Abide: verb. to wait for, to endure without yielding, to bear patiently, to remain stable or fixed in a place, to continue in a place.
I’ve been marvelling at the development of my 3 year old daughter lately. Each days she becomes a little more articulate and her mannerisms become more pronounced. Sometimes I smile when I realise just how she does little things the same way I do, or says things with the same expressions I use. I realise that the more time we spend together the more I will notice these things. Because as we spend more and more time with the same people, we become more like them.
I often hear the phrase “abide with me” and think about the work I do living a life for Jesus. Yet abiding means so much more than that. It is also a state of being. As the definition above shows, it means standing firm and enduring, day by day and hour by hour- continuing. It is spending time together and walking through the ups and downs of life hand in hand with Jesus.
Hudson Taylor has been quoted as saying, “Abiding in Jesus isn’t fixing our attention on Christ, but it is being one with him. A man is abiding just as much when he is sleeping for Jesus, as when he is awake and working for Jesus. Oh, it is a very sweet thing to have ones mind just resting there.” Sometimes it is helpful to remember the need to quieten our soul in order to be thankful for the gift of grace and sweet sweet mercy in Jesus- because he has done the work. And then just enjoy being with him and living life with him.
When we take time to be with our God, read his word and share the joys and burdens of our hearts, our eyes become more firmly fixed on him and our mind is transformed little by little. Our whole person becomes a little more in tune with him. Like a violin tuning up to a tuning fork, we too are in the process of being tuned to Jesus.
In 1 John 2:1-6 we read:
As we see in verse 4 above, it is more than just saying “we are followers of Jesus”. It is through the day to day walking and following Jesus’ example, marvelling in his grace that covers us and enjoying being in his presence and getting to know him that really shows if his love is in us. In relationship we grow more in his likeness and are changed from the inside out.
photo credit: Steve Snodgrass via photopin cc