Friday, May 30, 2014

ABIDE

When Scripture speaks on this topic of abiding with God and Him abiding with us the meaning does NOT carry with it a sense of visitation.  The Holy Spirit does not spend a vacation weekend every Sunday away from Heaven with Believers to hear our praises, petitions, and give us Holy Ghost goose pimples only to retreat back to Heaven. Abiding with God means much more and for a much longer period of time.

Just like there is a Tale of Two Temples - one structural, Solomon's Temple (1 Kings 8:12-13), the other biological, our bodies (John 14:16) - there is also a Tale of Two Abides.  In 1 Kings 8:12-13, King Solomon speaks of the temple he has built to house the awesome presence of The Lord.

Since the first coming of Christ, God's presence - His Holy Spirit - can be found in another Temple as well - the Believer's body.  Unlike the first, structural, temple the Holy Spirit does not stop dwelling or residing within us EVER. Now that is a Comfort!  (John 14:16)

Two Senses of Abiding
Many of you know the word, Abide, to mean - to stay, dwell, live, co-habitate, remain, and reside. Psalm 91:1 is a good example of abiding in the Old Testament. However the original Hebrew word, lûn  lı̂yn (loon, leen) adds a qualifying mark - the staying is permanent (NIV says "rest").
  • He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide [stay permanently] under the shadow of the Almighty. 
There was another Hebrew word for abide that I found in my research.  The word was Yashab (haw-shab) meaning to sit down, dwell, remain, and marry.  This word has behind it the sense of a cause to settle-in, possibly as a judge, husband or some other motivational reason to sit down, dwell, and remain.  This is the word used in 1 Kings 8:12-13 when Solomon built The Temple for the presence of the Lord to dwell.

Abiding In The New Testament
The New Testament or Greek word for Abide, Meno (men-o), goes a litter further than just dwell. This word means to stay, endure, remain, tarry or as I like to say - buckle down and work with me on this thing.  This has the feel of God saying, "You're in the army now son/daughter. You are in it now boy/girl. I've moved in and you and I are soul mates forever.  It is time to do some spring, summer, winter and fall cleaning around here." And why wouldn't we desire this abiding to be more of a development process for us than merely a "God's Parking Only" space to fill and sit dormant.

What Abiding In Christ Looks Like
This kind of abiding in Christ means Christians produce much "fruit", the kind that endures (John 15:4).
According to John 15:7 abiding in Christ results in (1) His word sitting, dwelling, living in us and (2) Him giving us bold access to His throne for requests.  Abiding in Christ means that we are following Christ's commandment to "love one another" (have compassion - John 15:10-12).  His Holy Spirit makes sure we reap what we sow, especially in obedience. If we are a channel for God's love/compassion then we shall experience God's love/compassion in our own lives.

Abiding Aides
As my research on Abide was drawing to a close, I abided with John and he supplied some help to keep close to God.

Make it a priority to keep listening to His Word, remain in or abide His Word (The Bible, The Scriptures) either through reading it aloud yourself or The Bible on CD.  Feed your ears, heart, mind and soul His Word and you "will remain in the Son and in the Father."
  • See that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father. - 1 John 2:24
As long as you remain in Christ and His anointing, the Holy Spirit will continue to teach you in ALL things.
  • As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit--just as it has taught you, remain in him. - 1 John 2:27
Finally, continue in Him or be active and found doing His work when Christ comes again for His church. Prove to yourself and others of the hope that you have had by abiding or continuing in Him, then His appearing will justify your confidence.
  • And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming. - 1 John 2:28
So, with this research I now encourage you in The Lord - allow God to abide more in your life.  Allow God to be and do more in and through you by abiding or living with Him and not simply existing with Him.  As I said before - buckle down, work with Him on developing a better you by tarrying with Him, enduring with Him, remaining in Him, Abiding with Him.