According to Dictionary.com, "Abide" means: remain, continue, stay, dwell, reside, remain steadfast, keep, patience, put up with, endure, sustain, wait for, submit to, remain faithful, and expectation.
Strong's Concordance gave the following definition for the Greek word which is translated as abide: "to stay (in a given place, state, relation, or expectancy), to continue, dwell, endure, be present, remain, stand, tarry for."
The meanings that seem to be most relevant for me are:
- Dwell — God seems to be opening the door to purchase a home.
- Remain faithful — I want to choose to be faithful in the responsibilities and relationships God has placed in my life.
- Wait for — I want to wait for God's perfect timing in my life. This means I need to be in close communion with Him so that I can hear His voice and be obedient.
- Expectation — I'm excited about what God has for me this year. This week our new Lakeland Christian Writer's Group met. It's exciting to see the people God is calling to share the messages God has laid on their hearts! I'm one of the speakers at the HerStory conference in Edmonton at the end of March. In April, Jayson and I are going to a Mexican orphanage for a week with a group from our church. The business coach I've been working with for the past year has invited everyone she works with to join her on a Caribbean cruise at the end of May/beginning of June. In July I'm looking forward to attending my first international Music for Young Children conference in Toronto. I have been teaching MYC for 10 years and look forward to improving my teaching abilities. September is always a highlight for me because I get to meet with all my InScribe family members. I'm excited to present a workshop on social media marketing at the conference.
- Stand — This word reminds me of Ephesians 6 where we are exhorted to stand firm, with God's armor in place. On January 4th I read Faith Bigger Than Fear, and God challenged me to pray boldly. When I asked God what he wants me to pray boldly about, these requests came to mind: 1. That I would have a profit of $50,000 in my business this year. 2. That I would faithfully and specifically pray for my husband. 3. That we would purchase our home this year. 4. That I would be able to help 20 people get their book published in 2020.
Our pastor invited anyone interested to join a church renewal study. On the first Tuesday of January, we met at 6 o'clock in the morning to pray and study together. I was delighted to hear our pastor say, "The theme of our study is 'Abide'!" We will continue to meet every Tuesday morning at 6 am for at least the next 14 weeks. The study includes daily devotionals, Scripture reading, reflection questions to encourage thoughtful journaling, and memorizing. Our group challenge is to memorize Romans chapter eight in fifteen weeks. I'm looking forward to learning and growing along with my brothers and sisters in Christ. (You can find more details about Church Renewal and The Way Discipleship Pathway: Abide at https://churchrenewal.com/)
A habit I started last year that will continue into this year is meeting almost weekly with a spiritual accountability partner. We have been working our way through the Celebrate Recovery step studies. (Celebrate Recovery is a Bible-based program for those who are working through issues like addiction or abuse. You can find more information at https://www.celebraterecovery.com/.) My accountability partner challenged me to start learning to listen to God by journaling and writing down what I hear Him saying to me. Here's an example from December 30th:
My Dearest Child,This last year has been a year of growth. Now I'm going to work on abiding.
I'm glad you are learning to trust me more. I long for the day when you trust me fully. I know you've been deeply hurt and you are learning to establish boundaries. That is a good thing. I have boundaries too. Sharing your love with other people is good, but not when it destroys who I made you.
Ask me and I will flood you with my love. Seek my face and I will show you who to share that love with. Continue to heal. Continue to grow. I am with you and will guide you in the way you should go.
All my love,
What about you? Do you have a word for 2020? I'd love to hear about it :)