For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him. Philippians 2:13
Do your thoughts turn to God throughout the day, aware of his loving presence and deep concern for even the trivial aspects of your daily life?
This a question that continually challenges me and had prompted many discussions in what I would call – continuous abiding.
What do I mean by this continuous abiding? For me in my own simplistic understanding it is: turning within to God – by a direct act – abiding with Him in the depth of our spirit. Under this meaning, the only time we need to make a point of turning again is when our abiding is interrupted for some reason.
As I have reflected on this I have come to a point in my spiritual journey, where I do not concern myself with trying to turn to the Lord by any outward means. I say this with caution. We all need outwards activity i.e. worship, fellowship, to draw us closer to God.
Initially, we will find it difficult to make a deliberate act of turning when we begin this inner abiding. As we become constantly aware of the presence of God, we’ll find it natural to turn to Him for everything. Awareness of the presence of God is one of the foundation stones of our spiritual journey
The act of turning within in God now becomes the goal! When this act has been formed within, it will express itself as a continual abiding of one’s spirit and a continuous exchange of love between ourselves and the Lord. There is no longer any need to seek after it by outward acts. We simply remain near to God by this continuous inner abiding. You see, we have already turned within to the Lord; any outward activity will only draw us away from our union with Him.
In Philippians 2:13 (see above), God has promised to be at work in us and making it possible for us to pursue Him, know Him, and love Him with our lives as He deserves. Under the powerful attraction of God drawing us into Himself, the inward activity has increased
In this state of continually being turned to God, we are abiding in the love of God, and the one who abides in love abides in God. We rest in the continuously inward act of abiding.
In this state of rest, is our soul active or passive? It is active! We are not in a passive state, even when we are resting. But, what activity could there be resting? We are resting in the act of abiding in His love. Can that be activity? Yes! Inside our spirit there is activity going on. It is a sweet sinking into God.
The difference is that at the outset the activity was more outward; now the activity has moved inside; it has become deep, inward, hidden and outwardly invisible. The inward attraction—the magnetic pull—becomes more and more powerful. Our soul, dwelling in love, is drawn by this powerful attraction and sinks continually deeper into that love.
It has taken me a long time to comprehend and appreciate this, because, it is a deep work going on within at a level I do not, even yet, fully recognise. It is drawing me closer and closer to God and as I grow and develop to a new depth in my relationship with the Lord, I begin to sense and experience His abiding presence that allows my whole life to be interwoven with Him.
This was an awesome learning for me and I wrote about it, recently, in my prayer journal:
This, Oh Lord, is so overwhelming and powerful that I have come to the realisation that if I am abiding in you there does not need to be the human effort of striving to force something that is already happening. Even if I am not thinking on Him at times during the day, I am still abiding in Him. This is huge because it means that the situation going on around me doesn’t define what God is doing. I can trust that God is working through me for something that is good.
As we seek God with the intention of abiding in Him, He infuses our spirits with His Spirit, our minds with His mind. And soon the choices we face from day to day are no longer choices because we are taking on the very mind of Christ. It’s not about losing our own identity, but finding our true identity, bringing us into unity with the Father, and ultimately one another. When this happens, no power on earth will be able to stop us!