Click above to listen to Abiding from my first album Walk in the Light (2001). If you enjoy, consider purchasing the song, album download, or CD from iTunes or stantonlanier.com (where sheet music is also available).
Does your life feel more like you are striving or abiding?
I have a great friend who asked me years ago, “If you could only choose one word to describe living by faith, what would it be? I thought for a minute and said, “Obey.” He responded, “Abide.” Another great answer may come to mind for you. He and I still discuss all the life areas where we are striving and wanting to succeed – spiritual, family, work, relationships, health, etc.
There is that word — striving. It can be a good thing to strive. So how did a mental shift influence my story when I realized if striving is a viewpoint, then abiding is like a vista?
Striving involves hard work and faith. Resting involves hard work and faith too. When I shifted my focus from “Striving to Achieve” to “Abiding to Receive” my efforts and results took on a richer meaning. This is a delicate balance, but it helps me remember that God’s definition of success is different than mine, other people’s, and the world’s. Instead of striving in my own strength, by abiding in God’s strength my perspective shifts from depending on myself to depending on Him.
The results of hard work can be the same whether I “strive” or “abide,” but there is a healthy dynamic when I am grateful for receiving results versus celebrating achieving results. Striving is a great word and attribute, so if you still like this word, maybe you can add “striving to abide” to your mindset. I have found if striving is an attitude, then abiding takes life to a new altitude.
Where are you abiding instead of striving? What are you receiving instead of achieving?
The song Abiding was born out of John 15:5 “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” The opening melody symbolizes walking through life with a desire to abide in Christ. The chorus melody represents the good fruit, much fruit, that follows, which only He can produce in and through us.
Thank you for your thoughtful words. I appreciate the reminder to depend on God’s strength. Perfectionism and over analysis has been a terrible idol in my life and I appreciate your faithfulness to keep sharing the graceful heart of God through blogging and through your wonderful scripture-inspired music.
Stanton Lanier says
Dear Mike, thanks so much for taking time to share your comments and appreciation. I am grateful for your encouragement, and that this post and music speaks to your longing for God’s strength, and knowing He is the only One who is perfect. I need reminding of this too. Blessings to you! Stanton
Thank you for your beautiful music! It brings peace to my soul.