There are many definitions for the word “abide.” Here are some: (1) To remain, continue, stay, (2) to have one’s abode, dwell, reside, (3) to continue in a particular position, attitude, or relationship, (4) to last, (5) to tolerate, put up with, endure.
Another word in modern English is “remain.’ Stay.
As you set out on the summer road trip with Jesus, talk as you walk, and begin by going over the first lesson learned. Stay with Jesus. No more running off. So Lord, how can I stay with You?
Let’s begin by looking at the word of God and The Spirit will reveal it.
The first thing to consider: why run in the first place? Let’s give the Spirit of God the floor. Some of these lessons may be something we have already gone over, but something that we need to hear again.
(Lord, please keep this simple so that all of us can remember it, knowing that You will bring anything we need to our minds.)
(1) “Something else has caught my attention.” As I go with Jesus, there will be sparklers, firecrackers, booms, and fights all around me. Do you remember being in elementary school and a fight broke out on the playground? Somebody yelled, “FIGHT!’ and everyone ran to where the fight was happening so that everyone could watch! It was always a sight to behold. There they were: two people going at it with all their heart and fists. Until a teacher pulled them apart and marched them inside the schoolhouse. People are drawn to excitement, and those who are manic right now (after all, it is summer) are drawn to excitement like a magnet.
The enemy knows exactly what will distract you and the very second you agree to a road trip with Jesus, he begins to pull out the stops. The thing that entices you to divert your attention will sometimes immediately happen when the enemy sees that you are serious about everything regarding Jesus. The Spirit is telling you these things up front, so watch out and pay attention.
“So, Lord, what can I do to ignore this?” Remain in prayer. Remember that prayer is in your backpack and is vital. We must continually be in communication with The Spirit. God’s word says, “Pray continually,” (1 Thessalonians 5:17.) Doesn’t this sound so puny? Such a short statement to such a problem. Well, when distractions occur, do you automatically yell out for Jesus’ help? Chances are, you don’t, but plow on ahead and run to the distraction. To stop this, cry out to Jesus…yes, be a “tattle-tale” to Jesus. He knew it was coming, He saw it, He never leaves your side. When distractions happen and you realize what’s going on, cry for help as soon as possible. Pay attention, for you will get help and get help quickly. Just watch.
(2) I am becoming bored because this isn’t as exciting as what’s happening in the world. Yes, one problem with staying with Jesus is that the distractions look so fun. Walking with Jesus just isn’t as fun as something else that I could be doing, running around the earth with gusto and glee and playing around the camps that seem to be having a party. This walking trip isn’t as crazy-loud and as fun as what’s going on next-door.
“So, Lord, tell me the truth about what I’m seeing that looks so fun.” God tells us that what we see is a lie. God can NOT lie to us. If He did, He would not be Holy…and He is Holy. Lies are born of the enemy, because Jesus Himself called the enemy “…a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:44.) God (Father, Son, and Spirit) loves us too much to tell us anything but the truth. Do not believe what you see, little lamb, because once you get over that fence you will understand that not only is the grass not as green as it looked (it’s almost black,) but that it tastes really terrible. Too many who have gone before (both alive and now in heaven) have tried it and testify: do not go over that fence!
God’s word says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways submit to Him and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6 What do we do then? Cry out to Jesus! He never tires of your crying out – again in this situation, ask Him for help.
(3) “I am just too tired to walk.” Are these thoughts running around your mind: “I thought I’d like to do this with Jesus, but honestly, now that we’re walking, I realize that I am just too tired to go on this trip, because I need a break from church stuff.” Often in the summertime we are ready for a break with “church stuff;” we are tired of the demands and thinking about it all. So we associate going on a road trip with Jesus as more “church stuff.” More demands, more thinking about church work.
“Lord, You know I am tired mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I need a break, so what do You have to say about that?” Guess what? There is amazing and wonderful news for you! Abundant life is about being with Jesus, enjoying His Presence, not about “church stuff!” You are hereby relieved of associating Jesus with “church work.” YAY, GOD! Doesn’t that feel awesome? Christ asks us “to be.” He is I AM and we are “to be” in the Spirit. And the work that we do (with Him – by the way,) is born out of our being with Him. First, we are “to be” … to be enjoying His Presence every day. Any work we do with Jesus is done out of love for Him. The road trip is about hanging out with Jesus this summer, not about work.
God’s word says, “…but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31 One definition of hope is “a person (in this case Person – capital “P”) in which expectations are centered.” God is our Hope. So we center our expectations on the Person Of God – Father, Son, and Spirit. Hope is expecting Him to move all around us – to be with us, to speak to us, to listen to us, to live with us, to have fun with us, to cry with us, to do life with us.
What do we do then? Again, cry out to Jesus! He said to expect to see Him because He IS with us. Right now, as you read? He is beside you. He never leaves you. Hang with Him, sister! Hang with Him, brother! He created you so that you can enjoy His Presence! Do your life with Him, and you will be amazed!
How to abide, then? How to keep walking with Jesus on this road trip? Stay in communication with every step.
Here is what the Spirit is telling everyone on the road trip: “Keep talking as you keep walking! (See the first sentence in paragraph 3. God answered at the very beginning of this post! Don’t you just love the way God does things?)
Scripture to ponder: John 15 (the entire chapter — read it!)
Today’s weapon: “Ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” Matthew 7:7