March 15th, 2011 by Kristi Stephens
If you have followed this Abide series, I hope you have heard glimmers of my own story throughout each post.
I want to love God, and I often don’t.
I want to abide in Him, and I often fail.
I want to run hard after Him, and I often lose my focus on Him, start thinking about myself, and trip on my own feet.
Can you relate?
I hope you have also heard echoes of what God has been teaching me – I can’t love Him in my own strength. I can’t will myself to abide in Him. If I try to serve Him in my own efforts, my priorities and perspective will mess it all up.
We need to stop trying in our own strength and ask Him to cause us to love Him, pursue Him, abide in Him. Reading these quotes this weekend in Crazy Love resonated deeply with me [can you tell I'm enjoying this book?] :)
O God, I have tasted Thy goodness, and it has both satisfied me and made me thirsty for more. I am painfully conscious of my need for further grace. I am ashamed of my lack of desire. O God, the Triune God, I want to want Thee; I long to be filled with longing; I thirst to be made more thirsty still. Show me Thy glory, I pray Thee, so that I may know Thee indeed. Begin in mercy a new work of love within me. Say to my soul, ‘Rise up my love, my fair one, and come away.’ Then give me grace to rise and follow Thee up from this misty lowland where I have wandered so long.
Jesus, I need to give myself up. I am not strong enough to love You and walk with You on my own. I can’t do it, and I need You. I need You deeply and desperately. I believe You are worth it, that You are better than anything else I could have in this life or the next. I want You. And when I don’t, I want to want You. Be all in me. Take all of me. Have Your way in me.
When I don’t, I want to want Him.
My friend, I challenge you to consider how to still the frantic pace of your life to enter into His presence regularly and richly during this Lenten season. Hear me: I am not saying try harder, do more, pray longer. I am saying this: we need to create time and space in our lives to commune with God, to ask HIM to pursue US.
He wants you to abide in Him. He wants you to love Him. He knows that you are “but dust” (Psalm 103:14). Stop trying – and come to Him today in your weakness, in your failure, in your brokenness, and ask Him to cause you to love Him, cause you to want Him, cause you to abide in Him.
The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.
He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever;
he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;
for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.
All of the posts in the Abide series are indexed here.