Journal Entry ~ 12/09/19
I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. - John 15:5
Genuine saving faith is demonstrated by abiding in Jesus’ words, bearing fruit, and becoming one of His disciples. When we abide in Him, and He in us, we live out our faith for others to witness, and He is glorified.
To be an authentic disciple of Jesus, you must abide in His Word. He wants you to know His truth as He dwells in you and you in Him. The reality is that if you are NOT abiding in His Word regularly, on your own, in quiet devotion, it’s not possible to be an authentic disciple of Jesus. There are Christians who go through the motions and act as if they are disciples, but the road is narrow, my friends. And to get on that narrow road, you need to abide in His Word – regularly, on your own, in quiet devotion. It is only then that we can truly become a disciple of Christ and glorify Him by representing Him well to others. It is only then that we can abide in Him authentically with our actions so that others can truly see Him in us. Sure, people can appear to be abiding in Him without reading the Word - there are plenty of people who can choose to do good when things are going their way. But when things get challenging, when a relationship turns sour, when a false accusation or a difficult diagnosis comes, when anxiety rises or despair consumes, it’s simply not possible to continue to choose “good” on your own. Without the Word, your focus will be on yourself, and your responses in those difficult situations will be self-serving. The more you immerse yourself in Scripture, the more you will find yourself abiding in Christ and discovering the freedom He bought for your life. You will not find freedom from that which binds you unless you get alone and get with His Word every single day, without exception.
When we abide in Him, we can ask for whatever we wish, and it will be done. We know from Scripture if we are abiding in Him, then our wills become aligned with His, and we know He will answer prayers prayed in accordance with His Will. But we still struggle to pray. We can’t get what we don’t ask for, so we need to abide on Him as we pray. What doesn’t that look like?
We are to get alone, in a position of humility, out loud, with a list, and pray fervently. I've wanted to increase my intimacy with the Lord in my prayer life for years, but I have always failed to follow through on a consistent basis. I pray often - I've always been a consistent pray-er, but I don't always pray fervently or in a position of humility. If I am being honest, it's the spiritual discipline that I've grown the least in over the years. I love learning, so my quiet time has predominantly been time in His Word, processing and learning. My prayer time tends to fall to the end or even get cut short if I need to move in in my day. I've prayed that He would increase my intimacy in my prayer life for some time, yet I've failed to make the effort or commitment to change that. These verses are changing and growing my prayer life in a way I haven't allowed Him to grow me before, and it's impacting other areas of my life in beautiful ways. His Spirit is moving in me in ways that He hasn't been able to move before - it's hard to describe. I'm finding peace where I've struggled to find it, I'm more sensitive to the temptation to sin in my life, so I avoid it, and His words are breathing out of me into relationships in my life in surprising ways. He is faithful when we are obedient.
Press on ~ you are loved 💗
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