" I am the true vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."
My Wednesday night bible study was all about abiding in the Lord. That's what the scripture above is saying to us. We must abide in Him, abiding means purging my life from the impurities that do not resemble the vine. In other words any part of me that does not look like Christ.
I don't know about you but that is a very difficult thing for me to do. I like to be self sufficient, I like to think I have the ability to control most of the things that surround me in my day to day living of life. When I awake in the morning I plan my day out, if its a work day I focus on my job if its a day off I enjoy the freedom to pick and choose my routine of homemaking. Oh, yes I read my daily devotions and if time allows read a few Psalms as I utter a quick prayer before launching into a day filled with living.
But...the branches of life (me) compete with the vine (GOD). I need to be the implementer and live for a audience of one~~~ the one true God. And the only way I can do that is to study the word and learn from it. I need a relationship with the Lord not just head knowledge.
Jesus is an illustration in human form for us, He is obedient to the Father in every way.
Abiding is the process of becoming ever more surrendered to, contented with, dependant on and obedient to God resulting in the reflection of His image.
Abiding is characterized by an effective prayer life, be real with God, be transparent, nothing you say to Him is a surprise He can take it. He longs for us to talk with Him as if sitting next to our best friend and pouring out our hearts with our concerns our fears and of course confessing our sins.. He already knows our sins but by confessing them out to Him makes our sin real to ourselves. John 15: 7 "If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you."
Abiding is also obedience, look at your life style, do we obey His commands, are we honest? do we have idols that replace worship for the one true God, how do we spend our time and money??
John 15: 10 "If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love."
Abiding is joyful, what kind of attitude to I portray? do I smile, am I kind, does my joy come from the Lord or circumstances in my life? Joy is calm delight trusting God, being filled. full joy is complete and satisfying. John 15: 11 "I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete."
Brokenness is realizing He is all we have. Hope is realizing He is all we need. Joy is realizing He is all we want. I like that quote from Safest Place on the Earth, Larry Crab.
Stay close to the vine, the branches will die without it....