This weekend I started the new sermon series called “Abide”. For two weeks we will be studying what God says through His Word in Chapter 15 of John. Perhaps there is no more important sermon Christ gave while on earth than the simple instruction to abide in Him.
But what does that really mean? What does it look like for us to abide in God?
Even if we have grown up in the church and heard hundreds of sermons, the chances are that none of us can really put words to what it means to “abide in Christ”. In fact, I must admit, I too had a warped view of what it meant to abide in Christ. It is not to simply stay close to Him for the sake of greater reward or more steady obedience. Rather, to abide in Christ is to have our entire lives affected by His Lordship over us.
This means that I trust Him even when it hurts. In the passages of John 15 we see things that talk about the pruning God does in our lives so that we can have maximum fruit-bearing abilities. We say we want to be close to God and bear fruit for Him, but we forget how much it hurts when He prunes us.
Perhaps you’ve thought or said things like these people before:
“I want to be close to God… but it seems so impossible,” one man said.
Another woman claimed, “Christ has always been my Lord, but It just seems like my spiritual walk is so dull at times.”
These statements can seem very familiar to anyone who has been a christian for more than a few years. Keeping spiritual vibrancy can seem much more difficult that God intended it. We get caught in trying to do and achieve rather than just “abiding” in Christ.
Maybe you really would like to go deeper, but the truth is there is something that stands in the way. The first key to spiritual vibrancy is to allow the Master (the Lord) to do the pruning He needs to in your life so that new fruit can grow. We must:
- Identify something that stands in the way of your relationship with God
- Prayerfully hand that thing over to Him.
Keep tabs on that thing that stands in your way this week; whenever it comes up, within three seconds, pray and ask God for help. Begin to see how God will removed what needs to go so that you bear much fruit and remain in Him.