When I became a Christian, I tried very hard to do the right things for God. I made sure to read my Bible every day, to pray, to be kind to others and seek His forgiveness. I wanted to please God. I thought that if I could just do enough of the right things for God, that I would earn His approval and perhaps He would love me more. But over the last several years, I’ve come to realize that for the majority of my Christian life, I had it all wrong. Abiding is not about doing for God, but rather it’s about being with God. And although what I do as acts of service for God are good, what matters is not what I’ve done for Him, but rather if I’ve been with Him.
You remember the story of Mary and Martha? Two sisters preparing their home to receive Jesus. When Jesus finally arrives, Martha makes herself busy with many things — cooking, cleaning; but Mary chose to sit at Jesus’ feet to listen to what He had to say.
She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. (Luke 10:39)
Jesus said that Mary had chosen the better part, and that this would not be taken from her.
Abiding in Christ starts with spending time with God. Time spent sitting at His feat, listening to His Words, allowing ourselves to be changed in His presence.
Here are just a few examples of how we can be purposeful in choosing the better part:
Remaining in His Presence.
We must remain connected to The Vine, Jesus. He is our soul source of strength and life. As long as we are connected to the Vine, we will continue to find the grace to abide. Apart from Him, we can do nothing.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)
How do we remain in the Vine? Through prayer, reading His Word and in worship.
Waiting on Him.
When we wait on the Lord, He renews our strength and gives us the ability to walk out our calling. We wait in His presence in prayer.
But they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31)
How do we wait? By being still in His presence and asking for His heart.
Persevering with Patience.
Life will not always be good to us, but one thing we do know is this — God is ALWAYS GOOD. So, despite our circumstances, He calls us into His presence to wait for His goodness to be revealed. He wants us to learn how to persevere with patience and with courage.
Wait patiently for the LORD. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the LORD.
(Psalm 27:14 NLT)
How do we persevere with patience? We don’t give up. We continue to fix our eyes on the One who is good and trust that He will work all things in our life for good, because He said He would.
Abiding in His Word.
The Word of God contains the answers to every situation we will face. God calls us to abide in His Word, so that whatever we ask might be done for us. When I am abiding in His Word, my heart becomes grafted to His heart, and I begin to pray for His will to be done in my life.
If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. (John 15:7)
How do we abide in His Word? God’s Word is our daily Bread. It is life. We must continually eat of His Word and of His promises.
*This is Day 3 of a 31 day series on “Abiding”. You can find all of my posts in this series here. And be sure to stop by some of the other 31Dayers. Over 700 bloggers have linked up so far! There is something for everyone!