August 25th

 

Abiding in God

55For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. 56He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. 57As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me.  John 6:55-57 NKJV 

4Abide 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 NKJV 

10If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love. John 15:10 NKJV 

24 Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us. 1 John 3:24 NKJV 

The Bible teaches us to abide in God, but just how do we do that? Some may think it involves sitting in a quiet place, trying to envision themselves on a cloud in heaven.  Others may think it means doing good works for God like volunteering at the soup kitchen. While these things are indeed important and Godly, they fall short of abiding in Him.  

The first way that we abide in God is to feed on his word (the Bible) daily.  John 6:56 NKJV says, “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.”  Jesus was not talking about cannibalism here, although some thought he was.  He was talking spiritually and meant that we should feed on Him as the word of God and the bread of life.  Consider that God made us as a tri-part being – spirit, soul and body.  We eat food to sustain our physical bodies.  God’s word provides our spirits and souls the “spiritual food” they need.  God said, “Man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD” (Deuteronomy 8:3 NKJV).   

Too many people feed their bodies while their spirits and souls are suffering from malnutrition.  If you are weak spiritually, your ability to resist temptations will be greatly diminished.  Consider how ludicrous it would be to send soldiers to battle who hadn’t eaten in weeks or months.  Similarly, we can’t expect victory in spiritual battles if we haven’t been eating well spiritually.   

The second way we abide in God is by yielding to the promptings of the Holy Spirit.  As we feed on the word each day, we should become more sensitive to God and the indicators of where he is working around us.  The Holy Spirit plays a big role in helping us recognize what God is doing.  Often the Spirit speaks in that gentle, “inner voice.”  Sometimes our heart speaks in a similar inner voice, so we have to seek God’s help in discerning when it’s the Holy Spirit and when its our heart speaking.  As a general rule, the Holy Spirit will not tell us to do something contrary to what the scriptures tell us.  That underscores the need to be familiar with the word!  When we know its God speaking to us, we need to obey the instructions he gives us.  Jesus said, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work” (John 4:34 NKJV).  Our obedience to God will give us “spiritual sustenance” that will give us life. 

Questions for further thought:

Prayer:

“Lord God, I praise you and thank you for this new day.  Thank you for giving me spiritual food for my spirit and soul in the Holy Scriptures.  If I have gotten away from reading the Bible daily, please renew a passion for the word in me.  Please revive me according to your word.  If I have ignored your voice in the past, please forgive me, Lord.  Please open my ears to again hear your voice with clarity and strengthen my convictions to obey.  I yield my will to your will today, Father.  May you be glorified by everything I do today.  In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”