Wednesday, February 10, 2010

INTIMACY WITH GOD - PART 5 - Abiding

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. 
John 15:4

Definitions of abide (from Blue Letter Bible):
1. In reference to place – not to depart; continue to be present; to be held; kept
2. In reference to time – to continue to be; not to perish; endure
3. In reference to state or condition – to remain as one; not become another or different.

(Photo above is of a grafted branch abiding in its host.)


ABIDING IS TWO-FOLD

1. “Abide in Me…”
A branch participates in the process of grafting. It presents its body, so to speak, to the vine. It leaves its old life and environment (the original plant it came from), and conforms to the environment and life of the vine. On the outside the branch may look the same, but on the inside profound changes take place. A key to its survival is that it has to throw out little shoots which would attach it to the host vine so that it would not die, but remain in the vine and continue to be held there. This is a clear illustration of what Jesus meant when He told you to abide in Him.

HOW DO YOU ABIDE IN HIM?
  • You follow Jesus’ example of His abiding in the Father. He said, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.” – John 4: 34.
  • Obedience is the key. This is what Jesus thrived on, and so must you.
  1. Jesus answered, “If a person [really] loves Me, he will keep My word [obey My teaching….” – John 14:23a
  2. Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one. And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself. ’There is no other commandment greater than these.” – Mark 12: 20-31. Therefore if you don't love, you won't abide.
  3. "...present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." - Romans 12: 1b, 2

2. “…and I in you.”
The host vine also participates in the grafting process. The vine infuses its sap into the grafted branch, giving it life-sustaining nutrients. If the graft is successful the sap helps to fuse the vine and the branch together.

WHO ABIDES IN YOU?

     When you fulfill the conditions that Jesus has given, then His promise of abiding in you is activated.
  • The Spirit of Truth, Whom the world cannot receive (welcome, take to its heart), because it does not see Him or know and recognize Him. But you know and recognize Him, for He lives with you [constantly] and will be in you.” – John 14:17
  • “If a person [really] loves Me, he will keep My word [obey My teaching]; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home (abode, special dwelling place) with him.” – John 14: 23
It is clear, then, that the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit abide in you in response to your obedience to Jesus’ word.

DIVINE INTERDEPENDENCE

“As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.”

You can do nothing for God in your own strength. You must be one with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in intimate union. Jesus, your Vine who is one with the Father (the Vinedresser), must continually impregnate you with the “sap” of His Word through the power of His Spirit. Remember that you do not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. You, in response, must remain embedded in Him and yielded to Him, allowing the Word to work in you and through you.

ABIDING OR JUST PASSING THROUGH?

Apostle Austin J. de Bourg says, "A man has not learned anything until it has changed him". Therefore you don't abide in the True Vine until you have learned of Him, obeyed Him and allowed Him to change you.

Here is a simple test…
  1. What were the last two instructions that you received from the Lord, either during your own personal prayer, Bible study or from a minister preaching the Word?
  2. Since receiving them how have you specifically been living out those instructions on a daily basis?
  3. How has it changed you?
Your honest answers to these questions will help you to determine if you are truly abiding in Him and He in you, or if the “sap” of His word is just simply passing through you.

2 comments:

  1. This is an A-W-E-S-O-M-E piece Audrey. An eye-opener to say the least. Thank you for your obedience. Bless the Lord for this revelation, given to us with the sole purpose of drawing us closer to Him. Bless His Holy Name.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Audrey,
    Your wisdom of our Father is such an inspiration that I plan to share it with others.

    Thanks for being a vessel of God.

    ReplyDelete

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