Abiding and beholding – two practices

By Dave Henning / September 4, 2022

“There are practices that, when woven into the daily rhythms of life, can help us see God more clearly amid the beauty and terrors of life.  Two such practices, abiding and beholding, are foundational to knowing God and experiencing his closeness, goodness, and glory.”- Scott Sauls

In Prologue 5 (“Fine Motor Skills”) of Beautiful People Don’t Just Happen, Scott Sauls compares the two practices of abiding and beholding to tilling and planting for the farmer.  When the farmer completes his work, he must rely on God for rain, sunlight, and harvest.  Likewise, we must carefully and daily attend to our souls.  Then we entrust ourselves to God for the growth.

1.  Abiding.  In the Parable of the Ten Virgins (Matthew 25:1-13), the bridegroom (Jesus) tells the five foolish virgins that He doesn’t know them.  Because the foolish virgins failed to take time to seek or nourish a relationship with Him.  Thus, with no oil for their lamps, they possessed not illuminating potential for dark times or places.  Hence, Pastor Sauls counsels:

“To the degree that we orient our thoughts around . . . God’s treasures, we will be poised not only to withstand regret, hurt, and fear but even, by God’s grace, to flourish in their presence. . . .  While Jesus’ primary focus in the parable is his second coming, when he will come to judge the living and the dead, there is also a secondary, but no less essential focus.  Keeping our lamps filled with oil . . . (what some call the formative ‘spiritual disciplines’) — is imperative for survival when our day of darkness comes.”

Most significantly, Pastor Sauls notes, filling your lamp with oil through consistent rhythms of faith strengthens you.  To face every what if.  In addition, never underestimate the power of a formative habit.  For what you take into you comes out of you when the days of trouble come.  So, abiding in Christ, the light of the world, safeguards you from getting lost in the dark.

Today’s question: How do you apply the two practices of abiding and beholding?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Mere fine motor skills – God’s fingers”

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Dave Henning

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