Five Ways to Abide in God
“Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?”
Recently, as we were thinking of the new year and all that it holds, a passage from the Gospel of John came to us: “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him … [together we will] bear much fruit” (John 15:4-5).
These words reminded us that regardless of our plans or our hopes or our dreams, the one constant in our lives is that apart from Jesus and the life he gives, we can accomplish little or nothing of lasting value.
A Powerful Word
What a powerful word “abide” is. The dictionary defines it as accepting or acting in accordance with a rule, a decision, or a recommendation, as in “I will abide by whatever you say.”
In this passage from John, however, “abide” has a much more profound meaning. In saying “abide in me,” Jesus invites us to linger in His presence, to seek Him with all our heart.
When we do this, our lives are filled with God’s spirit and we can realize the prayer of Moses repeated in Psalm 90:1, “O Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations.”
Five Ways to Abide
These words have deep meaning to all believers, but how do we put them into practice? Here are five thoughts.
First, spend personal, intimate, private time with Jesus every day (2 Timothy 3:16). Our enjoyment in the Word and in God’s presence should be more than only during church services. It’s private prayer and fellowship with God that cements the Word we hear into an eternal presence in our hearts.
Second, abide in His Word (John 8:31). The more we come to His word, the more the Word will become His instant speaking to us day by day, guiding us to live in Him. One of the best ways to do this is to “pray-read” the Word every day, to use the Bible as the inspiration and source of our prayer.
Third, speak in Christ (2 Corinthians 2:17). When we allow God’s Word to abide in us, we will have something to speak to others in the name of Christ through us. The more we speak for Him, in Him, the deeper we will find ourselves moving into God.
Fourth, always rejoice, and pray in everything giving thanks (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). This instruction from the Apostle Paul reminds us that we should look at all circumstances as part of God’s plan for us to learn to dwell in and rely on Him. It’s easy to rejoice, pray, and give thanks once a week in church, but these verses refer to involving giving thanks and praying as part our entire human living, all day, every day.
Finally, care for His presence (Psalm 16:11). God is with us all the time, even when we might forget He is within us, living as if He is far away. Yet God desires that we never ignore Him, consulting Him in everything. As the Lord said to Joshua after the death of Moses, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).
Abiding in Jesus and God means moving beyond merely occasionally thinking about God to abiding or dwelling in Him for longer periods, and eventually growing into dwelling in God for our entire lives!
Our lives can be revolutionized when we obey the command to “abide in me,” and spend time in His Word and His presence.
The more we abide in God’s presence and invite His words to be infused into our hearts, the more powerful our prayer lives, and spiritual walks become, and the more the Word will stir our spirits to seek God even more!
We pray today that we will seek more and more to abide in You.
Teach us, Lord, how to abide in You better so that we can think more clearly, act wiser, speak lovingly, and have our actions reflect You more clearly.
Fill us with Your fullness and anointing so that we may live, grow, and bear fruit as we abide more and more in You.
In Jesus’ name, Amen
May God continuously lead your path