While the three previous blogs have focused on the outer person, this blog is primarily going to focus on contentment within the heart, and the mind, and the soul of a woman. God’s word will be our main source of instruction. There is nothing else so reliable or penetrating, is there? So we will approach our study seriously, won’t we?
We seniors develop strange mind sets, habits, thoughts, and ideas; and we get “set in our ways,” which absorbs our lifestyle. In some cases it crowds God out. That is dangerous and should never be. The Word of God must become our lifeline. That takes discipline and lots of it. The termites of life hinder us from gazing on Christ.
Question. How can we rectify that? If we have become absorbed by filling our previous multiple workaholic activities with multiple time-filler activities — even profitable activities — it is possible that love for God and His penetrating Word has been squeezed to second or third place. If that has happened, we must, by God’s help, change our ways. There are ways to do that. Following is one suggestion.
The book of Philippians stabs my heart and punctures my soul every time I open to it. I am there often. It is not normal to stay on spiritual track without God’s help is it? Note God’s encouragements and challenges: 2:5 “Your attitude should be that of…”; 3:13 “Forgetting those things…”; 4:4 “Rejoice …”; 4:12 “I have learned.…” These are a few from my readily available written out list that I often refer to. Perhaps you would like to turn to the references to complete these helpful reminders. How rich! How challenging! Why not set the knitting needles and the golf clubs aside and dig deep into the beneficial riches of God’s Word.
I have another list from 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Peter. You can do the same with any Bible book. This time I have made statements rather than quoting verses. I Pet 1:3, We have an inheritance in the Lord Jesus Christ. 1:5, We are shielded by God’s power. 1:14, Do not conform to evil desires.
Seniors often say, “I am so busy now that I have retired. I don’t know how I did it all before.” For me that puts up a bright red flag that spells inventory time.
Andrew Murray’s account is extremely impressive. He wrote,
“I was very much struck a time ago in an infant school examination, with the practice a little class in object lessons was put through. A picture was shown them, which they were told to look at carefully. They then had to shut their eyes and take time to think and remember everything they had seen. The picture was now removed and the little ones had to tell all they could remember. Again the picture was shown, and they had to try and notice what they had not observed before; again to shut their eyes and think, and again to tell what more they had noticed. And so once more, until every line of the picture had been taken in. As I looked at the keen interest with which the little eyes now gazed on the picture, and then were pressed so tightly shut as they tried to realize, and take in, and keep what they had been looking at, I felt that if our Bible reading were more of such an object lesson, the unseen spiritual realities pictured to us in the Word would take much deeper hold of our inner life. We are too easily content with the thoughts suggested by the words of the Bible, though these are but forms of truth, without giving time for the substantial spiritual reality, which the Word as the truth of God contains, to get lodged and rooted in the heart. *Let us, in meditating on the image of God in Christ, to which we are to be conformed, remember this. When some special trait has occupied our thoughts, let’s shut our eyes, and open our hearts; let us think, and pray, and believe in the working of the Holy Spirit, until we really see the blessed Master in that special light in which the Word has been setting Him before us and carry away for that day the deep and abiding impression of that heavenly beauty in Him which we know is to be reproduced in us. Let us gaze and gaze again, let us worship and adore; the more we see Him as He is, the likelier to Him we must become. To study the image of God in the man Christ Jesus, to yield and set upon our inmost being for that image to take possession and live in us, and then to go forth and let the heavenly likeness reflect itself out of our life among our fellowmen, —this is what we have been redeemed for, let this be what we live for.”Andrew Murray has given us a challenge for our retirement years. I entrust his lengthy quote to God’s gracious care in you as well as myself to grow ever closer to Him for His unspeakable glory.