Doing God's Will Series: Week Three
Read this selection from Andrew Murray’s Abide in Christ.
Each time your attention is free to occupy itself with the thought of Jesus--whether it be with time to think and pray, or only for a few passing seconds--let your first thought be to say: Now, at this moment, I do abide in Jesus. Use such time, not in vain regrets that you have not been abiding fully, or still more harmful fears that you will not be able to abide, but just at once take the position the Father has given you: “I am in Christ; this is the place God has given me. I accept it; here I rest; I do now abide in Jesus.”
Practice such abiding each day this week, and reflect upon what difference it makes.
Read Luke 1: 26-38, concentrating on Mary’s words in vs. 38, “Here I am, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.”
Consider what situations you may encounter today into which you especially want to pray those words. In prayer, visualize yourself in each encounter maintaining this attitude of “active passivity.”
Read Luke 6: 43-49.
What causes a tree to produce good or bad fruit? How can the kind of fruit our lives are producing be changed? What is the connection between the words of Christ, faith, and our actions? Today in prayer, make the connection between the concept of abiding and Jesus’ instructions on obedience and fruit.
Read Galatians 5: 16-26.
What is the difference between a “work” and a “fruit”? Take a moment to contrast the works of the sinful nature and the fruit of the Spirit. In what form do you experience the conflict between the fruit God desires to grow in you and the works your old nature wants to manufacture? In this passage, what are the instructions for winning the struggle? On what previously accomplished facts do we rely? What does it mean for you to consciously “live by the Spirit”?
Read Romans 6: 5-11.
Note that Paul says both that “our old self was crucified with” Christ and that we yet “must consider ourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.” This consideration, or “reckoning” as some translations have it, is similar to abiding in the vine and living in the Spirit. All three involve counting on certain facts to be true, and then living in agreement with those facts. Prepare for today by briefly considering the sins, diminishments and defeats which typically belittle you. Count them as dead, as crucified with Christ. Then consider yourself, visualize yourself, as one who is alive with Christ in his resurrection, made new by the Spirit.
Read Colossians 3: 1-4.
Here is yet another Biblical way of describing the balance between Christ’s work and our consent. Begin this day by taking time to set your mind on the things above. Consider who Jesus is and all he has done for you, and is doing now. Ponder how your ambitions and anxieties may be hidden with Christ in God, and consider that your true life is in Jesus the vine.
Read Colossians 3: 5-17.
Contrast the two ways of life Paul describes. How does he use the idea of “clothing ourselves”? What actions and attitudes would you like to peel off today? What kind of spiritual clothes do you feel led to dress in this day? In vs. 15-17, some specific instructions are given to aid this process? What are they, and how do they apply to your life?
Practice giving thanks, making music in your heart, and letting the words of Christ dwell in you today.