Abide in God

(Joshua Elder) #1

With all that we see wrong in our culture and in our own lives, the beauty of God’s answer to us remains the same-His presence in our lives and in our world. Our connection to God is ever the thing we need and the thing we must desire. What is it that transformed a group of cowardly disciples into the leadership of the church willing to give their life in service to God? God’s presence in their lives. God’s Spirit living within them; poured out because of Christ. What changed a murderous man like Saul into a lover of Christ like Paul; the drawing close of Jesus on the road to Damascus; the Spirit making a home within him.

It is that old word ‘abide’. Abide - to remain in, to live with, to make a home with, to stay, to dwell, to reside. As Jesus told us in John we must abide in Him and He in us; that we cannot bear fruit if we don’t remain in Him, live with Him, draw close to Him; that his Word must live in us and dwell in our hearts; that we will obey Jesus’ teachings and He and the Father will come and make their home within us. They will abide in us. Christian, this must be our cry, our hearts desire, our source of strength and power-the abiding presence of God. In the words of a great hymn by Henry Francis Lyte:

"Abide with me, fast falls the eventide
The darkness deepens Lord, with me abide
When other helpers fail and comforts flee
Help of the helpless, oh, abide with me

Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day
Earth’s joys grow dim, its glories pass away
Change and decay in all around I see
O Thou who changest not, abide with me

I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless
Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness
Where is death’s sting?
Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if Thou abide with me

Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes
Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies
Heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee
In life, in death, o Lord, abide with me
Abide with me, abide with me"

How have you experienced the living presence of God in your life lately?

What does it mean for you to abide in God in everyday life?


(SeanO) #2

I think Brother Lawrence’s book is one of my favorites on this topic. He washed dishes and repaired sandals all day, but people were still drawn to him because of the apparent piety with which he performed such mundane tasks.

“We ought not to be weary of doing little things for the love of God, who regards not the greatness of the work, but the love with which it is performed.”
― Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of God

I read that book in high school. It rang true then and continues to ring true. If I do my daily tasks with the eyes of my heart turned towards God, nothing is too lowly for the Good Shepherd to walk alongside me.

(Carson Weitnauer) #3

I have set an alarm on my phone that goes off at random times throughout the day. These are reminders for me to remember God and turn to him in prayer. The same technology that distracts us can also redirect us. The Brother Lawrence book gave me a frame of mind to live in the presence of God.

(Helen Tan) #4

The picture of abiding is so rich. It speaks of total dependency and connection on our part to Christ as we draw continued sustenance from and receive direction from Him, who then produces fruit in us. The way I’ve been drawn to abide is to be keenly aware that God is with me in a way that’s as real as any person whom I can see and talk to. And so I am drawn to speak with Him as I go about during my day. I do have trigger points during times of distraction to point me back to Him – when I step out into nature, when I see something beautiful, when I’m reminded of my failures. These are the times when I am reminded that I’ve been ignoring Him and would turn to Him and meditate on His love for me and let Him bring to mind scriptures to bring me back into His presence where there’s contentment and joy. So I would say that abiding to me is resting in His love (John 15:9) and meditating on His Word (John 8:31-32, 15:7), and allowing Him to lead me into His rest and refreshing and from there to engage with the world around me.

(Tim Ramey) #5

I’m sorry that I am late in responding to such a pertinent topic in our walks with Jesus. Sean, I am so mindful of that book that you mentioned by Brother Lawrence. There is a discipline involved. Much of the abiding is managed in our thought life. The enemy attacks our minds and that is where so many scriptures speak of setting our minds on things that are above, think on whatsoever is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely and gracious.

My intention is not to convey introspection, but I think that there is a place of rest, as you so wonderfully spoke of Helen, where, as you meditate, memorize or reflect on His Word. If a thought is questionable, it’s important to analyze where it is coming from. Does it fit the criteria that is laid out in Philippians 4:8? The Holy Spirit abides in us and we need to pay attention to what He is gently telling us.

What has helped me beyond words is memorizing His Word. It’s amazing how often His Truths in His Word brings light, direction and conviction. If we abide in Him, He tells us that we ought to walk in the same way that Jesus did! Amazing!