a·bide

a·bide
əˈbīd/
verb
accept or act in accordance with (a rule, decision, or recommendation).
synonyms: obey, observe, follow, keep to, hold to, stick to, stand by, uphold, accept, respect, continue, remain, survive, persist
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Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.
John 15:4
I recently went of a women’s retreat where the speaker talked about abiding. Prior to the trip I knew what the word meant but I didn’t know how much it would really impact me.

Abiding in Jesus does not just mean staying comfortable. Abiding means staying and remaining. And not just remaining when things are super amazing and God is taking you exactly where you dreamed you’d be. It means remaining and holding fast when it feels the whole world is against you. It means pressing on even when you see someone you love struggling. It means trusting Him even when you see God give someone else your dream. Abiding in Jesus when it seems He is the only constant thing in your life, because sometimes He will be.

Abiding is not being content with the subtle drift, because the subtle drift is also to steepest slope. It is taking action and running away from temptation. It is not simply “working on it…” as we often say. IT IS DOING IT. It is running straight back into the arms of the Father and not looking back. Because He is always there to welcome us home. Even when it’s our second or third time returning home after falling into the same temptation, He will be there. Abiding is holding fast and trusting. In a world full of dishonesty it is nice having something to truly believe in.

There are so many expendable things in the world today. If we don’t like our phones, we upgrade to the newest model. If we aren’t happy in our relationships, we move on and find someone we think is better. We quit when things get hard because that ultimately seems more rewarding than actually sticking with it. Everything in our lives is expendable. Abiding in the True Vine means not giving up. It is not simply moving on when the going gets tough. “Stand by” was of the synonyms I included for “abide” at the beginning. I think this paints the perfect image of abiding. When I think of someone standing by someone else it makes me think of a war movie. Picture a scene where there are only two soldiers left and one is injured. The one could give up and surrender but he doesn’t. He picks his buddy up and carries him across the battlefield, even though they are probably going to die. Okay so maybe I’m thinking about a kind of popular Tom Hanks film but you get the idea.

He didn’t simply give up because it seemed like all hope was lost. He continued, he persisted, he fought through the doubts and the fear. This is abiding.

Instead of running away when we start to have doubts, what if we pressed into them? How different would your faith be if you practiced abiding in God in the times where you felt the most hopeless? The times in my life where I feel the most growth has happened have been those seasons of doubt. Those are the times where I have grown closer to God and learned how to abide in Him.

My whole life feels like it’s changing all at once and I am in a sea of uncertainty. I cannot be the only person feeling this way. So if you are feeling this way maybe you can practice abiding with me. Practice praying for the willingness to pursue your relationship with God. Too often I feel like we expect our prayers to be answered as soon as we pray them. You are not going to know perfectly how to abide right after you open your eyes and murmur “Amen.” You are going to pray for it, and practice it. Practice does not make perfect, practice makes progress.

As always if you need prayer for anything feel free to message me. Prayer for the willingness to abide in Jesus, prayer for your family, even prayer for your sickly goldfish!

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