By: Staci Stallings
“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you.” –John 15: 7
Abide in me. Jesus invited his disciples to place their faith in His love as they walked to the Garden of Gethsemane that last fateful night. But He wasn’t just talking to the disciples. He was talking to us, too. However, Jesus is not saying He wants us to walk with him. He is saying He wants us to remain in Him—as close as we could ever get to Him without being Him.
It wasn’t until recently that I put words to this phenomenon. I knew it was in my life, but explaining it wasn’t easy to do. At the time I called it “faith.” As a writer, I put great faith in the belief that God would light my path, that if I surrendered the project to His care, I would have the right words at the right time.
The opportunities to use this faith were endless. For example, when my two year old deleted five pages of the new manuscript I was working on, I distinctly remember saying, “Well, I guess God didn’t want it said that way.” Or when my publicist said the cover for my second book (which I had chosen) would never work. It took me awhile before I surrendered and realized it was God that had a different idea. Sure enough when the new cover came into focus, it was far better than the original.
For several years these were the types of ways I tried to “abide in Him” although “faith” was probably the better term because I was still relying on some outside entity—not a spirit that permeated me. Recently, however, I came into contact with Bruce Wilkinson’s “Secrets of the Vine.” After reading this book, I realized what had been happening for years. I believe this experience is the best definition for “abiding in me” around.While writing my latest book, I received a magazine which gave me the very insight I needed to understand why this character was acting the way he was. Of course, everyone receives magazines every day, and it was one that I was subscribed to, so that shouldn’t be all that noteworthy. Except for this: the post office had changed our address and that particular magazine was one I hadn’t changed the address on yet. I hadn’t received that magazine for more than four weeks, and when that copy got here, it was sent to the old address—an address which the post office had flatly refused to deliver to anymore. More than that, I haven’t received any of the next three editions although I have now changed the address. So, why then did that one come through with exactly what I needed despite every obstacle against it?
I think the answer can be found in those three words: abide in me. Do we really think that some little post office crisis can keep God’s plan from working in our lives? If so, then I challenge you to question how many of these “coincidences” in your life you are either missing out on—or overlooking right at this very moment.
As a firm believer in these words, I can tell you that if you will take them to heart… If you will accept that Jesus is not just an “out there entity” that you can have faith in but truly a spirit that permeates your very life… If you will truly accept His presence in every aspect of your life, every minute of every day, then He will abide in you, and your life will never again be the same.
After all it was His promise.
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