3 Images of Abiding in Christ
Our faith is founded on an intimate connection. A beautiful accord with our creator and savior. We have been built by His sheer want and design and have been sustained by His gift of grace. From day one, we were built as a part of Him, eventually sealed with His spirit, and offered a relationship.
One big faithful act of sovereignty.
I don’t know about you, but I cannot breathe without Him. I cannot function without His guidance. I cannot move without His strength. I feel these things so deeply, because I know how deprived I am without His light. I know the depths of my sin is far greater than I can comprehend- because I picture a cross, and the weight of that sin thrusted upon it, and a man bleeding for the pure will to save us.
So, I want to carry my cross, living my life for that man, our Savior and King, to give Him the glory He deserves.
And isn’t that what He calls us to do?
John 15:10 "If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love.
We are called to abide in Him. A few times throughout scripture this command is given: abide in His love, teaching, words. It is a command for living, for a posture of our faith and love for God. But, what does this seemingly abstract term mean?
As I studied this concept, a small shift in perspective grew my faith in countless ways.
2 John 1:19 Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son
John 15:7 "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
John 14:17 that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you
The perspective here, is that we abide in Him BY His love, BY His word, and BY His joy. Meaning, we do not have love apart from God, but it is actually His love for us that we have and show. It cannot be separated. Our joy is not mere joy, it is His joy in us that we are experiencing. His words, not ours. His guidance, not ours. We are not walking and acting out of effect of Him, we walk and act through Him. We can not do it without Him. If we try, we are not actually with Him.
So, abiding in Him means to live through Him in us. Submit to the words, love, and teachings and let those dictate our walk.
What can we fight for? How can we specifically be praying for our hearts and mind to abide completely in Him and His truth?
3 images of abiding in Christ:
Do not fear yourself
We are a sinful people by nature- but we can’t fear that truth. We can’t live gripped by that sin while professing Christ. The sacrifice given was there because we cannot do it without Him. So, we shouldn’t try. We must learn that abiding in His love means His love runs through us, and that love casts out all fear and all darkness. So, we are loving ourselves with His love for us, loving His people with His love for them. His love is the love we are expressing. So, if He has forgiven our sins then that forgiveness lives in us, so we forgive by the same grace He gave us.
Do not fear the world
This world is not our home. It is a temporary place for us to proclaim and live for Him, until one day we are reunited. The world will try to tempt us, harm us, degrade us, confuse us- it will do everything it can to keep us from God. But with God in us, whom shall we fear? If God is in us, and we are living through that, then we have His strength to withstand those moments. We have everything we need to overcome, because He has already done so, and that defeat is a part of our abidance in Him.
Our life is His work
If everything we do, and the definition of our faith walk is by and for God, then our abidance in Him is giving Him glory. We are a walking vessel of His grace, love, and servanthood so that ears and eyes may hear and see the goodness of Christ. The most effective thing we can do as Christians is share the light of the gospel, and most often we do that simply by our attitudes, actions, speech, thought- essentially the way we live out our life. So, if we are abiding in Him, those attitudes, actions, speech and thought become His attitudes, actions, speech and thought. He is working through us by His power, to bring others closer to Him. What a beautiful command we have in that.
We fight for our submission to Him. We pray for our heart to seek Him in the way of complete abidance and obedience. We strive to feel Him and know Him so that we may learn to more naturally exemplify His character in our lives. We love Him, the way He has loved us.