The dictionary says that abide means to stay, but what does abide in THE LORD mean?
Lately The LORD has been speaking to my heart to stay. It’s funny because I truly feel like everything that I am working towards is to move me forward, but Holy Spirit’s voice is telling me to stay, and that’s exactly what abide means. When I stay in spite of my itch to leave then I am abiding in Christ. There are certain areas of my life where staying would definitely mean obedience and submission to people and even my circumstances.
They aren’t dangerous situations, they are just uncomfortable and my responses to them will be new and different; we all know how difficult “new” and “different” can be.
When I think of staying in an uncomfortable situation that I know is good for me I always think about when I go to get a massage. Whenever I go to get a massage there are painful moments because my muscles are so tight. My massage therapist knows that I need the deep tissue type of massage and we both know there is a lot of discomfort during the massage. But I don’t leave the room because the massage is getting uncomfortable. I stay on the table and endure until the end of the massage because I know it’s good for my health and will eventually help me to feel better. But the detoxing doesn’t end at the massage table, in fact the massage is just the beginning. My body always goes through a detox after a massage because my massage therapist is the best in the world (she’s my sister) and because that’s what my body does!
Abiding in Christ is going to be uncomfortable sometimes and it’s going to prune and detox our heart, and our life. We need to remember that when we abide in Christ our branches will grow and produce fruit. Of course, Jesus also promises that our branches will also be pruned so that they may bear even more fruit. So even when we are abiding we are growing and detoxing, just like when I get my massage!
Sometimes we search for the meaning and purpose God has for our life when in reality, if we are abiding in Him, God always reveals to us our purpose through pruning our life and by the fruit our life bears. Even when we are abiding and staying we are still spreading out our reach even if it feels like we could do more, be more, give more, more…more…more.
When we are abiding we are being pruned for the fruit that is to come.
Often I need to examine my own heart in order to determine why I can’t be content with abiding in Christ and allowing myself to stay and be pruned.
Going to college is not easy. Right now I have a mock therapy video presentation I have to do in order to pass the class and it needs to be done with a classmate. Sometimes I think about how wonderful it would be to just drop the class so I don’t have to do the project, but this is one situation where I am going to want to abide and stay. God has opened the doors for me to attend college and that means for me that I need to endure these projects that I would rather not do.
Even when we abide our life does not get stagnant as long as we are actively living out our life and enduring through the uncomfortable, painful, and often pruning or detoxing moments of life.
I have been blogging for over 12 years now and there have been many times that I’ve either quit, or thought about quitting something that I’ve created or started on. I have went searching for so much MORE that I thought would bring satisfaction. I’ve wondered if anyone else in the world would ever consider my writing successful, or if it was ever worth it to continue writing on my blog and in my books.
But the longer I abide in what God has already given me, and I quit trying to run away from it, I find that it most certainly does produce more fruit. Over the years I have learned a lot about blogging and self-publishing books, and yet I feel like I have so much more to learn. I have deleted blogs, or sold blogs, and I have regretted making those moves. I have started new endeavors only to realize I didn’t count the cost before I started them. Or sometimes walking away from something I’ve started has been just the pruning that I needed in order to make room for the NEW that God was making a path for.
But as I move closer to God and abiding in Him as I approach every area of my life, including writing, I have realized that writing is a lifestyle and so is abiding in Christ. It’s difficult being a writer when it’s just a hobby, and it is difficult being a Christian if we are only building a relationship with God when we feel like it or only when we have time.
We need to remember what John 15:14 says, that apart from Christ we will not bear any fruit. Abiding in Christ means to stay faithful and committed. Abiding means to stay, and staying means finding the strength to be committed to something until the very end. It’s also trusting the process that whatever falls away, or whatever seems like a failure, is simply a pruning moment in our life and in the end we will bear much fruit if we just keep abiding in Christ.
P.S. HAPPY SPRING! My special gift to you this week is a free 4×6 digital print of the verse John 15:4. This scripture print is great for placing around your home and to help you memorize this scripture. Just click this link to download: John 15:4 Scripture Card - Abide in the Lord