Category Archives: Discipline

focuses on the spiritual disciplines

Well God, when You put it that way…. <3

www.laurareimer.net

This morning I finally got through the bulk of Job.

I finished off where Job’s youngest friend is beginning his assessment of all that has been said. I love how he says he had kept his mouth shut because age should bring wisdom, however he now was convinced that older does not mean wiser. 

I heartily amen that comment, Elihu. 

Right before he speaks out though, is some of the most painful lines of this whole difficult book. 

Job has silenced his critical friends and begins a long dissertation where he invites God to meet him face to face and just line out all the accusations He might wish to voice. 

Then Job opens up his own performance record on every area he can imagine…

  • Integrity in business
  • Diligence in worship
  • Generosity in caring for the poor
  • Kindness towards strangers
  • Meekness with the downcast
  • Responsible in parenting
  • Provision and protection for employees…

It goes on and on. 

And I cringe because I can hear this portion in my own voice. 

When I have been maligned or forgotten or misunderstood or injured, I begin first by asking what I did wrong and then very quickly jumping to defend myself on all accounts. 

I pull up all the things that would certainly put in me in a place of being blameless and stack the record in my favor. 

I am not alone. 

This is human nature. 

All of us at some point or many points have been much like Job and his friends. 

When we look at the book of Job, we see so clearly what we often miss in our dealings with God. 

We see a man who would like to put God on the stand and cross examine Him as to His motives and heart and character. 

We become the defense attorney for ourselves and we call forth our own view of our deeds as witnesses in our favor. 

Ouch. Ouch. Ouch. 

I am excited for tomorrow. 

I know how this book of Job ends. 

After Elihu has his say, God answers Job. 

God shows up and starts asking the questions. 

If it had a soundtrack with it, it would be swelling and compelling and majestic as God asks Job about where he was when the foundations of the world were laid.

Has he been where snow is made?

Does he have a record book to count all the stars and clouds and can he commission the rain to fall?

Did he teach the hawk to fly or the lioness to hunt? 

In one beautiful verse after another, God reminds Job and He reminds me, that HE IS GOD.

And when I know who He is, who I am changes drastically.

Knowing who God is and being put in my rightful place is incredibly faith building. 

God’s word is alive….read it…study it…live it <3

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So how do we “abide”?

www.laurareimer.net

A friend who faithfully reads the Journey and often sends me back her thoughts (which I dearly love hearing), mentioned that we often confuse “abide” with “abode.” I was so thankful to see this in print because it was an aha! moment for me. 

Because yet again I thought I understand the word and no, I don’t.

Abode in my mind is my house, which is very much true..but again the linguists have left a rabbit trail for the “house” of which we abide in…is temporary. 

Again we find that our abode is a place where we wait…stay…an active kind of remaining in one place. 

So we understand that abiding, dwelling, remaining is not a stagnate state but instead a waiting full of activity.

As a sojourner we are making a place of stopping, while always doing the work required in that place and readying ourselves to move on in the same way. 

Which leaves me yet again at the question, what does it mean to “abide” in Christ and Him in me…what does it look like, this place of remaining?

There are several references in Scripture that allude to the answer:

Then Jesus said to the Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in my word, you really are my disciples.” John 8:31     

Anyone who does not remain in Christ’s teaching but goes beyond it does not have God. The one who remains in that teaching, this one has both the Father and the Son. 2 John 9

It would seem that abiding in Him and Him in me involves me continuing to study and apply His teachings. Every single time you and I listen to a sermon, study through one of the many lessons available to us online and through our churches, follow a rabbit trail through Scripture or ponder what we read that morning and pray for God to show us how to live it…we are abiding/remaining/sojourning in Him and Him in us. 

The one who says he is in the light but hates his brother or sister is in the darkness until now. The one who loves his brother or sister remains in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. But the one who hates his brother or sister is in darkness, walks in the darkness, and doesn’t know where he’s going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes. 1 John 1: 8-11

If anyone has this world’s goods and sees a fellow believer in need but withholds compassion from him – how does God’s love reside in him? Little children, let us not love in word or speech, but in action and in truth. 1 John 3: 17-18

Abiding in Him and Him abiding in us should be stirring up love and compassion for our brothers and sisters in Christ. We live in a world where not agreeing with someone is equated with hating them. This is not the case. 

Don’t let the propaganda of political correctness override the truth that love has nothing to do with agreeing with people. Affirming everyone’s “truth” in order to keep peace and harmony is not love. 

However, neither is spouting Truth and slinging arrows hither and yon, in the name of Jesus. 

Look deeply into either of those passages and you will see the hard work of overcoming our human preferences for people and loving them as God does. 

I heard a quote this week about an avowed atheist who said he had no respect for Christians who didn’t openly share their faith. He said basically, if you believe that Jesus saves and you are unwilling to share that because of fear, than you don’t really love as you say He loved. 

Ouch…ouch…ouch…

Abiding means that I live in how God loves and I let His love live in me and override my preconceived notions about what His work might look like in someone else’s life. 

If someone is a believer, whether I agree, like, prefer, would choose to have coffee with them once a week or not….every time I fight off my flesh and love that one well, I abiding in Him and He is abiding in me. 

Truly praying for people is often the starting point for that place of love and compassion to be fueled with the power of God’s Spirit in me. Actions flow as he guides me in how to speak truth, act in truth, and love those He has placed with me on the journey. 

If you want a little study exercise to do, look up the passages that include the word “abide” and “remain” and start listing what God’s word describes this to look like in daily life. Then meditate and pray for Him to show you how to do it better. 

I will be back with my own discovery tomorrow…hope you join me <3

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Remaining without coming to a complete stop …. <3

www.laurareimer.net

If you just showed up this week, you may have to check back through the Monday and Tuesday posts…

here https://www.laurareimer.net/are-you-up-for-chasing-rabbits-today/

and here https://www.laurareimer.net/glad-you-remained-around-for-another-day-of-this-little-word-study/

…to catch up. 

The concept of what it means to “abide” in Christ captured my attention in morning devotions so I have been doing a bit of a word and Bible study (guess that would be a word and Word study) and as I decipher through my notes, I am sharing bits and pieces of the findings and the musing. 

One of the sources I read was a website christianity.com which I want to always emphasize to you, when I search something I try my best to do a quick check on the people and faith mission behind it, but I don’t ever want to 100 percent recommend a resource to you. Please…check out the whole picture of any Christina site you are researching and make sure they are, to the best of human ability, solid in their beliefs about the Trinity, Scripture and the Gospel. 

That being said, here is what I discovered as I pursued gaining a deeper understanding of what it means to “abide” with Him. 

The article pointed out that the word “abide” in most of the passages in the New Testament that speak to this condition we need to be in on this faith journey, point to connection, dependance and continuance.

We can see in the words “continuance” and “dependance” more of a relationship connotation than a specified way to exist.

So, like all things we know about grace, abiding is not something we work towards but something that happens as we continue on learning about Jesus, applying His teachings to our life choices and activities and then trusting Him to be there with us, for us and to rely on His presence for wisdom, discernment, protection, provision, correction, direction…an on-going movement that somehow stays put. 

I thought to myself that is almost as if there is movement in staying put in one place. 

So there is a fluid level of activity, even as we stay firmly attached to Christ and His teachings.

As I type that I think of traveling by car or plane. The body remains fixed but by choosing to remain in the vehicle, you are moving through space from one location to another. 

I also read this quote and am chewing on it as well:

“Abiding is a reality true to all Christians but an experience we grow into by degrees.”

https://www.christianity.com/bible/bible-study/what-does-it-mean-to-abide-in-christ.html

So we see here another truth about faith –> we grow in faith constantly.

Maybe slower in some seasons, maybe quicker in others; but the nature of faith is an atmosphere of both transformation and growth. 

So it would seem that all who have received Christ are in some measure “abiding” but to what degree? 

And how can we actively participate in this abiding? 

That, my friend, is for tomorrow’s visit…I hope you will return <3

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