What do peas in a pod, a caterpillar in a cocoon, a heavy statute, and a Christian have in common? Abiding. Webster defines abide as 1. remain; continue 2. dwell. 3. stand firm
During the growing season, the peas remain snug in the pod until the time of harvest. As a caterpillar undergoes its metamorphosis, it dwells within the snug cocoon. A heavy statute stands firm through all kinds of elements, refusing to budge, and a Christian remains, dwells, and stands firm in faith waiting, anticipating, and expecting fruit in their life.
I first learned the spiritual meaning of abiding while at a writer’s conference. My first book had come out and already people were asking about the 2nd one. What if there wasn’t a 2nd one? The panic began to mount. Then my eyes fell upon John 15.
I realized that my stewing would not give me another success; it was only going to steal the joy of the first one. All I needed to do was abide in the arms of my sovereign God. If He wanted me to have another, it would happen. If He wanted me to bear other kinds of fruit, I would. I remember my sense of peace in that moment of revelation.
What is the role of an abiding Christian? We must follow him in our lives, but trust HIM for the outcome. As we stay connected, the sprouts of trust begin to breakthrough discouragement. The Holy Spirit can produce His fruit in us because we are abiding.
How might this fruit appear in the life of an abiding Christian? (Galations 5:22-23)
Love—An abiding Christian loves his fellowman, encouraging and helping, plus he is always pointing people to Christ.
Joy—An abiding Christian is joyful as they follow the Lord. Joy would bubble up and out of them in their daily life.
Peace—An abiding Christian is contented and at peace they are in God’s will.
Patience—An abiding Christian is patient as they await the answers to their prayers, be it a week, month, or years.
Kindness—An abiding Christian encourages and treats mankind as they want to be treated.
Goodness—An abiding Christian’s goodness springs unselfishly from the heart as they serve their family and fellowman.
Faithfulness—An abiding Christian believes the one who calls them is faithful; that the seed planted will come to fruition. They keep on keeping on.
Gentleness—An abiding Christian presents the truth not with a preachy tone but with gentleness and boldness of spirit.
Self-Control—An abiding Christian will not let negative emotions trip them up, but will burrow in the Word and stay intimate with the Lord.
Is it always easy to abide? No, in our humanity, we need encouragement. Although we need to learn to turn to God first for our encouragement, we need each other. I once heard about a little girl who was afraid of the dark. Her mother told her not to be afraid, that God was with her in the dark.
The little girl replied, “But Mommy, I need someone with skin on.” Thus it is with all of us, and that’s why joining with other believers is helpful in learning to stand firm and abide. What will you decide? Choose now to let the Holy Spirit’s fruit blossom in your life, abide in HIM and join with other believers? Let us not give up the habit of meeting together, as some are doing. Instead, let us encourage one another all the more, since you see that the Day of the Lord is coming nearer. Hebrews 10:25 GNT
Exercise your faith and watch for those sprouts of fruitfulness. Stay in the Word and don’t forget to pray. Live a fruitful life. Make your time on earth count.
In HIS love, Janet