Love AND Abide

 

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The last post I talked about the battle we are in. Sometimes it feels like a constant battle and we wonder if we are ever going to enter our rest. You know, the place where peace resides.
I think it worthy to note: peace does not mean the absence of storms, rather it is a state where we can rest and know the storm is not going to kill us. Peace is like home, where we can rest, no matter what is going on in the outside world.
Recently, as I was reading John 15, the word “abide” just stood out. It was as if Jesus were speaking directly to me.

“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.” John 15:7

Let me give you a little back drop here…

We all go through seasons. Ecclesiastes 3 starts by saying; “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven…” So we know, no matter what season we are in now, it is nothing new, because Solomon, the wisest man, also says in Ecclesiastes; “…there is nothing new under the sun.” (1:9-10)

Fortunately, and thank God, we have a High Priest who can sympathize with our weaknesses and because of this, we can come boldly to the throne of grace and obtain mercy and grace to help in our time of need. (See Hebrews 4:14-16)

So, I will go back to my original thought and reason for this post. I had to ask myself, what does abide look like, what does it really mean? Because I love God, I know He loves me, I am a follower of Jesus Christ, I am filled with His Spirit, yet sometimes (more than I like to admit) I feel like I am swimming upstream.

“Oh, God! What do You mean when You say to abide in You?”
I submit, perhaps, we are under the misunderstanding that just because we believe in Him we are abiding in Him? Also, maybe we erroneously believe that just because we are His we should not have struggles and things should be… easier? Hmm, interesting.
Let’s visit the word “abide.” (yea, grab your Strongs)

Abide in the Greek is Meno, and it means to stay in a given place, state, relation or expectancy, continue, dwell, endure, be present, remain, stand, tarry.
It is a primary verb in the Greek. It is action; in the present, future, and perfect.

It is easy to do and seems reasonable when life is going good, doesn’t it? We recognize, and even declare, His favor on us when everything is going as we think it should. You know, all of our relationships are in harmony, we have a job that affords us to pay all of our bills on time and then have enough left over to give, our health is good, we sleep well at night and wake rested in the morning. Yes, we high five each other and raise our hands and give testimony to how good God is to us.

But, what about when things are not going as we think they should? What about when the bills are piling up and the paychecks are just not enough? What about when the person we trusted the most leaves us? What about when sickness visits our family, our car breaks down, someone falsely accuses us, and to top it off… the dog ran away? What about then?
This is where I think many of us miss it (or maybe it is just me?). Look closely to verse 9:

“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.”

To truly abide in His love, we must believe AND trust He loves us.

Now, I have never been a lifeguard. I have never had to jump in a pool, or the ocean, and save a drowning person. I am not an Olympic swimmer, I can’t do any fancy strokes in the water, and my idea of diving is a cannon ball followed by a big splash. I prefer swimming in pools, because let’s face it, there are big things swimming in the ocean and I don’t want to run into any of them, or become lunch for a finned friend. The few times I have swam in the ocean, it didn’t take long for my fear and imagination to convince me I am better off on the beach.

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A life guard is trained to save someone who is drowning. It takes skill to save a panicking person without drowning yourself. I don’t have that skill. But, I do know how to panic, quite well.

So, this is what I liken trusting Gods love to, being in the middle of the swells of the ocean and fear is tapping me on the shoulder and telling me I am about to drown, instead of panicking I lay back, float on the water and look up, while breathing, knowing Jesus is my lifeguard and He will not let me drown.

1 John 4:18 say’s this: There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.

Remember what He said? “Abide in My love.”

If we truly abide in Him, we fellowship with Him, we remain present in our relationship with Him, we refuse to be moved by anything that is contrary to His word, we have done all we can and we choose to stand… AND we trust in His love, which is perfect, without end, His love for us that took Him to the cross and rose Him from the dead… well, then we have no need to fear.

Just as the absence of storms does not mean He loves us more, nor does the presence of storms mean He loves us less, we can be sure of this… this too shall pass.

He gave His everything to give us everything.

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The more we know Him the closer we are to Him… we become conformed into His image, into His likeness, we are reconciled to Him. Because we are loved by God Who went to great lengths to show His love to us. This you can trust in and know, whatever you desire, because your desire will be in line with His purpose, you will ask AND you will receive. To God be the glory.

We did not choose Him, He chose us, and appointed us that we may go and bear fruit and that our fruit should remain, that whatever we ask the Father, in Jesus name, He may give us. Let us ask for the nations.

Hold on. Stand firm. Abide.

Be Free & Stay Free

Author: Crooked Places Straight

Stacey Kessler lives in the soy and corn capital with her husband, James, and their little four legged ball of cuteness, JJ. Together they minister the love of Jesus Christ through Prophetic and Evangelistic ministry. Crooked Places Straight exists to share God's love and truth through the written word to people who seek healing, encouragement, and hope. It is my hope and prayer that through sharing testimonies, stories, and teaching, His Holy Spirit will lead you into a deeper relationship with Him; so you may know and grasp your inheritance in His glorious riches of salvation through Jesus Christ. From glory to glory... I will go before you and make the crooked places straight; I will break in pieces the gates of bronze and cut the bars of iron. Isaiah 45:2 To contact Stacey at Crooked Places Straight, email crookedplacesstraight@gmail.com

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