To remain in a constant state of connection to Jesus.
It was Jesus who introduced us to this essential facet of the Christian walk.
4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
We must always keep in mind that Jesus is our source of life, strength, truth, hope, and purpose. Too many Christians fall into a complacent and lifeless religious routine, rather than a joyful abiding journey. God has given us the tools we need to seek and follow Him faithfully.
Am I seeking?
Now that we are recipients of the greatest gift in the universe, we should completely align our lives with its source, Jesus. Our goal is to know Him better and to become like Him…to be completely surrendered to His presence and leading.
33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
We must develop the habits that draw us into an awareness of His presence. Truthfully, it is misleading when people speak of “being in the presence of God”, as if He was absent for some time. God is ever-present. He never leaves us. In fact, He is inside us. I can no more be separated from God for a time, than I can be separated from myself. God and His children are spiritually fused together. Therefore, the challenge of every believer is to build relational intimacy and awareness, rather than to call God out of His hiding place to meet with us. His hiding place is your heart.
17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.
2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
God has given us tools that we can use to develop our spiritual eyes and ears. The Bible is the primary way that we know God and understand His will. Prayer is the primary way that we communicate with God and develop a deepening awareness of His Presence. Every sincere follower of Christ must develop Bible and prayer habits. A good start would be to join Eastridge in the daily reading plan.* Set aside 30 minutes each day to focus on these spiritual tools. Use this time to seek His truth, His will and His pleasure. Your Father desperately wants to spend time with you. Your spirit longs for time with Him, too.
As a gauge for my spiritual vitality, I can look to the consistency and passion of my prayer and Bible study. This is not a duty, but an earth-shattering privilege. We must stay humble and grateful as we seek to grow our relationship with God. Recognize that you are powerless apart from Him. Embrace that you are very powerful through Him, because of Him, and for Him.
Abiding happens as we daily humble ourselves before the God of the universe…the God of our salvation and future. Let us pursue Him with all of our hearts.
12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
(The Daily Reading Plan can be located by clicking HERE)
Am I following
This is one of the most important and foundational questions for a “follower” of Jesus. Am I actually following; His teaching, His commands, His example, His heart, His mission?
23 Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24 Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.
The formula goes something like this: God loved me enough to send His son to die for me. The grace and freedom I’ve been given produced deep gratitude and loyalty. Because He loved me first, I love Him back. In my love for Him I seek to know Him through prayer and Bible study. As I know His heart and will, I must obey and follow. As I follow, I enjoy His pleasure and blessing.
God has bought me at a very high price, His son’s life. He now is my master. Jesus is my Lord and King. He gets to call the shots. This means choosing His way over my way.
7 But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ…
I have to constantly be reminded that every single good thing in and through my life is from God. I have no righteousness of my own. Apart from Christ, I can only produce destruction. My goal of Knowing Him and being with Him for eternity requires that He be at work in me. No amount of good deeds can produce life in me. God’s plan for me can unfold when I have faith in the person and work of Jesus, His son. As I faithfully seek Him, He will guide and direct my steps. My challenge then is to stay yielded to His will. I must recognize that God’s plans are good and right. I obey because of my Faith. I obey and yield because of my love for Him. I obey because God has proven himself to be Faithful and loving and perfect. I know well the product of my unyielding spirit and I hate that part of me. Whenever I have been on the throne of my own life, I make a massive mess of things. When God is on the throne of my life…when he has his way…the product is beautiful.
Abiding is a lifestyle. Abiding takes the substance of Sunday mornings and gives it life and authenticity. The abiding journey is one of daily submission and purpose. Don’t fall into the trap of “Sunday spirituality”. Make your daily time with God, His Word, and continuous prayer a non-negotiable priority.