My church in California used to present two plays each year — one on the Sunday before Christmas and one on Good Friday. Often, I got to help with both writing and directing. After one Good Friday play, one of the actors I’d directed gave me a thank you gift: Andrew Murray’s book, Abide In Christ.
The book left me frustrated, convincing me yet again of my failure to achieve intimacy with Christ.
Being in a Charismatic church, I’d been taught that God wanted to satisfy me completely and only with Himself. In fact, my desire to be married (the woman who led the Women’s Ministry assured me) indicated a profound deficit in my relationship with Jesus. She gave me The Song Of Songs by Watchman Nee to help me understand Jesus as my Husband. A pastor’s wife gave me Hannah Hurnard’s Hinds Feet In High Places for the same reason. And each of those books left me feeling guilty over my apparent inability to abide in Christ.
Avoid those books and others like them. While promising joy and fulfillment, they actually place burdens on Christians to develop a type of intimacy with Christ that goes beyond what the Bible describes. Yes, Jesus does call us to abide in Him, and He promises to abide in us. But elevating those principles to the level of mystical experience deviates from the clear teaching of Scripture and sets people (especially single women) up for unnecessary frustration. Therefore, why don’t we take a few minutes to talk about abiding in Christ from the Lord’s perspective?Read More »