Learning How to Abide
Many people are seeking victory in their lives, and answers to prayers. It’s amazing how “being still” with the only One who can provide these things can change everything.
I have been studying John 15 this week; and have been blessed by the depth and meaning of Jesus’ words in this chapter. Throughout it, Jesus says in many different ways the same message: “Abide in Me.”
In fact, even before chapter 15, He calls us to abide in Him...in chapter 14 verse 23 He tells us that if a man love Him he would keep His words, and God will love him and then they (God and Jesus) will come and make a home with him.
And then throughout chapter 15 He tells us what abiding in Him can do for our lives...
“He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” John 15:5
“If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” John 15:7
If we abide in Him...then...He will come and make a home with us--then...He will be with us, near us...then...we will bear much fruit, and then...we ask what we will (always according to His will) and it will be done! These promises are conditional though...and the condition is abiding with Jesus...and then these things will happen!
It’s intriguing how many times He calls us to abide with Him. But, what exactly does that mean to abide with Christ? According to the Strong’s concordance, it’s an action word that means “to remain or to stay.” It implies that we are: “not to depart, not to leave, and to continue to be present.”
Simply put: Jesus is asking us to spend time with Him. He knows our wondering hearts, and how easily we are distracted and our minds stray from Him and His words. This is why He uses a term meaning to remain (or to not stray). He also knows the adversary.
There is a very real battle for our attentions. The devil wants to distract us and keep us so busy with anything and everything...but...God. He knows if he can do this we will have no time to abide or to be still with Jesus, our best friend. But if we understand what Jesus is saying in these verses it’s clear that our first work has to be staying with Christ...and then (and only then) many beautiful things will naturally happen in our lives!
*Note it doesn’t say or imply that life will be perfect, in fact just one chapter later Jesus tells us: “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me (again IF we are abiding in Him) you might have peace. In the world you will have tribulation: but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
In these last days the trials and troubles are increasing, we can see them all over the world. Jesus’ words are more true today than ever before, there will be hard days, tough days, and difficult impasses in our lives. But how much better it would be to go through those trials with the very One who has overcome the world!
What an invitation, to abide with the One who can conquer our tribulations, walk us through our deepest trial, and bring peace to our troubled hearts when no peace can be found anywhere in this world. What an amazing friend and Savior we have!