John 15:7 (NKJV): “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you[a] will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.”
In John 14: 2,3, Jesus made the promise to His disciples that He was going to prepare a place for them and in doing so, would return to receive them to Himself–so that where He was, they would be also. But today, Jesus is in heaven while we live on earth, so how can we possibly be where He is? Through the art of abiding. Abiding is the practice of entering into Christ, as He literally is the place prepared for us in righteousness, peace, and joy. By accepting His gift as complete and finished, we can dwell in His victory and loving presence at any time, all the time. We do this through faith, with time, and with plenty of practice!. This is where prayer comes in, as we set ourselves apart from our daily life and enter into Christ and all He has accomplished.
Abiding begins as we allow His Word to take root in us. This is easier than it sounds, because we need to match the Word of God to who Jesus is for us right now, in our current moment of struggle or tribulation. In other words, I abide in Jesus, inside His love, as an antidote to the fear I might be currently experiencing. I will need His Word to hold my place. I know His love casts out fear, and I know when I am experiencing His love, I feel safe and secure. But at this moment, I might not. This is where His words abiding in me can shift my emotions and experience into His truth in His presence. There is a place in Jesus where His truth and presence becomes more real, tangible and bigger than any current experience I happen to be living on this earth.
Let me give you an example of how I’ve learned to practice the art of abiding in Jesus. Let’s take the verse in the Bible that says “perfect love casts out fear”. Wonderful, but where does it say that? We need the anchor of the address. For example, if I have never been to your house before and you invite me, you would give me your address, right? I would put your address in my phone, and maps would immediately locate your house and give me directions. Today, our Bible apps can locate the “address” of scripture with a simple phrase we type in; even Google will find a scripture for us when we type in a few words we vaguely remember. I highly encourage you to do this any time the Holy Spirit brings a scripture to your heart.
Now that we have the address, in this case, 1 John 4:18 (NKJV):
“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.”—now, we can go to it in our Bible or Bible app and read it out loud, slowly. We can listen to the words, see the words, even feel the words that we are reading. We may even be drawn to one or two words in the verse and have a desire to know the original meaning. Great; we can then refer to a concordance app to find its meaning. Yes, it can be a bit time-consuming to find the scriptures for ourselves and locate them in our Bible–then to read them to ourselves; meditate on them; mutter them out loud; or pause to feel and experience their richness, their cleansing, or their truth. This, however, is what abiding is: Allowing His Word to find a resting place inside of us, so that we can grow the sound of His Word and truly experience it inside of us, inside of Jesus. I have found, in 42 years of walking with Jesus and coming to know Him, that this practice of abiding is so, so worth the time.