. Take it!” I thought to myself, “What? Take the e-course that the email is promoting? I really don’t have the time or really the oomph to take it.” But after praying, I signed up for it. The title of the e-course, “Spirit Wars.” It’s about spiritual warfare. After viewing the first session online, it became very clear to me. If I am to abide in Christ, I need to make time to really pray, read the Bible and get into God’s presence. And I need instructions about abiding from someone who has journeyed before me. And I also need the Holy Spirit to lead me into all truth. And I also need to understand and engage in the spirit wars, because there is an enemy who will do anything to get off this journey.
I look back in awe of God’s leading. Yes He’s there. Yes He cares about me. Yes God does make my path straight. So the journey continues. I am excited and encouraged.
“Thank you, Father, for giving me your joy for the journey. And for making my path straight!”