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And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. (Philippians 1:9-11)
1. To move clumsily or with little progress, as through water or mud.
2. To act or function in a confused or directionless manner; struggle: "Some ... floundered professionally, never quite deciding what they wanted to do" (Steve Olson).
I couldn't put my finger on it, but this was the right word to describe how I have felt lately. As I was praying about it the word popped into my head and I looked it up. "That's exactly how I feel, Lord! I feel like I'm moving through muck, stuck, directionless, not knowing exactly where I am supposed to go or what I am supposed to do. Help!" Have you ever felt that way in your pilgrimage here below? There have been times I felt like I was "abounding" and I couldn't eat up His Word fast enough as all of it seemed to nourish and provide spiritual strength and growth and joy and love and all the things it was supposed to produce in my heart and life. I had direction, and knew what I was to do. I was being used of the Lord.
Yet something inside of me gives me the feeling there is a reason for this floundering thing going on in my life right now. Sometimes, it seems, the Lord has to stop me for a bit, get me to see I need to stop, look, and listen and maybe He's about to change the direction in my life. I need to ask Him for what this is all about, what caused it, if there is something He's trying to show me, or guide me into another phase of my Christian walk, or something He's preparing me for. I don't know. I only know it is a call to seek His face.
You have said, "Seek my face." My heart says to you, "Your face, LORD, do I seek." (Psalms 27:8)
We can only "abound" when it is the Holy Spirit working in us to enable us to do so. We never abound in spiritual growth or love or discernment or knowledge on our own. I know that. I have been through that type of floundering in the past - trying to grow in my own power and finding I was floundering badly. It was not until I realized "Christ in me, the hope of glory" and "it is no longer I who live but Christ Who lives in me" that I stopped floundering. When I quit struggling and began walking in faith in His finished Work His life began growing in me and being more and more revealed to me and in me and through me and I was filled with the joy of His salvation.
He stops me at times to let me really see myself, what's going on inside my heart, and what I need. Then in my desperate need, as I am made truly aware of it, I am drawn to Him for the answer, the knowledge in Him, and the discernment I need. I guess that's where I am finding myself right now. This day we live in, this world we live in, things happening so fast around us at break-neck speed, all of this has been causing me to take a look at myself, and at God a little more. How am I to live through this? What do I need from You, Lord? What is my work, my calling, my walk supposed to be right now? I am restless, struggling with little physical strength and inner battles with how to face the evil in this world. I feel useless, like I should be doing so much more, but what? How? I'm feeling so strongly the importance of "redeeming the time because the days are evil" (Ephesians 5:16), yet how to do that? What does it mean to redeem the time? I can think I am just because I am busy, but if my busyness is not of Him I'm just filling the time, not redeeming it. Going about my humdrum daily life seems like a waste of it many days. I'm floundering through all these things, waiting on God for His direction.
One thing I know, I can trust Him to bring me through it, and to guide and show His purpose. One thing I've found in my Christian pilgrimage is that whenever I've had these times of floundering, they have led me to a time of abounding as I sought Him and trusted Him and surrendered to Him in it. When His Spirit indwells us, He always leads us to abound in faith in His perfect provision, and always has a purpose in all He leads us into. He is always forming Christ in us, and ultimately making us what we are to be for eternity living in His presence forever. So I'm looking forward to the abounding that will come again as He leads me.
I know I can rest in His love and His guiding me through this and place my hope in His purpose to be accomplished in it. I need not fear, or faint, or be afraid. As in all things I can come to my Savior and trust Him to lead me through it to the place He has for me and teach me yet another lesson on my road to knowing Him more until I know Him perfectly. What a day that will be? He is always dependable on this pilgrim journey. I only have to rest in His love and let Him take me there. The journey is not mine but His. I don't dare take a path of my own, but let Him lead me on His. I don't want any other, no matter how appealing it seems or how much easier or more comfortable it appears to be. It's not about making it through with as little discomfort as possible but walking through this pilgrim journey on His path alone, refusing any other, doing it His way, not mine. If we want this, we can be sure and rest in faith that He will lead us on it and grant us the grace to walk it. It is not always the easiest smoothest road to travel, but it is the narrow way.
If we want something else, unfortunately, He'll many times let us go the wrong path and suffer the consequences as well. I've had that unfortunate experience as well. Ultimately it led me to desire His path alone in my life, no matter where it takes me or what is to be endured there. I've learned I would rather suffer than fail to walk His path. Once you have had His presence with you in that path, you just do not want to settle for anything less. You just can't. You trust His will, and His way, and His provision. Nothing else will do.
So brothers and sisters in Christ, are you abounding or floundering? If you are at one place, you may find yourself in the other at some point. Either way, let us pray for one another through this journey remembering we are citizens of another country, a heavenly one, and we need each other along the way. One day we'll come to the end of our pilgrimage and receive that inheritance incorruptible! "Hold fast that which you have!"
Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth. I am coming soon. Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown. The one who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God. Never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down from my God out of heaven, and my own new name. (Revelation 3:10-12)
Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God. (1 Peter 4:1-2)
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. (1 Peter 5:6-10)
If you want to know more about this salvation and are not sure you are going to Heaven, you can know. His Word assures us how we can know. Click here to read more.