1 Cor 13:1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.
God spoke, at least to me, last night. As I've been pondering lately the meaning of life, okay, the meaning of my own attitudes about things, I was reminded by a friend of a little book entitled "Secrets of the Vine", by Bruce Wilkinsen. I'm sure that I've mentioned it before on this blog, as I just love the book. Rather, I love the truths it presents throughout its pages. I was told by this friend to read chapters 7 & 8, and as I read the pages I was reminded again about a time a year and a half ago when I fell in love with John 15, and abiding in the vine. Being rather than doing. Abiding. Tears filled my eyes as I meditated on that truth and I knew that God had spoken to me in a special way.
Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. John 15:4-5
Somehow this verse brought me to that familiar passage about love in 1 Cor 13. If love is longsuffering, is not puffed up, is not provoked, bears, believes and endures all things, where has mine been lately? I've been the branch barely abiding in the vine, trying to live on my own, while my attitude has been slowly crumbling. I need to be still and know that He is God (Ps 46:10), and realize that I am not. I'm tired of being a clanging cymbal.
All of us, no matter where we are in our journey of our Christian lives, experience times when we become clanging cymbals rather than sweet sounding music to God's ears and to others. It is in those times, I believe that we have somehow let the busy-ness of our world creep too much into our lives, causing our time with God to diminish in quality as well as quantity. The interesting thing to me is how it can happen sometimes without us even realizing it. I feel that is has happened to me lately and today, I'm putting a stop to it. :) While I have not neglected my daily quiet time with God, the demands of my life and ministry have caused me to need more, and I haven't stopped to just abide - to rest in Him, knowing that God is God.
I challenge you to take a look at yourself today. Are you abiding in God's presence or are you getting irritated by silly things? Are you stressed out and feeling overwhelmed or are you giving your concerns over to God immediately in prayer? Are you so grafted into the vine that you never lose energy because you are so attached to the source of Life? It is all about love. We need to have a love so deep for God that we never want to leave His presence. If we have that, the rest will fall into place.