"Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed."

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Abiding with Him & Being God's Friend

More from Secrets of the Vine by Bruce Wilkinson . . .

"Unless my friendship with God [becomes] my first priority . . . I [will] never fulfill my true destiny as a Christian or a leader." (pg. 98)

On why his busy Christian life left him feeling burned out, Bruce writes, "I'd become an expert at serving God, but somehow remained a novice at being His friend." (pg. 101)

Abiding is all about the most important friendship of your life. Abiding doesn't measure how much you know about your faith or your Bible. In abiding, you seek, long for, thirst for, wait for, see, know, love, hear, and respond to . . . a person. More abiding means more of God in your life, more of Him in your activities, thoughts, and desires.

In our Western-style rush to do and perform for God, we often falter at the task of simply enjoying His company. Yet we were created to be dissatisfied and incomplete with less. In the words of the psalmist, "As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God" (Psalm 42:1). (pg. 103)

On abiding not being a feeling, the author writes, "Abiding is an act of faith -- a radical expression that you value God's unrestricted presence in your life more than any immediate sensation." (pg. 112)

"Abiding helps us to sense the leading of the Lord. We learn to recognize God's "still small voice" (I Kings 19:12) and become familiar with His ways. Abiding helps us to accomplish more for Him because we are more in tune with His directives." (pg. 113)

In summary, while the discussion of discipline and pruning wasn't exactly what one longs to read, the result of abiding in God's presence and His producing fruit through us is worth it. What greater joy is there than knowing the Lord of all creation cares for me, loves me and is my friend!

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