Gordon Green, M.Div., M.A. Counseling
As we enter into the year 2020, I will be exploring with you what it means to have 20/20 spiritual vision, to have a focused life in Christ where we can best navigate the opportunities and challenges that await all of us. For this first article, we will consider the foundation of a life attuned to the Son of God, a life abiding in him:
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.
John 15:4 ESV
The Greek verb for “abiding” (menein) appears forty times in the Gospel of John and twenty-six time in his Epistles. Its contextual meaning builds on an Old Testament understanding of the eternal and unchanging nature of God (who is One). It was later attributed to the Messiah who would have an abiding relationship (intimate indwelling) with the Father. So when Jesus commanded his disciples to abide in him, he was imploring them to draw near to him and experience the joy of an eternal loving relationship with their Master. This is also the basis for the good works that were prepared in advance for them to do (Ephesians 2:10).
But what does abiding mean for you and me? While learning as much about the Person of our affections is important, solely gaining head knowledge will leave us spiritually dry and wanting for more. And seeking the approval of our Beloved will leave us exhausted and discouraged. Abiding requires us to trust the One in whom we “indwell,” believing in faith that he loves us for who we are—not for what we say or do. From this foundation we learn to trust in his Spirit’s provision, protection, and guidance that will sustain us through all the unknowns that lie ahead. Hence, abiding is the first step toward developing 20/20 spiritual vision. It is from this intimate, trusting indwelling with Jesus that we will find rest and renewed strength to see our way forward.
Feeling worn out from the holidays? Dreading foreseeable challenges in 2020? Abide in Christ and gain his perspective and insight. It will be your best New Year’s resolution.