This is clearly the most important thing I can do in the Christian life, if I hope to be fruitful and experience God’s best. It is also the hardest. Because it goes against my nature. You see, the key to abiding is “staying connected”, that’s the comparison Jesus draws with the vine and branch. And I have trouble staying close enough to Jesus to stay connected. Here’s why:
- Sometimes I run ahead – because I am almost always in a hurry. Sometimes I don’t even seek His counsel. I want to solve every problem, answer every question, meet every need, and save the world – NOW! Jesus’ pace is even and steady. He never concerns himself with time. He has different objectives.
- Sometimes I veer off course – because I am selfish and want to do what seems or feels best to me. Jesus always takes the selfless path; the path of humility, sacrifice and service.
- Sometimes I lag behind – because I’m pretty sure I know what He wants, and where He’s leading, and I am reluctance to go there. Jesus always walks in perfect step with – and in perfect obedience to – the Father.
- Sometimes I sit and wring my hands, in worry – because I am fearful the outcome won’t be what I want or when I want. I am anxious my needs won’t be met. Jesus, on the other hand, walks in perfect peace knowing the Source of all provision.
- Sometimes I’m just oblivious. You know that blank-eyed stare of the guys who is absolutely clueless. Yea, that’s me sometimes. I don’t know why, but I just don’t get it. I am so grateful Jesus is patient, and understanding, and “remembers that we are dust.”
I know I have the Holy Spirit, and the Spirit is the key to abiding. But I also know that He needs much better cooperation from me. I am nothing, and can do nothing, on my own. So I definitely cannot afford to hang out by myself. I am asking God to renew my passion, and strengthen my resolve to abide. I want to be in step with Jesus.
Here’s how I can be… (found in Psalm 37)
- Be still and wait patiently on the Lord. vv.7,9,34
- Delight in the Lord. v.4
- Commit my way to the Lord. v.5
- Trust in the Lord. vv.3,5
- Become established by the Lord. v.23