There was once a time in my life when I had quiet times every day for an hour or longer. I soaked up the Word and had all the time I wanted to sit and be with God. Birds sang. Sweet smelling breezes filled the air. Cute little mice and other woodland creatures did the chores for me… I kid, I kid… about the animals; I am no fairy tale princess and I have a major fear of squirrels. As far as quite times go, that was one season of my life and a pretty short one at that.
More often than not, however, my time in the Word looks very, very different. I know some of you are diligent, disciplined people who read you Bibles every day at the same time and never miss an appointment with God. But that is not me… at all. Most days I struggle to be in the Word, fighting against too little sleep, busy schedules, and active kids to etch out quiet moments to read and study.
There have been seasons of my life (like when I had new babies or sick kids) when, despite my best efforts, days and weeks would go by without me so much as cracking my Bible. But there have also been times when I wasn’t regularly in the Word because I just plain wasn’t making the effort.
There are seasons when having a quiet time is easy, and times when it’s hard. There are days when time spent in the word is emotional and uplifting and days when it’s dry and difficult. Times when we want to bathe in the words of the Bible and times when we, well, don’t. Sometimes it’s just plain tough, but here’s the deal, God doesn’t call us to a quiet time, he calls us to a relationship.
Abide in Me
Now, quiet times spent reading and studying the word are SO important and worth fighting for. But if you are like me, then you have felt guilty over the years for not reading more or having quiet times that look like other, more spiritual people’s quiet times. God, however, has a different standard.
In John 15 Jesus is teaching his disciples during the last supper and he makes the dramatic analogy of him as the vine and us as the branches. He goes on to talk about how we bear fruit when we are united with him and what that looks like. But over and over again, in these few verses, he tells his followers to, “abide in me.” Abide means to remain, stay, continue in, or endure. It’s the idea of not just spending a few designated moments with God, but living every moment of the day in his presence. It’s the idea of walking through life with him and looking to him in all circumstances.
Abiding in Christ means thinking on the Word, praying throughout the day, meditating on his promises, etc. It’s the idea of filling your thoughts to overflowing with praise for God. Abiding in Christ means you are aware of him and see him as active in every part of your life. But if you’re anything like me, that can be hard. It’s so easy to let the worry and busyness of the day crowd your thoughts. I’m easily distracted.
So I had an idea! What if we all got together to encourage each other to abide? What if we spent a little bit of time each day sharing what God has put on our hearts as a way of helping other women to think about God too? What if there was a place where, on those days when you are struggling to get into the word, you could come and be refreshed? That’s what I want to do.
I’m going call it the Abide Initiative (because I like cheesy names!) and here is how it’s going to work… Every morning I am going to post an AiM (Abide in Me) verse on my Facebook and Twitter pages. Join me there and post one too. Whatever is on your heart, a verse you’ve been reading, something you need to remind yourself, whatever it is, share it with us! I firmly believe that taking a moment to think about Scripture helps to start a pattern of thinking about it all day long. If you want, feel free to comment on the verses too. Tell us how that verse is important for you, how God is moving in your life, again, whatever you want to share we’d love to come alongside to and encourage and rejoice with you.
This isn’t a Bible study and is not a replacement for getting into the Word yourself. But it is a way to grow together and encourage our walks with the Lord. Just imagine what would happen if we as a community of women grew in our walks with the Lord together!
So how about it? Ready to join in?