When you ask someone how they are doing what is the answer they usually give?
I like to say, “Good but busy.”
You know, put a little positive spin on it.
As a society, we seem to be getting busier and busier . . .
While at the same time becoming more stressed, anxious, and depressed than ever.
But God wants something better for us.
Which is why He calls us to ABIDE.
- What does it mean to abide in God’s Presence?
- What does abide mean biblically?
- Why is it important to abide in Christ?
- How do I abide in the Lord?
- What Happens When We Learn How to Abide
- What it Means to Abide in Christ
What does it mean to abide in God’s Presence?
Abiding in God’s presence means we have to spend time WITH Him.
Perhaps the reason why we feel so stressed out is because we aren’t doing that.
We often end up spending more time building up our physical lives.
While neglecting our spiritual lives.
In fact, a recent survey found that despite the fact that 56% of Americans expressed a desire to read the Bible . . . only 11% of them actually read the Bible every day.
This is why even though our days are full . . . we often find our hearts and souls feeling rather empty.
We have to ask ourselves:
Do we have a vibrant, healthy, growing relationship with Jesus?
Or is He just a convenient acquaintance of ours that we’re hoping will give us some fire insurance?
And if we do have a relationship with Jesus . . . are we investing in it?
Are we spending time with Him? Talking with Him? Listening to Him?
A fire goes out if it is not continually fed.
In the same way, the fire of our faith will go out if we are not continually feeding it.
What does abide mean biblically?
We would never dream of not eating for several days in a row.
But how often are we so busy that several days go by before we realize we have not made time to read God’s Word and pray?
In John 15:4-5 Jesus said:
“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”-John 15:4-5 ESV
The truth Jesus is telling us in this verse is that we’re all practically dead branches that desperately need to attach ourselves to Jesus . . . the Vine that can bring us life.
But our enemy, the devil, knows this.
And he desperately wants to stop it.
Why is it important to abide in Christ?
Whether you realize it or not, the devil is on a mission. His goal is to destroy you and your testimony to the watching world.
Your enemy wants to make you unfruitful. To dim your light. To limit how far you shine.
To separate you from the Vine. And keep you from abiding in Christ.
Because if he can remove you from a close, relationship with Jesus, he accomplishes two things.
1) A branch separated from the Vine . . . is useless.
In this verse, Jesus says that apart from Him we can do NOTHING.
While a branch separated from the Vine is still a branch, it is no longer capable of doing what a branch is supposed to do . . . grow, blossom, and bear fruit.
It is useless.
Which is exactly what the devil wants. He wants to render you useless to God’s Kingdom.
The devil also knows that:
2) A branch separated from the vine . . . eventually dies.
This is your enemy’s ultimate goal. And he tries to accomplish this through all sorts of different tactics.
It could be fear. Worry. Anxiety. Unforgiveness. Disappointment. Depression.
It could be through temptations, money, success, or any one of the other cares of this world.
It could be through hard moments like a miscarriage, divorce, medical diagnosis, watching a loved one suffer, or anything else that could make us bitter.
But one of his favorite tactics is through distractions.
Busyness. Overwhelming schedules. And lengthy to-do lists.
But we can fight off the devil’s tactics when we learn to abide in Christ.
How do I abide in the Lord?
So, how can you abide in Christ?
Well, the word abide is the Greek word, “meno”.
This word means to remain, not to depart, to continue to be present, to be held and kept continually. It means to stay in a given place, state, relation, or expectancy. To continue, dwell, endure, be present, or stand.
Abide is more than just resting in one place.
It is about maintaining a personal, intimate connection.
It’s a relational word.
But abide isn’t a word we use often these days, so let’s look at some things Jesus said, so we can learn how to abide in Christ.
1) Abide in God’s Word.
The first thing we see is that Jesus says His words should abide in us.
“If you abide in me, and my words abide in you . . .”-John 15:7 ESV
But what did Jesus mean when he said this?
Jesus knows that when we meditate on and memorize Scripture, those verses remain or ABIDE in our hearts and minds.
Which in turn is like constantly refreshing our souls with living water.
We learn how to abide as we spend time in the Bible.
- As we read it.
- Meditate on it.
- Memorize it.
- Study it.
- And pray through it.
Which helps us get to know God more. And that is exactly what He wants.
God wants us to stop striving to do more. And be more.
And simply sit at His feet so we can get to KNOW Him more.
2) Abide in Christ’s Love.
The second thing we see Jesus tell us is to abide in His love.
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.” -John 15:9 ESV-John 15:9 ESV
But how do you abide in Christ’s love?
Well, when we spend time in God’s Presence through prayer and worship and reading His Word . . . we realize how passionately He loves us.
It becomes who we are. Our identity.
We are dearly, beloved children of God.
And when we live out of that love, we find we no longer need to prove our worth through what we do because we already know what we are worth in Him.
This is how we abide in Christ daily.
By spending time in His Word and in His loving presence. Which helps us to stay connected with Him throughout the day.
What Happens When We Learn How to Abide
There are a few very important benefits to learning how to abide.
Because when we decide to live a life of abiding in Christ, our lives begin to change.
1) Abiding in Christ means . . . we find REST.
When we slow down and dwell in His Presence, Jesus can move us from a place of busyness and stress . . . to a place of rest.
2) Abiding in Christ means . . . we enjoy a life of love.
As we abide in Christ we learn how to live out of our identity as dearly, beloved children of the Lord.
And when we bask in His passionate love for us . . . it becomes a lot easier to in turn love the people around us.
A life of abiding is a life of love.
Love for God and for each other.
3) Abiding in Christ means . . . we experience the power of the Holy Spirit.
As we abide in Christ, the power of the Holy Spirit fills us.
He strengthens. Comforts. Guides. Encourages. And inspires us.
He works in us to change us from the inside out. And He works through us to impact the lives of those around us.
What it Means to Abide in Christ
The truth is we can sit in church. Sing along to the praise music. Listen to teachings on God’s Word. Experience the blessing of God’s presence.
And still walk out of church with stone-cold hearts and unchanged lives.
It’s not about what we experience. It’s about our relationship.
Whether we realize it or not we are in a war.
A war where we have a very real enemy. An enemy that is actively trying to destroy us. An enemy that wants nothing more than to take us out.
And the easiest way he can do that is by removing us from the Vine.
Let’s make a commitment not to let that happen!
We are not just reading our Bibles. We are not just praying. We are not just attending church or worshipping our King.
When we persevere in doing these things, we are actively engaging in spiritual battles.
And we are protecting those around us by choosing to remain in the trenches with our beloved Savior who has promised us that in the end . . . we win.
As long as we abide in Him.
If you found this encouraging, then please share!
And be sure to check out these inspiring articles: