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31 Days of Abiding

8 In 31 Days of Abiding

Abiding {Day 31} In Fullness of Joy!

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JOY —   delight, great pleasure, jubilation, happiness, gladness, glee, exhilaration, exuberance, elation, ecstasy.

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.  (Psalm 16:11)

We have been on a journey together.  A journey of learning to sit, to be still, to remain in His presence.  I pray that you have had deep and personal encounters with the Lord while you have practiced the art of waiting in His presence.  I am asking the Lord to reach down and fill you up with JOY overflowing.  It’s the kind of joy where you know deep down in your gut that you are loved!  It’s the kind of joy that screams, “I am My Beloved’s and He is for me”!  It’s the kind of joy that says, “My weeping my last for a night, but JOY comes in the morning!”.

Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.  (Psalm 30:5)

He is waiting for you with open arms.  Today, right now, in this very moment He stands ready to receive you, no matter what you have done, no matter where you are in life.  Will you answer His call?  Will you allow Him to fill you today?  You don’t have to do anything.  Just be.  Remember, you were created to be with Him, not to do for Him.  In His presence is fullness of joy.  Will you come and taste, see that the Lord is good?  It is safe to come.  You need not fear.

Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!  (Psalm 34:8)

God desires to fill our lives with joy. Not just momentary happiness, but true and lasting pleasure.  The kind that is only found in Him.  Even in times of great sadness, confusion and hardship, He alone is our joy.  True and everlasting joy is only found in His presence.  When we choose to remain in Him, He remains in us, and thus, we are filled to overflowing.

These things have I spoken to you, that my joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.  (John 15:11)

I would love to know how God has spoken to your heart during this series.  And I want to thank each and every one of you for following along and encouraging me along the way.  You have inspired me by your comments!  And our journey is not over.  I am here to encourage you as you continue to walk in greater intimacy with the One who desires You and desires to remain in you as you remain in Him.

*This is Day 31 of a 31 day series on “Abiding”. You can find all of my posts in this series here. And be sure to stop by some of the other 31Dayers. Over 700 bloggers have linked up so far! There is something for everyone!

 

 

11 In 31 Days of Abiding

Abiding {Day 30} – Rooted In Love

© Carlos Caetano - Fotolia.com

“So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”   (Ephesians 3:17-19)

When I first started blogging over two years ago, I chose this scripture verse as the tagline for my blog.  I didn’t choose it because I had an understanding of this kind of love, but rather I desired to really know and understand the width, length, height and depth of His love.  I want to be rooted and established in love — in the kind of love that is beyond my comprehension.

I’ve always struggled to fully accept God’s love for me.  Past hurts and wounds have woven pain so deep that it’s taken me years to undo the lies.  The lies that tell me I am not good enough, not pretty enough, not worth, anything, etc. and so on.  I’ve come a long way, but I still have a ways to go.  It is so important to me to remain connected to the Vine (Jesus).  I must allow His love to change the way I think about what He feels towards me.  When I abide in Him, His love for me overwhelms my heart and mind and I receive that extra measure of grace to see my weaknesses as strengths in the light of His great love!

The concept of abiding in Christ is so much about allowing our roots to go down deep.  We cannot often see the roots of trees.  But they stretch very far.  And deep underground there are streams of water that bring never-ending nourishment to them, which bring life and stability to not only the tree, but to it’s branches.  How do you think a tree can live for hundreds of years?  It is because their root systems are constantly tapping into the source of living water — constant and abiding nourishment.

I want to be like a tree, planted by streams of living water.  I want to be established in His love, allowing my roots to go down deep into the richness of His love, bringing health and nourishment to my soul.

They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.  (Jeremiah 17:8)

When we abide in Christ and allow His love to nourish our souls, we will live abundant and thriving lives and will bear much fruit.  I want that.  I want to live in the overflow of God’s abundance. I want to bear good fruit and bring others into the nourishing love of God. But in order to share this knowledge with others, my roots must first go down deep.

God wants to abide in us.  He wants our hearts to be a place where He can dwell (live, remain, to constantly abide).  Do you believe that the God of the universe desires to be with You?  Do you know that He leans over the balcony of heaven, just to hear your voice?  Do you know that He calls you lovely?  Do you know the way that you move His heart?

Are your roots going deeper into His love?  Are you learning to abide?  My friend Kimberly at A Planting of the Lord is wrapping up her series on Rooting Deeper tomorrow.  I hope you will find the time to read some of her posts on.  They have truly been a blessing to me as we have both been on similar journeys over the last 30 days.

 

*This is Days 30 of a 31 day series on “Abiding”. You can find all of my posts in this series here. And be sure to stop by some of the other 31Dayers. Over 700 bloggers have linked up so far! There is something for everyone!

 

1 In 31 Days of Abiding

Abiding {Day 29} – Behold Him!

I had a completely different post prepared (in my head) for today.  However, after listening to my Pastor’s sermon on “beholding” tonight, I felt God again shifting gears.

As a wife, mom, friend, full-time employee, and someone very involved in the ministry of building a House of Prayer in our region, it’s easy to get out of balance.  It’s easy to “do” all the things God has created me to do, and forget to simply “be”.

I was convicted last night that I have been “doing” more than I have been beholding.  I’ve spent time in prayer, I’ve worshiped, I’ve done ministry, but I haven’t been sitting long enough to truly see Him.

To behold –  observe, view, look at, watch, gaze at/upon, regard, contemplate, inspect, eye; catch sight of, glimpse, notice.

If I am to abide in Christ (to remain in His love, to stay connected to the Vine), I must behold Him daily.  If He truly is my One desire, as I often sing, then I must set aside the time to look into the face of the One who is worthy.

One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.  (Psalm 27:4)

David was after The One Thing.  His desire was to behold the beauty of the Lord.  He desired nothing more than to look at God, to inquire of God so that he would receive the revelation of His beauty and the see goodness of His character.  I yearn to see the goodness of the Lord in my life.

I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD In the land of the living.  (Psalm 27:13)

When we behold Him, we see His goodness.
When we behold Him, we having nothing to fear.
When we behold Him, the impossible becomes possible.
When we behold Him, we see His glory.
When we behold Him, we become more like Him.

So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord–who is the Spirit–makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.  (2 Corinthians 3:18)

To behold God is to see His worth, His attributes, His promises.  To behold God is to see the beauty of the Lord in the otherwise ordinary and mundane.  The more time we spend beholding Him, the more His character is revealed to us.

My heart says of you, “Seek his face!” Your face, LORD, I will seek.  (Psalm 27:8)

I will be a better wife, mother, employee and minister of the gospel when I am beholding Him by seeking His face.  In those moments His heart, character and wisdom are revealed.  This is where I receive His glory and His power to “do” all that He has called me to do.

How are you beholding Him today?

*This is Days 29 of a 31 day series on “Abiding”. You can find all of my posts in this series here. And be sure to stop by some of the other 31Dayers. Over 700 bloggers have linked up so far! There is something for everyone!

 

6 In 31 Days of Abiding

Abiding {Day 28} – God Whispers

© Andrei Kazarov - Fotolia.com

This series on abiding will be over in just four days.  If you’ve missed any of my prior posts, you can go here to catch up.  I’ve been stretched beyond my comfort zone and personally challenged as I’ve written this series.   I found myself struggling for words today and I do not want to strive, not here at the end.  I want to finish strong.  My daughter has had my computer the last couple of nights doing homework.  And because I do not write posts ahead of time, today I am re-posting a poem I wrote in September of 2009.  I hope that it will bless you today.

God Whispers
A brush of wind across my face
A child’s laughter from afar
The beat of my heart felt outside my chest
Do I hear?
A stroke of lightening in the sky
The sound of thunder resonating
Raindrops falling
Do you hear?
The Dove calling in the morning
The gentle quietness of the night
Every breath that gives life
Do we hear?
As the sun rises
He whispers my name
And with the setting of the sun
He beckons me to come.
Do I not hear?
God is whispering mightily.
Are you listening?
© Barbie Swihart

How is God whispering to your heart today?

 

*This is Days 28 of a 31 day series on “Abiding”. You can find all of my posts in this series here. And be sure to stop by some of the other 31Dayers. Over 700 bloggers have linked up so far! There is something for everyone!

 

 

7 In 31 Days of Abiding

Abiding {Day 27} – Trust

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In the first two weeks of this series, I shared about being still, about resting, about waiting in His presence.  During week three, I shared about pray-reading the scriptures, meditation through the revelation of His Word to our hearts and adoration prayer.  Over the last few days, I’ve shared about how God is with us during the dry times, the low valleys, and even in the midst of the storms in our lives.  There is one common theme that has resonated in my spirit over the last few weeks, and that is one of trust.

Trust –
firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something.

If we are to abide in Christ, we must trust that He is.

He existed from the beginning, and all of heaven and earth is His handiwork.

“He also says, “In the beginning, O Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands.”  (Hebrews 1:10)

If we are to remain in Him, we must trust that He desires us.

He created us for intimate relationship with Him.

I belong to my lover, and his desire is for me.  (Song of Solomon 7:10)

If we are to cling to Him, we must trust that He loves us unconditionally.

God’s love for us will never end.  He is faithful to love us through the hard stuff.

For great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever.  Praise the LORD.
(Psalm 117:2)

If we are to remain steadfast in our faith, we must trust that He will never leave us.

We can have courage and trust that God will always be with us, no matter what.

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”   (Deuteronomy 31:6)

To abide in Christ is to trust.  God is the only One who is reliable.  He will never fail you.  He will not forsake You.  He promises to carry you when you cannot walk.  He leads you gently, as a Good Shepherd.  He is the perfect Father and will never break your heart.  He will hide you in she shadow of His wings when things get hard.  He will strengthen you as you wait on Him, and give you wings to soar.

Do you trust Him today?  He is waiting for you with arms of love, wide open to receive you today, just as you are.

*This is Days 27 of a 31 day series on “Abiding”. You can find all of my posts in this series here. And be sure to stop by some of the other 31Dayers. Over 700 bloggers have linked up so far! There is something for everyone!