Confused? Living a Divided Life?
By: Marcia "Katie" Stowe Baker - TapWires News Service
How many times have each of us felt that we were being pulled in so many directions that we felt we were going to be pulled in half and left lying on the floor because we had no idea in which direction to go next?
Have you ever asked someone, “What do you want from me?”
As Christians, the question we should be asking is, “Lord, what do you want from me and where would you have me go?”
Last month in church, Pastor Troy Borst concluded the service by inviting the ladies of the church to participate in the Ladies Book Club with a study of “Abide in Me” as the topic of discussion at the end of the month of August. It is important to note here that Andrew Murray, the author of this book, is not a modern day writer, but the words he has written are timeless and the lessons taught for the reader are more applicable in our lives today than probably at the time he was writing this book.
In today’s world where we are required to “multi task” we often find ourselves wondering, “What do I do next?”
Andrew Murray, Jr. was born in 1827 into a family of Scottish missionaries of the Dutch Reformed Church in Graaff Reinet, South Africa. He was educated in Aberdeen, Scotland where he received his master’s degree and he was influenced by some of the most spiritual leaders of that day, such as Rev. Thomas Chalmers and William Chalmers Burns. He was later ordained into ministry in 1848 before returning to Cape Town, South Africa. His teachings on “faith healing” and belief that the apostolic gifts were what spurred the Pentecostal movement and the South African Revival of 1860.
This morning, as I began reading “Abide in Me” I didn’t get past the Preface because already I felt the Holy Spirit reaching out through the pages of time and was touched by what Murray had written on these first few pages of the book. He had my attention from the very first paragraph:
“During the life of Jesus on earth, the word He chiefly used when speaking of the relations of the disciples to Himself was, ‘Follow Me’ (Matthew 4:19). When about to leave for heaven, He gave them a new word, in which their more intimate and spiritual union with Him in glory would be expressed. That chosen word was, ‘Abide in me’ (John 15:4).
He goes on to say in the Preface, “If, in our orthodox churches, abiding in Christ—the living union with Him, the experience of His daily and hourly presences and keeping – were preached with the same distinctness and urgency as His atonement and pardon through His blood, I am confident that many would be found to accept with gladness the invitation to such a life."
Apparently, many of the churches during Murray’s lifetime suffered from the same lackadaisical teachings that we see and hear in the many of the churches today. Yes, they speak of repentance, forgiveness and salvation through the blood of Jesus … but what’s next? As Dr. Francis Schaffer asked in the title of his book, “How Should We Then Live?”
Pastor Murray goes on to instruct that, “It is only by frequent repetition that a child learns his lessons. It is only by continuous fixing the mind for a time on one of the lessons of faith that the believer is gradually helped to thoroughly assimilate them.”
It was Murray’s prayer that “He would, by whatever means, make the multitudes of His dear children who are still living divided lives see how He claims them wholly for Himself and how whole-hearted surrender to abide in Him alone brings the joy unspeakable that is full of glory. Oh, let each of us who has begun to taste the sweetness of this life yield himself wholly to be a witness to the grace and power of our Lord to keep us united with Himself and seek by word and walk to win others to follow Him fully. It is only in such fruit bearing that our own abiding can be maintained.”
CAUTION: “It takes time to grow into Jesus the Vine; do not expect to abide in Him unless you will give Him that time. It is not enough to read God’s Word, or meditations … it requires time with Jesus and with God day by day … If we are to live through Jesus, we must feed on Him (John 6:57); we must thoroughly take in and assimilate that heavenly food the Father has given us in His life.”
Take time each day to put yourself in contact with the living Jesus!
Pretty pictures and pretty words are always comforting to us, but in the days and times in which we are now living, how are we going to be able to reach out to others in their time of need, if we ourselves have not learned the lessons of how to abide in Christ? It is incumbent upon each of us to share how He is teaching us through the direction of His Holy Spirit of how to closely abide in Him and to share this knowledge with others that they too will know the joy that comes from having a personal relationship with Jesus.
Have a blessed day my dear brothers and sisters!
Just Me ... Katie
Christianity, Salvation, Christian Living, Abide in Christ, Andrew Murray