Abide & Serve

abide-tree

Simplify.

As we journey toward being one with God, we find that the message and the task before us becomes more and more simple. It is we who complicate the message with a plethora of added requirements for living this life, not God.

Simple does not mean without challenge, for it is in challenge, in suffering, that we grow. Isn’t it in suffering where things often become simpler by narrowing our focus on what is truly important?

We grow through suffering and discipline, discipline being more on our terms. Discipline is also a narrowing of focus on what is most needed for growth. It is a prioritizing. Time with God, soaking in His presence, meditating upon Holy Scripture, devotion to prayer (listening as much as speaking), encouragement from and for others who also pursue union with God.

Inspired by the writings of Andrew Murray, Ruach (aka Holy Spirit) showed me that we can state our intentions succinctly with, “Abide in Christ. Serve the suffering.” This goes nicely with the two greatest commandments according to Jesus–Love God. Love who’s in front of you right now. 

Abide in Christ. Serve the suffering.

As my good friend Todd Fisher once said, “Abiding in Christ simply means staying connected to Jesus.” [my paraphrase] And this we do, likely, through the means we mentioned a couple paragraphs ago.

And if we’re abiding in Christ, we will be led to serve the suffering, to be with them. It is not one without the other. Just the abiding without the serving is more of a private pietism. Just the serving without the abiding is mere social justice. Jesus showed us not an either/or, but a both/and because of the power of YHWH and His indwelling Spirit. That is the difference, what makes ALL the difference–supernatural love and power flowing through us and out onto the world around us as a result of being deeply rooted in Christ.

Abide in Christ. Serve the suffering.

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