If You Abide in Me… How Exactly Do I Do That?
“Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.” John 8:31
“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.” John 15:7
Some things we read in Scripture sound easy to understand at first, but when we step back and think about a particular passage, we’re not exactly sure it they means as a practical matter of application.
How do we abide in Jesus and have His Word abide in us? What does that mean?
He said we should do it and if we do, we can ask whatever we want to ask and it will be done for us. [John 15:7]
Great! So, how do we abide in Him? Is there some secret portal in space where we can cross over into the spirit realm and be in Jesus when we do?
Let’s look at the definition of the word, “abide.”
abide (v) - to accept or act in accordance with, tobear, to stay or live somewhere, to remain or continue, to wait for, to endurewithout yielding, to accept without objection, to remain stable or fixed, tocontinue in a place, to conform to–
To abide in Jesus and have His Word abide in us is first to know His Word by reading it, thinking about it, and believing it, then to accept and act in accordance with Him and His WORD, to remain and continue to remain in Him and His Word, to wait for Him and His WORD, to endure any challenge to His authority and His WORD without yielding to the pressure to doubt or resist His calling or His WORD, to accept without objection that Jesus and His WORD are the final authorities in our lives, to be fixed, unmoved and stable in Him and His WORD, to continue in Him and His WORD from day to day to day… and finally to be transformed from our old nature and ways of thinking and be conformed to Him and His WORD.
All of this is abiding in Him. And the key to all of this is spending time reading, meditating on, learning and then doing His Word. Doing what Jesus said we should do daily, living in a manner that agrees with His will, His heart’s desire for us and His Spirit’s empowerment to carry it out.
Simply stated, the more of the WORD, [the Scriptures, the Bible] we know the more we can believe the WORD and the more we can do the WORD. This is not about earning salvation or earning anything from God. It is about being available for the transformational power of God to work in and through us so that we can abide in Him and His WORDS can abide in us.
If You have ever seen a set of Russian nesting dolls you know how one doll is in another and another and another and so on.
Well, imagine that we are like a three-piece set of those dolls. We are one of those dolls and nested in us is another one, the WORD of Jesus, and we are nested in another one Jesus.
Now imagine that we, in Jesus, start out smaller than Him, and the WORD in us starts out smaller than us, but as Jesus’ WORD increases in us and grows in magnitude, we begin to grow and increase in the knowledge of Him and His WORD, until we grow to be the same size as He is. The WORD growing in us causes us to grow to the size of Christ, where eventually we become fully one with Him.
Our purpose after we are born again is to grow up to be like Christ in His fullness. This is the goal of abiding in Him and having His WORD abide in us.
“And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.” Ephesians 4:11-15