In a home best described as a runway at this stage of my life, and in a zoom zoom world expecting me to not just keep up but to post it all as I go, how can I possibly stay connected to Jesus? I’m like a squirrel on Red Bull doubling as a juggler in a circus. I’m just trying to keep it all up in the air. Yet, God is asking me to “be still and know that I am God.” He is asking me to abide in Him, but I have so much to do…
He is inviting me close…
I am the vine; you are the branches. If you abide in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5
Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who finds refuge in him. Psalm 34:8
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30
Draw near to God and he will draw near to you… James 4:8
I was reminded recently through a message spoken by my husband, that we are not home. This life on this planet is not it. Yet I become entangled by it every day. I am pulled into its pleasures, its demands, and its promises. Quickly I become overwhelmed, my thoughts and attention consumed by people, tasks, and worries.
I hear the quiet voice of my savior saying, “make your life about me and not this life.”
The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever. 1 John 2:17
Abiding is relationship and relationship takes time. What if the depth and care of my relationship with Jesus was my primary focus for the day, every day? What if connecting with him and relying on him was my passion each day instead of compartmentalizing it all and giving Jesus a slot in my schedule if something comes open? What if abiding in him was my very life breath?
What if the greatness of my day depended on the depth of my intimacy with Jesus instead of the results of my work or even the posted moments with my children? And what if that intimate connection with him led me into life changing conversations with those in need, or down paths of risky generosity that brings blessing into the lives of others?
It’s not that God has given us complicated instructions or an exhausting list of tasks. He has not hidden his plan and only provided us with a sketchy treasure map to find it. Little mystery is found in the simple instructions given to us…
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, Love your neighbor as yourself. – Luke 10:27
Love. It’s relationship. It’s abiding.
How in the world can I love my God like Jesus is telling me, with all of me, if my focus is on this life and the cares of this world? Unless my all consuming passion is Jesus and abiding in him, I can’t. If my first priority in my life is anything but him, I can’t. If my husband and children come first, I can’t. If my job or even my ministry come first, then I can’t love God with all my heart and with all my soul and with all my strength and with all my mind. All. He said all.
So what does that look like played out in my life? In your life? What would life look like if He were my obsession, instead of this life?
We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 1 John 4:16 NAS
A love like Jesus is describing here, can only pour out of a soul that is abiding in him, living in him, tucked away under his wing. Attached.
The vine and the branch. The only way to bear fruit- eternally lasting fruit. Abiding in him as a branch is attached to the vine.
How can you abide in Christ?
- Ask God to examine your heart. What or who is your all-consuming passion? Surrender that role to Jesus.
- Pray continually. Walk through your day acknowledging his presence, inviting his guidance, worshiping him, and following his lead.
- Seek his plan. Surrender yours and let him write your “to do” list each morning.
- Meditate on his Word. It’s his love letter to you, his wisdom for your life, his Way which is higher than yours, and a record of his faithfulness.
- Confess your mess. Keep your relationship healthy by owning up to your sin.