I’ve been thinking about abiding in Christ all week. I have thought about the spiritual gifts test online, cool link by the way, and maybe taking the test again. And then I thought, well, what good will those do me when I am so tense, scared, fearful, and lost most of the time?
How do I abide in Christ at work? All day? My husband said he stops every hour or so, reads a scripture on favor, knowledge, trust, wisdom, and then prays for God to help him solve the problems he is facing. Ok, that is good advice. So I have been trying that at work, to stop more, pray more often, read more scripture.
Then how do I abide in Christ when I am concerned about finances? Where is the money coming from? How will we pay the bills? Then comes the need for trusting. How do I trust? Where do I get it? Sometimes the trust doesn’t come that easily. Sometimes it does.
And then I worry about the choices that my children or my spouse make. Are they making good choices? Should I intervene? How do I handle these things?
In the abiding thoughts were these thoughts. How does the Holy Spirit work in us? He encompasses all the gifts, fruits and services mentioned in the spiritual gifts tests. And he will give us what we need when we need them. We just have to listen and be open to them.
Some of us find it easier to listen to him in certain ways or circumstances. Some of us can have faith to pray for others; some of us easily give encouragement to those who need it. Some of us work more easily in care taking, solving hospitality problems, and arranging childcare and other service gifts.
But we all have the Holy Spirit working in us and he will provide help to us when we need it. We just have to know how to hear him.
So how do we hear? We practice hearing in the little things. I remember once when my husband asked me to toss him his wallet. A thought dropped into my mind. “Just hand it to him, if you toss it, it will spill his milk.” I thought, well, that’s not going to happen, so I tossed it. It bounced and hit his milk. And then I thought, oh, maybe I should have listened?
How do we know we are listening to God? John 10 says that the sheep know his voice, recognize his voice and run from strange voices. This is a good promise that we will hear only his voice and follow him!
Jesus says, reach out and take my hand.
You can listen to this song, Take My Hand by Kry
Romans 8:5-8 Those who think they can do it on their own end up obsessed with measuring their own moral muscle but never get around to exercising it in real life. Those who trust God’s action in them find that God’s Spirit is in them—living and breathing God!
Obsession with self in these matters is a dead end; attention to God leads us out into the open, into a spacious, free life. Focusing on the self is the opposite of focusing on God.
Anyone completely absorbed in self ignores God, ends up thinking more about self than God. That person ignores who God is and what he is doing. And God isn’t pleased at being ignored.
9-11 But if God himself has taken up residence in your life, you can hardly be thinking more of yourself than of him.
Anyone, of course, who has not welcomed this invisible but clearly present God, the Spirit of Christ, won’t know what we’re talking about.
But for you who welcome him, in whom he dwells—even though you still experience all the limitations of sin—you yourself experience life on God’s terms. It stands to reason, doesn’t it, that if the alive-and-present God who raised Jesus from the dead moves into your life, he’ll do the same thing in you that he did in Jesus, bringing you alive to himself?
When God lives and breathes in you (and he does, as surely as he did in Jesus), you are delivered from that dead life. With his Spirit living in you, your body will be as alive as Christ’s!