Knowing we need to spend time with God is one thing, but as Believers, do we really understand our need to ABIDE with God?
Discover the power of abiding with God as we uncover not only what it means to abide, but how it can become a lifestyle!
What Does Abide Mean?
Consulting a dictionary, we discover that to abide can mean a number of things, including:
- Accept—particularly without complaint or objection
These definitions provide a fairly clear view of what abiding can mean, but what does it mean in God’s Word? What does abiding in God and His principles mean for Believers?
Typically when abide is found in Scripture it is utilized more in the manner of sojourn, or as we would better understand it, to reside. Yet, while this simple definition provides a glimpse into the biblical meaning, abiding can be so much more!
What is the Heart of Scriptural Abiding?
In common Scriptural usage, to abide is to reside or live within a certain sphere, but what does that mean? How can abiding mean more than this definition?
To find these answers, the Scriptures are obviously a wonderful place to start, but with so many available, it’s important that we examine the common threads within them.
When we explore the heart of Scriptures that speak of abiding, we discover that:
- Abiding is a choice.
- It requires commitment—no looking back or wanting things no longer allowed.
- Everything that God is, is at the heart of abiding—the heart of our choice.
- Our God desires us to accept the offer to abide with Him and His ways.
- Abiding comes with benefits.
What does Abiding with God Look Like?
Abiding with God is not simply about living under the same roof. There is a deeper meaning…
Consider a large apartment building. Technically we could say that every resident of the apartment building is abiding under one roof. But while this is true, how often do they interact? What do they know about one another? And how does this affect their daily lives?
Depending on the size of the apartment building and dozens of other factors, two people living in this building might never even meet! Yet, even if they did meet, this does not necessarily mean that they would know anything about one another. Their meetings could be infrequent and brief. Leading from little to no true growth in the acquaintance…
Even if a friendship did develop between some of the residents, surely the daily choices, thoughts, and time of the residents would be little changed. They would hardly know one another intimately…
It takes a deeper, closer, and more constant abiding to truly change a person and their daily lives! It takes an intimate abiding to not only change, but to know someone… to know God!
How Can We Abide? How Can it Be Deeper?
Whenever God asks us to abide with Him—or to abide in anything related to Him—He is asking for a deeper form of abiding. Of relationship…
He is desiring us to not only make a conscious decision to abide, but to do so without complaint. He is waiting for us to dwell under His roof, not distantly in another part of the building, but in an intimate, personal way!
But what makes abiding with Him deeper? What makes it personal?
Spending time with God is great, however, that does not necessarily mean it is a lifestyle. Two friends can visit and spend time with one another over a cup of coffee, but even if they set that time aside every month, things slip through the cracks. God does not desire us to merely go on coffee dates with Him, He desires us to abide with Him! To live with Him in the same room! To see His face the first moment we get up, to encounter Him throughout the day, and for His smile to be the last thing we see each night! In many ways to abide with God is to enter into a marriage with Him… but few marriages on earth are as deep, personal, and intimate as this is meant to be…
This can sound overwhelming. And it certainly is awe inspiring. However, our God wants this to be easy. He does not want to hide away from us…
He not only sends His Holy Spirit to help us, remind us, teach us, etc., but He also brings these things to the table…
- Pure Love—incalculable, flawless, never-ending love
- AND SO MUCH MORE!
Our God is patient as we begin our journey to abide with Him. He stands waiting with loving arms as we draw near.
Abiding with God is not beyond us; for our God is prepared to help us every step of the way!
We can abide with Him DAILY, making it a lifestyle instead of a “coffee date” to catch up. And once abiding with Him becomes that lifestyle, we begin to change. For the better!
We begin to take on the characteristics of God. We begin to hear people say, “you are so much like Him!” This is a place of miracles, power, and of course, intimacy… and it is the place God wants us all to be.
What Scriptures Help Us Abide?
There are many Scriptures that speak of abiding and while each stands important in its own right there are some that teach us more about this deep abiding…
These Scriptures are God’s open invitation to abide with Him and an excellent reminder as to why we should eagerly accept:
- John 15:4-5
- “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” (NKJV)
- “So you must remain in life-union with me, for I remain in life-union with you. For as a branch severed from the vine will not bear fruit, so your life will be fruitless unless you live your life intimately joined to mine. I am the sprouting vine and you’re my branches. As you live in union with me as your source, fruitfulness will stream from within you—but when you live separated from me you are powerless.” (TPT)
- Psalm 91:1
- “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” (NKJV)
- Proverbs 19:23
- “The fear of the Lord leads to life, and he who has it will abide in satisfaction; He will not be visited with evil.” (NKJV)
- “When you live a life of abandoned love, surrendered before the awe of God, here’s what you’ll experience: Abundant life. Continual protection. And complete satisfaction!” (TPT)
- Micah 5:4
- “And He shall stand and feed His flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord His God; and they shall abide, for now He shall be great to the ends of the earth;” (NKJV)
- John 6:56
- “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.” (NKJV)
- “The one who eats my body and drinks my blood lives in me and I live in him.” (TPT)
- John 8:31
- “Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, ‘If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.’” (NKJV)
- John 8:35
- “And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever.” (NKJV)
- “And slaves have no permanent standing in a family, like a son does, for a son is a part of the family forever.” (TPT)
- John 15:7
- “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.” (NKJV)
- “But if you live in life-union with me and if my words live powerfully within you—then you can ask whatever you desire and it will be done.” (TPT)