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  • Jess Bird-Bellis

Abide

Updated: Jan 24, 2020

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.”

-Psalm 91:1


I’m pretty dutiful about my morning “quiet time”. Once I get into a routine, it’s difficult for me to get out of it (the phrase “stuck in her ways” can absolutely be used to describe yours truly). I love to-do lists, and checking off boxes. Quiet time: check!


What I’m not good at is dwelling.


I’m not good at keeping my attention directed on the truth that I read sometimes just minutes before.


This verse from Psalms has been popping up a lot lately. Whenever that happens I try to take some time to reflect on it and ponder how it might apply to my current life circumstances.


So I read and re-read this verse and my thoughts began to point to my tendency to worry about my current or future life circumstances. When I do that, I’m not dwelling (directing my attention) in the shelter of the Most High. I’m relying on my own ingenuity. That’s not going to get me far, and it’s only going to cause more anxiety. But, if I direct my attention to God and His perfect care for me, I will abide (remain in a stable, fixed state) in the shadow of the Almighty.


I can tell you that I have spent much time abiding in a shadow—a shadow of fear and doubt—and that’s not a place I’d like to spend any more time. Abiding in the Shadow of the Almighty sounds pretty good!


So, how does one do that? By keeping Scripture at the forefront of your mind, and spending time in prayer. There are a few things that have helped me to do this more lately.


One, I started a prayer journal using the ACTS format (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication). Each day I record my praises (A-Adoration) from something I read that morning. For example, I’ve been studying Hebrews over the past few weeks, so one of my praises is that Jesus is the better sacrifice. I confess my sin, repent of it, and ask God to change my heart and make me more like Himself. I thank Him for the wonderful blessings that He’s given to me, and I ask Him to work in specific areas in my life and in the lives of those I love.


Another way that I’ve been keeping Scripture in the forefront of my mind is writing it on a notecard and keeping it on my desk. I try to read that Scripture as I go through my day. I’m also helping my kids memorize verses. We have the mini scripture cards from Crew + Co, and we read our current verse every day on our way to school.

I have also purchased jewelry that helps me to keep Scripture on my mind. I’m currently wearing the Parallel bracelet from Dear Mushka, which comes with this corresponding verse: “You make known to me the paths of life. In your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore”. -Psalm 16:11. Katie, the owner of Dear Mushka, has great tips for Scripture memorization, and my prayer journal is modeled after hers!


There is no quick fix to managing fear, anxiety, and doubt (barring a miraculous work of God). However, the habits of meditating on His Word, preaching to ourselves about who God is, and spending time communing with him through prayer will decrease fear, anxiety, and doubt because it will increase our knowledge, love, and dependence upon Jesus. He is the Wonderful Counselor!

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