10/10/13

What Happens When We Abide?

John 15 - Abide: rest, remain, continue, stay, rest, sit, dwell, reside. -
What happens when we abide?
 
 
1. ABIDING SAFETY

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, "My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust."
-Psalm 91:1
 
We know He is mighty to keep us and protect us.

Yet, we fear.
What do you fear the most?
My God is stronger than those lies that cloud the way.
It does not matter that we do not know the next step.
We are to rest and dwell in our God.
No matter the season
He is our refuge.
No matter the storm, wind, and rain
He is our fortress.
Even my faith is sustained by Him.
I can't muster up in myself the faith to move
God is the one who gives it to me.
 
God is adequate as our keeper...
Your faith will not fail
while God sustains it;
you are not strong enough to fall away
while God is revolved to hold you.
-J.I. Packer
God, who is our dwelling place, is also our fortress.
It can only mean one thing, and that is,
that if we will but live in our dwelling place,
we shall be perfectly safe and secure from every assault.
-Hannah Whitall Smith
 
 
2. ABIDING FRUIT
I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain. - John 15:16

"There is work that leaves its mark for generations or for eternity. In it the power of God makes itself lastingly felt.....The more of man with his wisdom and power, the less of stability; the more of God's Spirit, the more of a faith standing in God's power....What is the secret of bearing fruit that abides? The answer is simple,. It is as our life abides in Christ, as we abide in Him, that the fruit we bear will abide....The purpose is His, He will carry it out; the fruit is His, He will bring it forth; the abiding is His, He will maintain it." - Murray

Fruit is many things - joy, peace, love, long-suffering, etc.  Fruit can also mean salvation in others.  Whatever the fruit, a true Christian who is living a life of abiding produces TRUE fruit.  Fruit that will last.
Joy that will endure through trials.
Peace that will calm through sorrows.
Love that will cover all.
Patience that has no end.

3. ABIDING JOY
That my joy may be in you. John 15:11

"We are to have Christ's own joy in us. And what is Christ's own joy? There is no joy like love. There is no joy but love. Christ had just spoken of the Father's love and His own abiding in it and of His having loved us with that same love. His joy is nothing but the joy of love, of being loved and of loving. It was the joy of receiving His Father's love and abiding in it, and then the joy of passing on that love and pouring it out on sinners. It is this joy He wants us to share: the joy of being loved of the Father and of Him; the joy in our turn of loving and living for those around us. This is just he joy of being truly branches: abiding in His love and then giving up ourselves in love to bear fruit for others. Let us accept His life, as He gives it in us as the Vine; His joy will be ours: the joy of abiding in His love, the joy of loving like Him, of loving with His love."
- Andrew Murray in "The True Vine"

Joy comes from an inward place. Joy is found in loving others.  Joy is found in contentment.  Joy is found in resting in God's plan, giving up our own control. 

4. ABIDING STRENGTH
Without Me ye can do nothing. John 15:5"As little as I created myself, as little as I could raise a man from the dead, can I give myself the divine life. As little as I can give it myself, can I maintain or increase it: Every motion is the work of God through Christ and His Spirit. It is as a person believes this that he will take up that position of entire and continual dependence that is the very essence of the life of faith....The sense of helplessness, and the abiding to which it compels, leads to true fruitfulness and diligence in good works....Look again at that little branch, utterly helpless and fruitless except as it receives sap from the vine, and learn that the full conviction of not being able to do anything apart from Christ is just what you need to teach you to abide in your heavenly Vine....Without me - you nothing. Lord, I gladly accept the arrangement: I nothing - You all. My nothingness is my highest blessing, because You are the Vine that gives and works all. So be it, Lord! I, nothing, ever waiting on Your fullness. Lord, reveal to me the glory of this blessed life." - Murray

How many times do I despise my weakness? Wishing I could do more, be more to others, give more to others, know more how to help, have more time. The answer lies in that I don't have anything. I am nothing. Christ will enable to do, give, be, and love. And what a perfect life He will live through me!

Lord, my prayer is the same as Murray's....let me be nothing. Let myself fade away. Let me abide and gain all of myself from You. Give me Your strength. Give me Your joy. Give me Your fruit. Give me Your strength. Amen.