March 5th, 2019
Both patience and perseverance are under rated attributes we as disciples need to embrace and take joy in. It doesn’t sit well with us a lot of time; we rarely consider why it is we don’t find abiding (waiting) as appealing as we should.
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
John 15:4-5 (ESV)
Trying to take a stab at why we resist what is the most powerful and rewarding activity we can engage in, brings us to the conclusion we don’t really understand what is going on in our surroundings.
Most of us grasp that we are inferior to God. His thoughts are not our thoughts; we get that. His ways differ vastly from ours. Could it be that while we understand this, we haven’t gained the comprehension that where we are right now in our understanding of God and His majesty, we still aren’t able to comprehend our situation fully? This is in fact the case. We are under a cloak of perception which distorts the view of our surroundings.
We don’t have to look very far to see where the scripture lets us know that this assumption is correct.
For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
1 Corinthians 13:12 (ESV)
It’s not really difficult to take these two passages; the critical need for us to abide in Christ Jesus found in John 15:4-5, the realization that our view is obstructed by our environment in 1 Corinthians 13:12, and come to the point where we grasp why abiding is so important to our spiritual wellbeing.
We gather our nourishment from our closeness to Jesus, the true vine. We should be so close we are clinging on to Him for dear life. Despite everything, which is or isn’t going on around us, our health and wellbeing depends on our relationship with Christ.
It is from this relationship we grow and mature in our faith and devotion to our Master, becoming more useful Disciples.
Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.
2 John 1:9 (ESV)
The evidence is clear in God’s Word that as soon as we depart from The Word; we alienate ourselves from the one that gives us life, both physically and spiritually.
The opening of the Gospel of John states boldly that ‘The Word’ is Jesus and there literally is nothing that was made that wasn’t made through Him. This establishes Christ as being responsible for our physical existence. We follow the Gospels through the life of Jesus here on this earth and it concludes with Him paying our debt for sin on the cross and establishing a means by which we can also have a new life abiding in Him through His grace and mercy.
Consistently we don’t see the hurried disorganized flurry representative of our lives today. Instead, we see us abiding in Jesus and He abiding in us. The problem is that we are not abiding as we should. The important thing we need to understand regarding these accomplishments we feel we must attend to, may only be fully accomplished, through His empowerment in us. This only happens when we truly abide in Him.
The danger here is that we can become so engaged in the accomplishments we envision we lose sight of what it is our Master would have us doing.
Abiding isn’t always an easy task when you consider we reside in fleshly bodies, in a corrupt world tarnished by sin, which seeks to monopolize our time and energy with activities, and priorities that even if they are good, may keep us from the function of abiding in Jesus.
We can quickly lose sight on the essential fact we are to be clinging to that vine. We see a myriad of things which we think we should do or should take advantage of. Motivations seem to be good and we press into the challenges before us, becoming ever more engrossed in the struggle we forget just how critical that attachment to the vine is and find ourselves separated from it.
The longer we are, the weaker we become, we wilt from lack of nourishment and dry up in the heat of this flurry of activity.
Abide with me Jesus says. You can do nothing without me He tells us. The opportunity to produce much fruit is there for us, but it’s not found separated from Him. It only is possible through Him and He in us. The more securely we are attached to that vine the more nourishment and production of fruit will be accomplished.
So next time you feel anxious about waiting around and feel you should do something, remember ‘abiding’ in Jesus is something. It is the most important thing.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
Proverbs 3:5-6 (ESV)
When the time is appropriate for you to go, He will say go. Until then “Wait”.
In His Grace,