Do you remember trying to ride a bike as a kid for the first time? I do. I think it must have been my much older brother who was helping me ride, keeping me up, getting up speed, then he let go.
Back up, do it again.
Then, it happened, after many attempts and failures, balance was achieved and I was riding my bike!
It took practice, it took continuing to try and it took a steady hand holding me up while I learned.
Learning to “abide”, or getting to balance are kinda like that. We need help with that too.
Among others, three books helped me get started on the journey of learning to abide and seek balance.
Dan Allender wrote a really helpful book called Sabbath and earlier there was Emotionally Healthy Spiritually by Peter(?) Scazzero and between them was Paul Miller who wrote The Praying Life.
These three books helped me understand how to move beyond the typical American evangelical Christian rat race. I define such as believe correctly like us and get busy and do this other thing because doing is how you show whose you are.
I discovered how to abide in Christ. (There were others who prepared me, but that would take a while to sort out and I’m not willing to chase that rabbit for this post.)
But from all I have learned along the way, I know that for me to “abide” means going to a time and place of solitude and silence with God in his word DAILY. It really is that simple for me.
Would it be different for you? Really? Why? How do you know?
For to fail to drink deeply of God and be filled by Him before trying to pour out in service will surely result in my work instead of his fruit.
I point to Mueller and Spurgeon as models. They, in their own words, tell us that to step into the world in service while being void of God’s filling is a mistake. Spurgeon said he would not have conversation with man before having conversation with God. Mueller gave example of how his reaction to people was bad when he had not visited with God. I sure get that.
Jesus modeled getting into solitary places and then invited us in with him when he said “abide”.
I guess it’s just too simple to believe. It really is about sitting with Him. Alone, you and him. Read, pray (silent and/or out loud), journal, be quiet, listen, wait. He doesn’t have to tell you anything, just be with Him. You will wobble and crash. Just get back on the bike tomorrow. It will come. You’ll gain balance, you’ll ride. Then you will see how He is slowly changing you as you sit with Him.
But, if you won’t sit in the light, don’t complain about being in the dark.
There is more to be said… but I leave it here for now.