Thursday, March 29, 2012

Thoughtful Thursday--The Privilege of Abiding in Christ

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)

Here is what Charles Spurgeon has to say about abiding in Christ:

"Communion with Christ is a certain cure for every ill. Whether it be the wormwood of woe, or the cloying surfeit of earthly delight, close fellowship with the Lord Jesus will take bitterness from the one, and satiety from the other. Live near to Jesus, Christian, and it is matter of secondary importance whether thou livest on the mountain of honor or in the valley of humiliation. Living near to Jesus, thou art covered with the wings of God, and underneath thee are the everlasting arms. Let nothing keep thee from that hallowed intercourse, which is the choice privilege of a soul wedded to THE WELL-BELOVED. Be not content with an interview now and then, but seek always to retain His company, for only in His presence hast thou either comfort or safety. Jesus should not be unto us a friend who calls upon us now and then, but one with whom we walk evermore. Thou hast a difficult road before thee: see, O traveler to heaven, that thou go not without thy guide. Thou hast to pass through the fiery furnace; enter it not unless, like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, thou hast the Son of God to be thy companion. Thou hast to storm the Jericho of thine own corruptions: attempt not the warfare until, like Joshua; thou hast seen the Captain of the Lord’s host, with His sword drawn in His hand. Thou art to meet the Esau of thy many temptations: meet him not until at Jabbok’s brook thou hast laid hold upon the angel, and prevailed. In every case, in every condition, thou wilt need Jesus; but most of all, when the iron gates of death shall open to thee. Keep thou close to thy soul’s Husband, lean thy head upon His bosom, ask to be refreshed with the spiced wine of His pomegranate, and thou shalt be found of Him at the last, without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing. Seeing thou hast lived with Him, and lived in Him here, thou shalt abide with Him for ever."

The word translated "abide" there in John 15:4-5 is 'meno' in the greek and it means: abide, continue, dwell, endure, be present, remain, stand

What a challenging thought to know that I should be abiding in Christ, continuing in Christ, dwelling in Christ, enduring in Christ, being present with Christ, remaining in Christ, standing in Christ! But also, how wonderful that He wants me to! Me in my sinful human state, Him in His pristine holiness. He wants me to be part of Him, one with Him, "always in His company". How precious an opportunity, but do I take it? Most often, no. To be in constant fellowship with my Maker, Creator, Redeemer--who could dream of such a possibility. And yet, He offers it and I should take hold of it!

When I think of abiding in Christ, I think of Brother Lawrence. In the collection of letters and conversations called "The Practice of the Presence of God", the theme that is repeated over and over is the constant communion Brother Lawrence had with God. He says, "The time of business does not differ with me from the time of prayer; and in the noise and clatter of my kitchen, while several persons are at the same time calling for different things, I possess God in as great tranquility as if I were on my knees." If he can be in constant communion with God in a noisy kitchen, I guess I can too!

Like he says, it doesn't have to be some impressive spiritual prayer and you don't even really have to talk at all. "A little lifting of the heart suffices; a little remembrance of God, one act of inward worship are prayers which, however short, are nevertheless acceptable to God."

When I glory in a part of God's creation, I am offering a prayer of thanksgiving! That's a very good reason to get outdoors everyday : )

When I notice something good that happens and give Him credit, I am giving Him honor and glory!

When my plans are ruined and yet I acknowledge God's sovereignty, I am putting my faith in Him!

But, for me, this is not a usual habit. And like any worthy habit, this takes time and energy to develop.
"One way to recollect the mind easily in the time of prayer, and preserve it more in tranquillity, is not to let it wander too far at other times. You should keep it strictly in the presence of God; and being accustomed to think of Him often, you will find it easy to keep your mind calm in the time of prayer, or at least to recall it from its wanderings."

What Brother Lawrence says there goes right along with Scripture: "...and take every thought captive to obey Christ..." 2 Corinthians 10:5

Another reason to always be memorizing Scripture and filling your mind with the Word!

Heavenly Father, teach me to mindful of You, to abide in You, always!


  1. Well expressed, Sunny. There is such a comfort in just relaxing and abiding in Christ. We had tough, surprise news today that should have shaken us pretty hard, but we both were able to be peaceful with our response. There is a part inside trying to convince me to balk, but I am holding on tight to my Father and really wanting to just abide in Him. With His grace alone. ~CS

  2. Wow! This post is hard to digest! Very convicting! There are so many areas in my walk with Christ that need improvement! Thank you for this encouraging reminder! ~Jordan