Saturday, July 20, 2013

What Does It Mean to Abide?


What does it mean to abide?

Well, let’s look at what the Merriam-Webster dictionary says.
transitive verb
1: to wait for : await
2a : to endure without yielding : withstand
intransitive verb
1: to remain stable or fixed in a state
2: to continue in a place : sojourn

Now let’s look it up in the Strong’s and see what the Greek meaning is.
# 3306 --- I remain, abide, stay, wait; 
I looked into some of the verses that mention ‘abide’ and found that the word meant –  To be equivalent to not depart, not leave, to continue to be present, to maintain unbroken fellowship with one.
To dwell as it were within him, to be continually operative in him by his divine influence and energy, John 14:10; Christians are said to be rooted as it were in him, knit to him by the spirit they have received from him, something has established itself permanently within my soul, and always exerts its power   
John 8:31    Then said Jesus to those Jews who believed on him, If you continue in my word, then are you my disciples indeed;   

So Jesus was saying to the Jews that believed IF they continue (or abide) – not depart, not leave, continue to be present and to maintain unbroken fellowship with Him – then they would be His disciples.
John 14:16    And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever; 

I love this passage because Jesus is telling us that we shall have the ‘Comforter’ abiding with us forever – I love to see this as an unbroken fellowship, then the comforter will never leave.

Let’s take a moment to look at ‘comforter’
‘Comforter’ #3875 (Helper)  an advocate - properly, a legal advocate who makes the right judgment-call because close enough to the situation.

This is the Holy Spirit, it’s not a oh poor baby let me wipe your tears. The comfort is in knowing the Holy Spirit makes the right judgment call and there is ‘comfort’ In knowing everything will work out as we abide in Him and listen and follow our ‘Comforter’.
John 15:4    Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can you, except you abide in me.
So what is the fruit here? According to Strong’s Greek #2590 it can be a fruit we eat (apple, orange, etc)  but I believe it’s the second choice -  deed, action, result.

By definition, fruit (2590 /karpĆ³s) results from two life-streams – the Lord living His life through ours – to yield what is eternal
 Our fruit that comes from abiding in Him is the Lord living in and through us and that will produce eternal results.
John 15:9    As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you: continue you in my love.
The ‘love’ in this verse – Strong’s Greek #25    - properly, to prefer, to love; for the believer, preferring to "live through Christ" - embracing God's will (choosing His choices) and obeying them through His power - preeminently refers to what God prefers as He "is love"    (all are a form of AGAPE)
I Corinthians 7:20    Let every man abide in the same calling in which he was called. 
‘calling’ Strong’s #2821 - of the divine invitation to embrace salvation of God
The Lord has wanted me to study the word ‘abide’ and I found this to be a long study that involved lots of prayer and sitting and listening to the Holy Spirit.

I was beginning to feel my flesh rise up, questions and fear subtly entering and I could not figure out why. I was doing everything the Lord had placed on my heart. I was following my passions and breaking the chains that had held me in the past.

When fear began to return I knew something was wrong so I took God’s direction and began to really study abide. This is not all of the Scriptures just the ones the Lord used to speak to me.
I found that I was not abiding in Him as His Word tells me. Somewhere along the line I stepped off the path and had put the focus on ‘me’. I was worrying more about what man thought of me than God. 

How did I get back on this path?  You know I’m really not sure where I stepped off the path, that is how subtle satan and your flesh can be. But Praise God He got my attention and I've repented!

So to sum up what I've learned through this study on abide:

I need to make sure I am so immersed in Him, in His Word that I maintain unbroken fellowship with Him so it’s His divine influence and energy pouring out of me.

 I have the Comforter, He is my legal advocate and He knows the right moves, the right words and the right attitude to approach everything.  

When my focus wanted to please man because I didn't want to lose their friendship or disagree with a teaching because I feared being shut out or ridiculed… focus was off God I was no longer abiding in God. I should never fear man but should always ALWAYS fear God. 

When you have the Holy Spirit living in you and you are abiding in God you clearly hear from Him and it’s in the Scriptures to validate it. I like what a guy at church did today when he was giving his Discipleship message. He would read a passage and then pause and say now it’s our choice – some would just rip the page out, ignore it and move on. To me that is getting off the path and no longer abiding, it is broken fellowship. It is when we receive and obey; when we take action and glorify the Father; that we are abiding.

We can quote Scripture, give advice, pray, speak in tongues, be baptized, hold a position in the church…..but what we do outside those walls during the week….that shows if we are really abiding -------

Do you yell at your spouse and belittle them? Do you provoke your children? Do you set aside time with the Lord to watch a program you know causes you to lust, be it food or something else? Do you gossip to others? Do you promote yourself when talking to others? Do you show agape/charity to others – believers and nonbelievers alike? Are you honest when the cashier gives you back too much change or didn't charge you for every item? Are you rude to the hostess at the restaurant? Do you think you are the only one right and that’s the end of the story?

Or maybe you’re afraid to give your opinion or share what the Lord has told you because you don’t want that person to get angry at you. Or you really are ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ and will not speak to someone when you know the Lord wants you to say or do something that will show His goodness.  I could go on and on but I’m sure you get the picture.