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God's peace can help us live above anxieties as we learn to trust in Him! This was not a planned series! The Lord caught me off guard. He broke into my routine life in order to draw me closer to Himself. First, the Lord got my commitment. He reminded me about my stated interest in growing as a Christian. He was not impressed with my past missionary or pastoral work. The Lord was intent on further shaping my heart. He spoke to me through Psalm 1 and Joshua 1 about the need for daily meditation. This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.

Joshua God designed meditation as a way for His people to grow and have success.

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Excuses about not having enough time did not go far. He wanted more time. I knew what He wanted. After a struggle, I finally gave up my afternoon radio talk show so that I could listen to Him through His Word. I made no vows, but like other good habits, I purposed to meet with Him when I could at a certain time.

I never could have imagined what actually happened. As I think about it, I am still astonished. Even now, years after that time, I am deeply moved just by thinking about what He did.

Above all, I wanted to hear from the Lord in this short meditation time. I did. He came so close that I was utterly changed. The time rarely exceeded thirty minutes, but what He taught me regularly impacted my life. The truths were so clear, piercing and heart breaking that I almost needed to prepare myself before I met with Him. I wondered what would He say? Where would He lead me? My life might never be the same after that time with Him in His Word. And to be honest, my life never was quite the same. I limited my study to Jesus from the Gospels.

After all, I have preached and taught most of the Gospel passages. This time, however, I would study passages where I could observe how Jesus trained His disciples. Instead of the typical study on how Jesus responded to different situations, I would examine what the disciples themselves saw and heard. Jesus was, after all, training His disciples.

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The Gospels became a literal adventure land full of special paths of learning. I wanted to be trained. This is what I desired. Could I learn from these situations? Oh, yes. I learned too much, if I can say that. I felt that I was overloaded with the truths that were impacting my lives. I was scared, almost, that what I would learn the next day would overload what I could handle.

I no more doubt whether God wants to speak to me or other Christians. He wants to speak loud and clear. The real question is whether we want Him to really speak to us. How desperate are we for Him to speak to us?


Each mediation session was unique, though the approach for this series was the same. In the end each meeting with God ended with a powerful impact on my life. Sometimes the main point would immediately pop out. These lessons were easy to grab hold of. At other times, however, the Lord would try me. I finally learned that no matter how long it took, I needed to keep reading the same passage until He spoke to me. The Lord was building up my faith so that I absolutely knew that He was able and desirous to speak to me through any passage in His Word. No matter how unlikely the passage was, God could and would speak to me.

But I needed to persist. I was not to turn the page. I was not to wander off to another passage.

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I had to meditate upon the Word that He directed me to ponder upon, even if it was chosen somewhat at random. Once God arrested my attention with the truth of the passage, I inevitably needed to repent.

Every passage became an opening of my spiritual eyes at my awful spiritual condition. I had been a Christian for many a year, but the teachings were so poignant that I often ended up with tears dripping down my face. I wonder what my children thought as they walked by me, seeing me so moved through a Bible reading. But indeed, it was much more than a Bible reading. I had met God, or should I say, God had met me in the deep unknown needs of my heart.

Abide in Christ - Abiding Above - December 20

The encounters were so real it is as if the Spirit actually took me to that place where the disciples were watching Jesus or asking Him some question. He so regularly and powerfully spoke to me during those times that it has made me all the more a firm believer in the importance for a Christian to grow every day of his or her life.

Like Paul the Apostle, we have not yet reached that point of perfection. We have much more room to grow than we have ever thought. Each session focused on a new passage. I read and reflected on each passage until He spoke to me through His Word. Sometimes this would take longer than at other times, but I would stay there until at least one truth was unleashed into my soul.

Many times I was tempted to give up and just be satisfied with a general reading of His Word. Thankful to the Lord, I persevered in reading over the passage until He spoke. More often than not, I just needed to reflectively read it once or twice again before His truth would begin to powerfully shake my life. Each session ended with an application to my life. Usually, this was not too difficult. He was there teaching me.

When I repented from my hardened heart, there was always some real practical truth to apply to my life. Many of these lessons are written here in this series, Abiding in Christ: Walking with Jesus. My hope is that you will learn how to hear God speak to you through His Word.

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They will be some of the most tremendous times you have in your life.