What does it mean to live in a place of consistently abiding in the Father? As I have been serving on the base here in Lakeside, God has begun to challenge me to abide in him.
A few weeks ago I listened to a podcast by Andy Byrd (the pioneer of an evangelism ministry within YWAM). He was speaking on this issue of abiding. There was an illustration given within the message that really stuck in my mind. Picture a young father and his precious 3 or 4 year old baby girl. She runs around all day with an outrageous level of energy, as the evening rolls around exhaustion comes over her. Her dad fully knows she desperately needs rest so he scoops her into his arms. All this father desires for his baby girl is for her to rest in his arms but she struggles and fights and squirms, not wanting to give into rest.
This is exactly what I look like... I run around like a chicken with it's head cut off unwilling to slow down. Exhausted, I become frustrated with how impossible it feels to obtain consistency in my relationship with Jesus. Every other day becomes a battle of spiritual lows and highs. I know it is said that it's impossible to live in a consistent high, yet I can't help but believe there is a point in your faith where you understand and believe so deeply in what Jesus has done that the lows melt away. I have a desire to see christians walk in such freedom that they are unscathed by the circumstances of each day, unmoved by negative emotions, and filled with unshakeable joy. This is what I chase after in my own life yet somehow that striving quickly begins to look like fighting the rest I so desperately need.
So what does chasing after these things have to do with abiding in the father? Well, the reason I desire these things is Jesus. I see people whose lives are characterized by these attributes and it is good. These people live in freedom like I have not seen before, they know their purpose, they know they were not created for this world and they live in a way that changes the world and the society around them. The reason the lives of these people are so attractive is not because they strive for these things the way I so often try to. If we could look into their hearts we would find at the very center of their actions is an overwhelming willingness to abide in the Lord. No matter how amazing these characteristics/truths are they are not going to
get me or anyone closer to Him (Jesus). No, instead I must look to Jesus. I must fix my eyes
on him; the author and perfecter of my faith.
Abiding in Him is all that God desires for us. YES we have been called to action, but that action absolutely must stem from a place of adoration for God. From a place of being at peace within the presence of the Holy Spirit. When I looked up the word abide this is what I found; to wait, to accept without objection, to remain stable or fixed in a state, to continue in a place, to stay, to have one's abode, dwelling, residing, to continue in a particular condition, lasting, to remain faithful. When I began to think about these more this is what I realized. Abiding has nothing to do with striving.
Abiding is waiting on the Lord. It is accepting his peace without objection, it is remaining stable and fixed in a state of companionship with Jesus, it is dwelling and residing in his presence. It is allowing God to do the things through us and in us that he desires, not striving to fix our own short comings and emotional roller-coasters but waiting in his presence, simply loving him and allowing him to move. It is faith and trust that says, "Jesus YOU are enough and everything else will fall into place if I simply stop fighting, squirming, striving, and just rest in your arms". It is from this place of abiding in Jesus that I gain the ability to be unscathed by circumstances, unmoved by emotions, and filled with joy. It is by resting in him that I will see his kingdom brought to earth, brought to my own life.