I originally had something much different in mind for this morning’s update but this idea of “staying with God” and the truth that it represents is so important that I cannot put it off for a later time. When the Lord says “now” it must be now.
It all started yesterday morning in Sunday School when I had my class participate in an exercise where we each picked out a Bible verse or group of Bible verses to share with the class and to explain what they meant to us. One person chose John 15:1-8 and shared how much it had helped her to realize how important it was to abide with the Lord on a daily basis.
As she read the verses and begin to speak I could feel the Holy Spirit speaking to me and prompting me to examine my life. John 15:4 says “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.” Verse 5 adds “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.”
This is what I consider to be a foundational truth of our faith. Jesus Himself is telling us that we must abide with Him in everything that we do, think and say. Abide is a synonym of stay or dwell and it literally means to live with someone or something; in this case Jesus Christ.
While we are abiding with Him we have God’s love, God’s peace, God’s strength and God’s nourishment from which to draw. When we are not abiding with Him we have only our own strength and wisdom to draw on and it is in this state that we fail and stutter and suffer most terribly from the temptations of the evil one. The difference between a Christian who is abiding and one who is not is literally night and day or, more accurately, light and darkness.
We are children of God. We must walk in the Light. So many of our number have accepted the gift of salvation and then chosen not to abide with Him and have walked back out into darkness. Should we wonder why the rate of divorce, infidelity, lying and cheating is so high among those who profess to be Christians? It is because we are not abiding with Him and are stumbling around in the darkness of this world.
What exactly does it mean to abide with Him? How do we do this? We must center our lives on Jesus Christ. We must make Jesus Christ the most important thing, the most important person, the most important relationship. We must “seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33 NKJV).
God knows our needs, our wants, and our hearts. He created us and he knows what we truly desire and truly need better than we do ourselves. It is only when we become fully committed to getting to know God for who He is and for staying right with Him that God can finally produce His love, His joy and His peace in us. This is what it means to “abide with Him” and the rewards for doing so are infinitely better than anything the world has to offer.
Christian, do you want to be truly fulfilled and live the most awesomely abundant life that God has planned for you? Then you must abide with Him. Start now, today. Commit to staying with God from this moment onward and you will never regret it.