The Lord is making me more and more aware of the pattern of fear being boss in my life. Over and over again I am seeing how I run from situations, relationships, and interactions. I am repeatedly noticing the loneliness I am left in when fear pushes me to run away.
Very, very early this morning, I woke up with the lyrics of Josh Baldwin’s song “Stand in Your Love”, and specifically the words “my fear doesn’t stand a chance when I stand in Your love.” Upon waking I realized those words had been a part of my sleep, being repeated over and over again in my mind, loudly, like a chant. Interesting, the truth comes to me even in my sleep. We sang that song for the second time in church on Sunday. And the words have had such an impact on me, I think I will claim it as my song for 2020.
Standing in His love, isn’t that a picture of faith? I am learning that growing in knowing His love truly changes everything. Yet, I often remain in bondage to fear. But fear and faith cannot reside in the same heart simultaneously. And I know which one I want to stay in my heart.
It seems that when the Lord continues to show you something, you need to listen and do something about it. It is like He is shining a flood light on it saying “Hey, look at this, it happened again.” And kindly, He doesn’t leave you there in shame, but instead shows you a new path. In this case it is the path of my growing more in knowing Him and His love. He doesn’t want me to live my life cowering in fear. He desires for me to be seeking to abide in Him rather than running away.
His love is powerful. But I am seeing that I don’t live in that place very much. It seems evident that my spiritual goal or focus for 2020 needs to be learning to abide in Him, and in His love more.
The thing is, I have been trying to abide, but have had limited success. This quote from Andrew Murray’s book Abide in Christ has been very helpful to me in understanding why. He says “…do not expect to abide in Him unless you will give Him that time…Come, ye brethren, and let us day by day set ourselves at His feet, and meditate on this word of His, with an eye fixed on Him alone. Let us set ourselves in quiet trust before Him, waiting to hear His holy voice–the still small voice that is mightier than the storm that rends the rocks– breathing its quickening spirit within us, as He speaks: Abide in Me.”
Once again it’s the issue of time. Each part of abiding requires time; sitting at His feet, meditating on His Word, leaning on Him in quiet trust, and learning to rest.
The common denominator in all of my goals for 2020 is about living an unhurried life, simple and slow. Abiding definitely fits into that. Rushing through, hurriedly trying to get it done, just won’t work. Cynthia Heald says in her study, Becoming a Woman of Excellence that the Christian life “isn’t about imitation, it’s about habitation.” I need to set up camp.
Beyond learning to abide, I want to focus on taking the truths, He pours into my heart, and faithfully sharing them, refreshing the souls of others as He refreshes mine. It is wonderful to learn all the Lord has for you in His Word and in lessons throughout life. And it becomes even more exciting when you touch others lives as you share how He has worked in your own.
I pray that in refreshing my heart and soul as I abide, my fear will be cast out by His perfect love and the healing He has been doing will continue within me and my life. I also pray that He will touch your heart and life in special ways as I share His amazing love, and in that, refresh your parched soul. The promises of His Word are true, we can count on His faithfulness.
What has the Lord been shining His floodlight on in your life? What areas does He want to lead you in growing in? We need to listen and take notice. He has amazing lessons for us to learn all along this journey of life.
* Photo from Unsplash by Aaron Burden