This past weekend, I was blessed to be part of a women’s prayer conference, where I truly saw the Spirit of God move through the room, bringing women to their knees in revelation and repentance. There were so many actively seeking Him, leaning to hear Him, that the presence of the Spirit just kept turning up as if we had turned up the volume on a speaker.
Learning to Abide
One of the points in the conference was simply for the women to learn to “abide.” The word is used often in the Bible, and Jesus uses it directly to help us to understand how we are to stay in communion with Him (John 15). “Abide” is the same word Jesus also uses to state how He remains close to us.
The definition of “abide” includes to agree, to adhere, to comply, to stay. We’re so quick to “abide” with the creation rather than the Creator, though. I spend more time monitoring and staying close to my phone than almost anything else in my life. I cannot imagine how much better I would operate if I referenced the Bible as often as I look at my phone. I justify it by telling myself that I’m reaching out in love to others via text, email, or Facebook. But when we prioritize the created over relationship with the Creator, isn’t it just a distorted justification of “ministry?” And even if I am generally conducting myself in a Christ-like manner, isn’t this still the wrong place to abide as often as I do?
Please understand that this is not an anti-technology, anti-fellowship message. Our phones are critical to the pace of our lives these days. But it does bring a significant amount of conviction to imagine how much better I could do with a more appropriate balance.
Jesus asks us to simply stay — not to go and come back. Not to stay out of a feeling of necessity or in fear of punishment. He wants us to abide because we love Him and want to be as close to Him as possible. He asks us simply to stay, to stand, to work and to rest with Him and in Him. There is no relationship on earth that can provide the intimacy that we get when we abide with Jesus himself and Him in us (John 15:4).
Today, Lord, help me to stay. Every single time the world demands too much of my attention, help me keep my focus on you. Help me not to leave you. Help me to simply abide.
Joanna Sanders is a graduate of Villanova University and Moody Theological Seminary. She’s also the founder and head writer of Colossians46.com, which provides biblical content support, writing, and editing. Most importantly, she is wife to Geoff and mom to three godly men-in-training. Her blog name “The Landing” comes from the account of the Ark resting on the mountain, creating a settled place — a landing — for man to start over, which echoes her new life in Christ.