I get to need God.
You get to need God.,
We get to need God.
Why is it that we struggle to remember the JOY of GETTING TO need/depend on God?
I remember feeling like I was slowly drowning in 2019. And the worst part about a slow drown is that you are able to convince yourself for a while that you can save yourself. The enemy sometimes attacks intensely and directly and sometimes it’s subtle and slow to keep us from recognizing our own condition.
I reached the end of my rope in October of 2019 when I finally humbled myself, came before the Lord and said, “I need you to diagnose me.” Up until then, I had been trying to self diagnose my condition…why I was depressed, why I felt hard hearted toward God, why I felt numb to the Truth. I needed to seek Him FIRST and let Him reveal so He can heal.
He is faithful and able. He began to show me how somewhere along the way of walking with Him and working with Him, I forgot how to simply be with Him, enjoy Him, delight in Him, and desire Him above all else. I got so focused on the work that I neglected the WALK.
Now, work done for HIS glory is GOOD but if we are not careful, our work for God can become like a mistress in our walk with Him. When we start to fool ourselves in thinking that doing for God is enough—more important even than deepening our intimacy with Him, meditating on His Word, lingering in His presence, depending on Him and delighting in Him--we’ve missed it.
In John 10:11-18 Jesus reminds us that He is the Good Shepherd and the One who will lead us to green pastures. We cannot lead ourselves. We cannot do it on our own. God created us with this deep need to live and walk intimately with Him. When we follow Him, we find pasture--we find life. We need Him and ultimately should come to a place where we want Him.
John 15:4 “ Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.”
This brings us to the topic of abiding. Abiding is not just about needing God but remaining faithful in our attachment to Him as the Vine. It’s important that we really understand this because, while the union with Christ for those who have been born again by the Spirit can’t be interrupted, abiding can be. Our gaze can shift at any moment in we are not proactive in keeping it UPWARD.
Let me explain it this way. When we decide to follow Jesus, we are now in relationship with Him and His Spirit is in us. Because of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, when we sin, it’s not that He disowns us (the union) but abiding HAS been interrupted (which is usually what leads to sin in the first place). The Holy Spirit, then, will convict us with truth, love and grace to confess and repent to ourselves, God and others to restore the fellowship that has been interrupted.
Now! Let’s talk about what abiding is NOT:
1. Abiding is not an occasional thing.
2. Abiding is not a one and done deal.
3. Abiding is not possible unless you are first attached to the Vine.
1. Connection: abiding in Jesus means being connected to Him. This is the union we have. The same way a branch is connected to the vine, and a vine to the branch, we are connected to Christ and He to us. No connection = no life and no fruit.
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2. Reliance: We, as the branch, get to be dependent on the Vine. There is no such thing as independence in abiding. This isn’t a mutual thing like connection since the Vine (Christ) is not dependent on the branch. The branch gets its life and power FROM the Vine. Without the Vine, the branch has no purpose, no life; it’s useless and powerless. We are completely reliant upon Jesus for everything that counts as spiritual fruit. Apart from him, we can truly do nothing of eternal value (v. 5).
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3. Continuance: Abiding means to remain, stay, or continue. We are to REMAIN in Jesus. We never stop believing Him, delighting in Him, trusting Him, or relying on Him. Abiding is not a one and done but a steadfastness in our gaze upon Him, our walk with Him and our attachment to Him.
On a scale of 1-10, how is your connection? Reliance? Continuance? What is hindering you from committed connection, complete reliance and joyful continuance?
These are questions I am asking myself too. Let’s give the Holy Spirit room to reveal so He can restore and strengthen our abiding in Christ. I am so thankful He (as the Good Shepherd) is persistent in warning us when we drift and comes looking for us. Aren't you?
If He is reminding you to need Him, rely on Him and abide in Him today, do less, pray more and make yourself available for a re-alignment with His presence today. He is near.
Pray with me,
Father, it is your desire that we would remain in You and You in us. Apart from You, we can do nothing of eternal value. May our connection to You, reliance on You, and continuance in You increase the fruit we bear so that YOU may be given all the glory and others would come to know You and also glorify You. May we pursue faithfulness in our abiding above all else. We love you. Amen.