Jesus talked a lot about abiding. Being in the place of abiding with him. But what does it actually mean? How do we practically abide in Christ? What is he asking of us to do, or inviting us to experience, when he says abide in me and let my words abide in you?
I love thinking of these words – “abide in me” – as an invitation from the Lover of our souls. We get to choose to just come. It reminds me of this sweet verse in Song of Solomon when the Beloved (representing Jesus) is calling his love to come away with him. I can’t resist…you have to see this verse! (I mean Song of Solomon is not our usual go-to book of the Bible, but it is full of treasures for lovesick seekers of the heart of Jesus, and invitations to experience MORE of his beautiful, intimate, passionate love for us…on the regular!):
My beloved speaks and says to me:
“Arise, my love, my beautiful one,
and come away,
for behold, the winter is past;
the rain is over and gone.
The flowers appear on the earth,
the season of singing has come.
(Song of Solomon 2:10-12)
There is an invitation to come away with Jesus. It is a similar invitation as that of abiding in him. Coming away and abiding require trusting that what you’re heading toward – God’s will, plan, purposes, experiences are good and for your good. The encouragements in both of these passages are “come away” and “abide” because “the season of singing has come.” It’s as though the Lord is pleading with us: Let me show you the fullness of just being with me, connected to me, fully aware of my presence in you and all around you. Would you trust me, would you set your heart at rest in me, would you place your confidence in my ability (not yours!) to bear fruit in your life?
To have this level of trust we must have his word hidden in our hearts. “My word abiding in you.”
Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. (John 15:4)
What do you need to lay down today to make space to abide with Jesus? To hide his word in your heart, to reflect upon his beauty, to bask in his lavish love for you. Ask the Holy Spirit to bring those things to mind – “what are you asking me to lay down, Lord? And in what ways are you inviting me to abide with you today?”
Your Beloved speaks and says to you: “Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away…the season of singing has come.”