Back in June I shared about the call I felt God was putting on me in this season to “abide in Him.” As a follow-up to that, I thought I’d speak today on what I’ve learned as I’ve abided, remained, and stayed present with Him these past couple of months.
Last week I finished nine weeks of study on the fruits of the Spirit through the #NTDabide devotional. It was such a sweet time of opening God’s Word, of working things out in my heart and mind on paper, and letting the devotional messages speak life and truth to my heart and mind each week. It was just the thing I needed to curl up with every morning and helped set the tone for my days being empowered and inspired by His Spirit as I continued to learn the ropes of my new job and attend to things at home and up north in my downtime.
Here are the things I learned …
- “Abiding in Him” means I surrender to God and let Him take the reins. The eternal things, the things that really matter, are where I place my focus and let become my priority, whereas the temporary things, the things that don’t really matter in the grand scheme, aren’t as important as I make them out to be when it’s just me doing life on my own. And the things of God are so much better than mine!
- The goal of abiding is purpose. When I dig into the things of God, planting His Word in my heart and tilling my life with prayer, he grows me into the person He dreams for me to become. It’s all about finding and living the purposes and plans He has for my life.
- Creativity is a great way to commune with God. I was intentional about bringing His Word and the message of each devotional to life through my hobbies of bible journaling and hand-lettering. Spending time with God in this way allowed me to not only do things I enjoy, but provided a way for me to express myself artistically, using all different kinds of media and supplies to capture the beauty and essence of God’s truth.
- What I take in very much affects my outlook and perspective. I made a point of choosing carefully what I listened to, read, and watched over these nine weeks of abiding and there was a noticeable difference in how I felt as well as in my thought processes. It sounds like a silly (or maybe an obvious thing), but I think it’s important to note and will serve as a good reminder for me in the future when I find myself in a funk or in need of a break from things that are not serving me well.
- It’s God who does the work and grows the fruit; apart from Him, I can’t grow a thing. Doing things in my own strength often leads to frustration and striving and ultimately those anxious and perfectionist tendencies I’m so desperately wanting to be rid of. When I lean on Him for my strength, it releases the burdens that I all too often put on myself, giving Him room to do the work of growing me into the person He desires me to be.
- Abiding in Him leads to contentment and joy overall.
Following this, I’m convinced that abiding is to be lifetime practice and not just something I do for a season. Staying connected to God and allowing Him to work out His will and grow the fruit He wants, while pruning the things that need to go, is where true life is found.
And I don’t know about you, friends, but this is what I want – a life with lived with intention, having meaning, and radiating His glory!