John chapter 15 is a favourite chapter of mine. In this passage, Jesus invites us to move in closer. He invites us to abide. The Greek word used here means living, staying, remaining.
There is nothing frantic here.
My Labrador, Buddy, sleeps all day under my husband’s desk. If Buddy could be on his lap he would be. He gets as close as he can to his master and then he just stays there. However, when Buddy goes for a walk, he does not stay. He runs off, sniffing everything in sight, chasing squirrels and birds. He is with my husband but he is not abiding. If he hears his name he will come back, only to run off again.
I see myself in both these pictures.
But with all my heart I want what John 15 is offering me. I want fruitfulness, not withered branches.
I want the kind of joy that fills me up, gives me strength and blesses those around me.
I want Jesus to call me his friend. I want to know what He is up to. I want to partner with Him in His plans for this earth. I want to be right smack in the middle of everything He is doing.
But first, there is John 15 verse 5 where Jesus lovingly reminds me that without Him I can do nothing.
Perhaps the key to abiding is believing that is true.
When I become convinced that without God’s presence, power and provision I cannot live this life, then I will seek Him. When I am desperate for wisdom I will go to His Word. When I really need answers I will pray. I will seek and knock and remain and there will be no time for chasing squirrels.
When I know that every single thing I need is found in Him I will spend time with Him. I will sit close and listen and love Him and let Him love me.