I have tried to abide. I have attempted to work it out through quiet times (I’m told early mornings are the best) and trying to remain in rest. Somehow I felt like I could struggle or strain my way to abiding. Maybe if I captured it in a moment, I could keep it for life. Somehow if I remained still enough, quiet enough, then I would abide.
The Word says, “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he shall bear much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” John 15:5 So I went on my journey to ABIDE!
Trying to ABIDE
Now, I have a dog named Fritz, a Britney Spaniel, who showed up on my doorstep one day and never left. He is an outside dog who loves running around my house in the mountains. He stays close to home base never quite letting his paws stray off the plate for fear of being struck out. I don’t know what his prior life consisted of but I am sure he doesn’t want to lose a good thing. He has a safe and loving home here with me.
One of the characteristics of Fritz is extreme energy. When he is focused on something his body quivers with excitement. His ritual is to wait outside my door with a pitiful glance with one hope, one passion, one treasure: MilkBone dog biscuits. I pass by and there he is, “Please?” He has everyone trained. My only requirement for him to receive the treasure is that he must sit. He does this in a way that by letter is correct but in actuality, not so much! His rear is bobbing and hovering, his legs are shaking and his voice is full of moans and whimpers. Fritz wants to obey but he simply can’t contain the sheer force of desire.
So how does my abiding relate to this picture? I want to say, “not at all” but alas this would not be true. I have gone about abiding in much the same fashion. I have tried with great anticipation. I have run to quiet times sucking up the air with hopes. My insides quaked and quivered while I attempted to appear still. I have sought and listened for the Shepherd’s voice but am drawn away by every possible distraction.
What is to be done, what is not done, who’s, when’s, where‘s! My tire might be low, is that bill unpaid, what do they think of me, what must I say, anniversary gift for Mildred, lawn blades too high, am I failing God, what must I read, is the milk out of date? Set the DVR, what is God gonna say, hunger in the world, mission trip next May, fiscal cliff oh my! Do these thoughts really go through my mind? Does it matter? These were all just vibrations while I tried to abide.
So what have I learned over the years of TRYING? Abiding is Christ. Abiding is not in a manufactured moment but in a life surrendered and yielded to the Lord. I abide in His abiding in me. I abide because my moments are held in His hands. My passionate desire to abide is actually HIS desire for me to that level of intimacy. His heart swells at my desire to touch Him, for all desire comes from Him first. But fleshly attempts to abide fail every time. I want it, I seek it, I try it. That’s all I can do; I want the treasure.
The moment is not the abiding. It’s not in my quiet time. Life is abiding. Everywhere I walk I abide because I am in Him. I am His dwelling but first and foremost He is my dwelling. That is abiding!
I know that what God commands is not convoluted to perform. So I don’t have to figure out when Jupiter aligns with Mars, or at what degree my head must be cocked or how deep my kneel must be or what mantra must be chanted.
“Lord, I know the answer is simple here. You wouldn’t say abide in Me if you didn’t want me to access that. You are not tricking me. Jesus said things simply. So how, God, do I abide?” Intimate relationship: Christ with me, more than me with Him.
Now we all have relationship with God whether we claim Him as Lord or not. He is our Creator and we cannot help relating to Him in His world. But to abide is to embrace the relationship as He Himself sets it up: He is Lord and I am surrendered to His Lordship.
So the good news is that the moon doesn’t have to be in the Seventh House but you, the true believer, need to know that you actually dwell in Him as your continual Home on Earth. This is not about my being perfect but about relationship. Learning, leaning, depending and getting to know the Jesus who makes Himself known.