Wednesday, 2 October 2013
Found In Him Chapter 10: Where Am I Living?
I held the infant by the hands and leaned forward to lower him into the well.
Somewhere in the deep shadows I could see hands outstretched to receive him. But they were too small. Too far away. I didn’t think I could lean down far enough to hand the precious life safely to another. Suddenly a much taller person was there, my brother Bobby. He reached up and took the child. Then I woke up.
I checked the clock. 4:30. Too early. I closed my eyes again and was immediately wide awake. The dream was still vivid. What was that about? I got out of bed.
By the time I had let the dog out, emptied the dishwasher, poured coffee, and found my Bible, my thoughts had darted in at least a dozen directions. What’s next? What if? What should I do? What’s good? What’s wise? Oh no! What if…?
I pulled up the blog to look at today’s Scriptures for chapter 10. Day 5: John 15:1-5, 9. Abide.
Where am I living?
It didn’t take long for me to realize I was living in my fears. They were the medium in which I was immersed. They were the air I had breathed into my lungs, the water I had swallowed, the food I had ingested. Abiding in my fears was producing agitation, confusion, troubles, and distraction. I was being driven by fear. Any action I took from that starting point would be the wrong one. Any words I spoke out of fear would do harm.
Where are you living? Where do you tend to live? Do you live in regret, looking back and wishing you could take back words or undo actions? Do you live in busyness, filling up your days with activities until being busy defines your very self? Do you live in worry, resentment, envy, self-reliance, despair?
There’s only one answer. Live in him. Abide.
Choose your settings.
Have you ever wondered what it means to “abide”? I have. It seems to be the secret to the Christian life, yet it feels so elusive. Is it active or passive? Do I strive to abide or do I just “let go and let God”? Or is there some perfect mix of the two?
Here’s another analogy I hope will help. The incarnation of Jesus Christ and his union with us by faith are the truths that define all who believe in Him. They are fact, our new reality. We are like a computer that’s been given a new operating system. But our computer malfunctions. It keeps switching back to the old system. We default to the old on a daily basis.
Living in default mode is natural. It comes naturally. In default mode I react to circumstances and let myself be ruled by my reactions. Default mode may look active–I do a lot of running around–but it is actually passive.
Jesus calls me to abide in him and him in me. He wants me to live out of the new life he’s given me. Abiding is supernatural. It is a conscious choice to change my settings from default to Union. It is action instead of reaction. But really it’s not action so much as response. He united me to himself first. He’s the vine, I am the branch. He’s the head, I am the body. He’s the groom, I am the bride. I don’t need to let myself be tossed anymore. Now I can abide.
How does it look? Here’s what it looked like for me the other day.
Jesus in me. The best way for Christ to abide in me is through his Word. There are so many conflicting voices in my head when I’m troubled, that I can’t hear him clearly. I can’t tell which is Spirit and which is not until I open the Word. As I read John 15:1-5 I asked, “what is true of me according to these verses?” He said,
- you are a branch in me
- you are a fruitful branch
- you are being pruned by my Father
- you are clean because of my word, “it is finished!”
- all of your fruit bearing comes from abiding in me
- I am the vine. You are a branch.
- stay close. stay connected. there’s more fruit to come
- don’t try to do anything apart from me.
As I filled my mind with his word, he began to fill my heart with his peace. Jesus in me brings his love, his joy into my life.
Me in Him. As I walked out into my day, I was aware of freedom. Freedom to love and serve the Pilates clients in front of me. The fruit of abiding in his love is love for others. Freedom to laugh. The fruit of abiding in his joy is laughter. Freedom to ask him about everything. The fruit of abiding is confident prayer.
Abide in me and I in you.
Sisters, this command has great potential. We are united to him, but we don’t yet abide as we will in that Day. Each day is an opportunity to live in him and have him live in us. In him the road ahead is full of hope.