Abide. Not a word we hear alot in today’s language and yet, it is a really powerful word. When God first started speaking to me through John 15, “abide” had a different impact than it does today. A few years ago, the defintion of yielding without objection, doing what I was told without complaining resonanted deeply with me. There was a comfort because that sentiment was deeply part of my story. Today I’m realizing a different peice of the defintion resonates: permanent resident.
People who live together see each others strengths and weaknesses and either choose to stay or leave. A permanent resident has seen the good and the bad, weighed the options, and decided that there is more good and therefore they will stay. They don’t have any pie-in-the-sky dreams that their co-residents are perfect. They honestly don’t even think in terms of striving because they are comfortable with each other. They may have conversations where they ask for certain changes or accommodations, but there is a commitment to the relationship.
In John 15:4, Jesus is inviting us to live with Him in permanent residency; us in Him and He in us. He already knows all of the bad habits we have and He doesn’t care. There may be actions that come up where He sits us down and invites us to new ways of doing things, but this living arrangement is permanent so He’s not leaving. And just like roommates, we make a choice to spend time together. We always live together, but just how much time we spend together is a choice. The beauty of this particular arrangement is that Jesus is always home, waiting and eager to spend time with us.
I’m suprised at the new way this verse is landing today. I have spent alot of energy striving for perfection or doing what I’m told so that I don’t create waves. I’ve lived alot of years in fear that if I make a mistake, the person I love will leave or will make me leave. Today, I’m finding a new invitation from Jesus, “Will you live with Me forever? I want to live with you forever.” I’ll be honest, there is a level of extreme discomfort and fear in this new invitation. It’s going to take a new level of faith to believe that He won’t leave or send me away. Am I willing to put that much faith in Him? Yes, yes I am.
It’s time to believe all of the promises of God that say He never leaves, never forsakes, always provides and always loves. The promises that say He is always with me no matter what decision I make, and that His desire is permanent residency in my life. ♡ This is a step into a new journey, it isn’t a one time decision. It’s a kick off into a new season.