When Lusanda asked me to blog this month, she gave me a few topics and this one stood out the most in my spirit: firstly, because it’s my heart’s desire and passion to abide in Jesus and, secondly, my favourite verse in the Bible is in John 15. Jesus says, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you.” (NIV)
I think it’s important to understand the meaning of “abide.” When I googled the term, what came up was to remain, to accept, to dwell and to stand.
As children/daughters of God we are called to abide, stand and remain in Jesus. This abiding and remaining in Jesus is seen in many scriptures.
Why I love this word is that it shows me that all I need to do is stand, to remain, even when I do not feel or see Him – when everything is crushing and when all is well, He asks me to remain. This gives me hope; it gives me an assurance that I don’t have to carry anything in my own strength. He does all the work, I just need to stand and put my hope in Him.
The remaining is tough, especially during difficult times or when we lack understanding about what God is doing in a particular season of our lives, if we have not surrendered to Jesus. The scripture says those that remain in Him bear fruit and He prunes them. He has to take us through the fire; He has to change us so we can become more like Him and bear this new fruit and new wine.
I was reminded of my journey as a young Christian on fire for Christ. I served the Lord from a young age; I loved Jesus and loved the church but I went through a tough season in my life. There was a lot of loss in the year of 2007 and I was upset, disappointed and lacked understanding. At that time, I believed God was only supposed to do good things; bad things weren’t supposed to happen to Christians and I didn’t remain, I didn’t abide in Jesus. I was in and out of church; I did my own thing and as the scripture says, if you do not remain in Him, it’s like a branch that is thrown out and withers. In that time in my life, I allowed sin to rule me and something did die; I felt God’s presence leave me. For many years, I had to fight to get back to that place of remaining and living in his word and in His presence. Because He is faithful, I can say after 6 years in that place of God pruning me and pressing, I am abiding in Jesus. I see the fruit that He brings, which we are told about in Galatians 5 vs 22 -23 (NIV): “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
In the past two years, I have also gone through loss. Last year, my mother suffered a severe stroke that took her speech and mobility and this year, in July, my dad passed on to be with the LORD. However, because I have learnt from my last actions of not abiding in his word, in his presence and walking without Him through the valley, I have had to press through the disappointment, the pain and the hurt. Jesus makes everything beautiful. I have a lot to be grateful for; I have joy and peace that only He gives and that’s through remaining in Him and His word. In John 15, He says you can do nothing without Him and that’s so true. I need Him every minute and second of every day.
I would like to encourage you daughter/child of God to abide Him; He is the true vine, our solid and firm foundation.
Practically, abiding in Jesus means letting go of the old man and allowing Jesus to be Lord. It’s the transforming of your mind (Rom 12vs 1). It’s allowing the word of God to be the only word that speaks over your life. It’s being part of the community of God, with God-fearing and Holy-Spirit led men and women.
Its pressing through until you find Jesus; it’s welcoming the Holy Spirit to come into your heart and allowing Him to have it all. It’s a journey but He is with you; keep your vision on the goal of finding Jesus.