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ABIDE

“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.  John 15:4

At the beginning of every year, there are some people who ask God to give them a “word” for the year.  I am not one of those people. What if God gives me a word and I cannot live up to the expectations of that word?  What if I fail?  Then all my old insecurities will settle in and make their home within me.  I can’t let that happen.

But God…

God decided without me asking to place a word on my heart in early January.  Like He needs my permission, right?  LOL!  He gave me the word “abide.”  I kept hearing it over and over.  Abide in me.  Abide with me.   Okay God, I get it.  You want me to abide in you more this year than I have in the past.  I started thinking…what exactly does that look like?  Is it just reading the Bible?  does it include prayer and meditation?

Well, I believe the answer is yes.  As I was praying last night, I felt God saying “abide” to me again.  OK God, what does that look like?  His response, “Abide in me in prayer, fasting, the Word and worship.  When you seek me, you will abide in me.”  Wow! my heart was overflowing.  God really wants me to take the time to spend more quality time with Him.

“When you seek me you will find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Jer. 29:13).

There are 31 Bible verses about abiding.  John 15:4-9 are the most common verses we go to when we hear the word Abide but there are many others.  Here are a few.

John 8:31-So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine;

2 John 1:9–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.

1 John 2:28–Now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming.

Abide:  An Old English word signifying progressively to “await,” “remain,” “lodge,” “sojourn,” “dwell,” “continue,” “endure”; in the Bible it uses the Greek word μένω pronounced ménō, men’-o; a primary verb; to stay (in a given place, state, relation or expectancy):—abide, continue, dwell, endure, be present, remain, stand, tarry (for).

Given these definitions, I believe “meditation” is a huge part of abiding with God.  How can we abide with/in Him if we don’t take the time to meditate?

Before I moved to Bloomington, I had a 45 minute commute to work each morning and again to get back home in the evening.  Ironically, this drive was my most treasured time of day because “I chose” to spend it with God.  I would pray, listen to the Bible on CD and I used the time for praise and worship.  I had me some church in my car during those commutes!  I miss that I don’t have that time with Him any longer since I live 10 minutes from work.  What is stopping me from reclaiming that time and using it to do these things at home before work?  Satan tries to tell me that I don’t have to get up early to spend time with God.  But when I do, I am oh so blessed!!!

Meditation involves two actions.  Emptying yourself of the noise and distractions of the world and filling yourself with God and his Word.  Meditation helps us focus on God and follow His gaze.  It involves listening to God and His instructions to each individual about the most common things in life to the most complicated.  This involves our being obedient to Him and doing what He says to us.

Obedience is simply doing what God asks of you.  It starts with getting out of bed in the morning, falling on your face before the Father, and trusting that Jesus is who he says he is.

A friend at church said this Sunday, “If you feel like God is telling you to do something, step out in faith and do it.  God will show you each step of the journey and He will be faithful to bless you for your obedience.”  Thank you Kristi for those important words.

Are you abiding in God?  Are you giving Him some time each day?  Are you praying? meditating? fasting? Reading the Bible?  Our time is a gift from God, can you spare at least a few minutes of it to give it back to God?  He wants nothing more than to spend time with you.

“…Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.” Isaiah 43:1b

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