We know Jesus says in John 15:7 “Abide in me, and I in you.” But sometimes abiding seems like the most vague biblical concept there is. What is abiding and how do I abide? Here are 4 ways to abide in Jesus and see a difference in your life.
For over two years, I’ve been specifically meditating on what abiding is and how it can draw me closer to Jesus.
1. Faithfully fixing my eyes on Jesus. Hebrews 12:2 assures us, “looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith.”
Jesus is the one who invites us to abide so we can be confident He wants us to. And whatever He wants for us we can know He’ll provide the means. We never have to wonder, “Am I supposed to abide?” And the wonderful thing about abiding is that it’s always appropriate. It’s a fundamental work available for every single minute of our waking day.
2. Steadfastly seeking. Abiding is not a one time decision nor something we do and then forget. Abiding is seeking Jesus moment over and over again. It’s a continuing journey of learning how to abide more and more often.
I never abide every moment, but I don’t have to be afraid God is upset or disappointed. Philippians 1:6 encourages us with, “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” He understands every part of Christian growth is a process. Therefore, it’s not an “all or nothing” arrival that “now I’ll always abide.” No, we learn it more and more.
And we’ll abide more at different times for different reasons. But God is inviting us over and over again to “seek Me again.” He’s continually taking our spiritual face and gently turning it back to seek Him. Like a child who won’t look at us, we sometimes take their face gently in our hands and say, “Look at me now.” Their eyes become focused on us and we know they can hear us and more easily understand. That’s Jesus’ invitation to abide. Seek me again.
3. Accepting ambiguity. It’s easy to think if I’m abiding, I’ll know everything, be perfectly guided, and never make a mistake. No, even as we abide, not everything will be clear.
Ambiguity doesn’t need to discourage us. Only Jesus did everything right in obedience to His Father. But even then, He had to spend lots of time with His Father. He said He did nothing without His Father’s power and leading.
4. Alertly aware. Abiding tunes us to the wavelength of the Spirit’s prompting. Ephesians 6:18 tells us, “praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints.”
Through prayer we turn our attention to Him. “Help me right now, Lord.”
Through memorization of Scripture. “Lord, Philippians 4:13 tells me you strengthen me. I believe you’ll do that right now.”
Through rehearsing God’s faithful loving work in the past. “Father, I remember when you provided what I needed two weeks ago, so I believe you’ll provide now.”
Through asking, “God, where are you right now in what’s happening? You promise you are everywhere. Open my spiritual eyes to see you working.”
I suggest wearing a rubber band on your wrist. Each time you look at it, turn your spiritual antennae to fixing, seeking, accepting ambiguity and being alert. Your ability to abide will grow.