Abiding with Christ – that elusive lifestyle many of us talk about and few of us walk out. If there’s an antonym for abiding it’s probably striving. Strive means: to try hard to do something or make something happen, especially for a long time or against difficulties. Yep, that can describe me and most leaders I know. Surely abiding is the better way. And what if a secret to abiding was right under our noses?
There was something right under my husband Ron’s nose a few years ago. It was his 50th birthday, and I planned a pseudo party and a surprise party on the same night. First we met a few close friends for an early dinner at Outback. Then we headed home. I had ants in my pants, knowing what was in store. Ron had steak in his stomach and anticipated a snooze on the sofa. Instead, when he opened the door he was bombarded with cheers and laughter and birthday greetings from three dozen friends! Flashes of shock, confusion, surprise, and joy spread across his face. It was awesome.
When it comes to abiding with Jesus, we can be a lot like Ron on the night of his party. The reality is right in front of us, but we haven’t tuned into it. Jesus is the reality, and when we’ve accepted Him, He is powerfully present with us – His Spirit living within us – at all times.
The Message version of John 15:4 says, “Live in Me. Make your home in Me just as I do in you.”
“Just as I do in you.” Of course we know this, but Jesus is emphasizing, “I am always abiding with you. I am always present, indwelling you, making My home in you.”
1. Right now, and always, Jesus is abiding with us.
2. In this very moment, He is present in all of His love, power, and wisdom – in all of His goodness and God-ness.
3. Abiding with Jesus is as simple as opening the eyes of our hearts to these realities.
Sometimes abiding can feel like a spiritual burden, something we almost strive to achieve. But Jesus has already done the heavy lifting by abiding with us. Just like we love Him because He first loved us, we abide with Him because He’s first abiding with us. So our part is to turn toward Him, to reciprocate, and to experience a treasure trove of blessings.
1. A mutual love-exchange with Jesus and the Father.
2. An extension of that love into your relationships with others.
3. An experience of oneness with our Trinity-God.
4. An alignment of our will with the Father’s, through obedience.
5. Access to an outworking of the Father’s will in our lives.
6. Continuous spiritual nourishment and strength.
7. Lives that bear much lasting fruit.
8. Experiencing the fullness of Jesus’ joy.
Along with these blessings, Jesus presents a jarring truth in John 15:5b, “Apart from Me you can do nothing.” As lone ranger leaders who work hard to achieve and accomplish, that statement alone should stop us in our striving tracks. Abiding with Jesus is a life-giving necessity. Walking solo is life-sapping naivety.
“Abiding with Jesus is a life-giving necessity. Walking solo is life-sapping naivety.”– Lisa Hosler
“Father, help us to open the eyes of our hearts to the presence of Jesus with us and His power within us – all through the day.”
What helps you to abide with Jesus? Feel free to share your thoughts in the Comment Section below.