As I pass the half-way point in the book, "Becoming a Woman of Simplicity" by Cynthia Heald, I am learning so much about what it means to abide in Christ. Not just have Him be part of my weekend, but to be a part of my every day. I am by no means perfect. I think this is a lifelong journey. But my eyes have been opened to the things I know I am doing wrong, and have been made aware of the things I can do to change that. Yesterday, I had a great opportunity to share what I've learned about abiding on the blog of Debbie Hopper, an amazing woman of God, and women's ministry leader from my church.
This study really complements the 1% Changes talked about often over at Naptime Diaries. It's a learning process. One day at a time. Each day, learning something new to help me abide well. Today the word is abandonment.
to leave completely and finally; forsake utterly; desert
to give up; discontinue; withdraw from
to give up the control of
When we abandon, we leave something behind. We give it up. We forsake it. Quite simply, in order to fully abide in Christ, we must fully abandon ourselves to Him. What do all our worldly possessions mean if it means we've lost our soul? We are called to take up the cross of Christ and to follow Him. If we die to ourselves, we will live in Him.
Abandonment in Christ means freedom. When we accept the sacrifice on the cross, we are set from from sin, having done nothing at all to deserve it. We must appreciate that sacrifice to the fullest extent. We should honor God by striving to be like Christ in all that we do. Just as He was obedient unto death on a cross, we must humble ourselves and be like a servant to God, allowing ourselves to be used for His glory.
If we abandon ourselves to the Holy Spirit, sin loses its power over us. We are given life in the Spirit. We are children of God. It is amazing and wonderful to stop and consider the promise of hope that comes with this! Once we decide to give ourselves to Him, however, we still must contend with the world around us because there is sin and the temptation of sin all around us. We must place our faith in Him and rely on God's strength to resist these temptations. If we lack a firm foundation in Christ, we will crumble in times of trouble.
Be obedient to God. We can't fully know Him if we don't obey Him. Do not be selfish. Die to your old life and be made new in your life with Christ. Walk in the Spirit. Place value on those around you and put God's interests ahead of your own.
All of these concepts seem like some really tall orders, but the more I absorb what I am reading and learning, the more I want to change my ways to become a woman of faith who truly abides in Christ!
Galatians 2:20 (NIV)
20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
reflections on chapter 7 of "becoming a woman of simplicity". more insights to come as i journey through this book...