Abiding or checking in?

Jesus tells us …

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. 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. 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. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If 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 1:1-10

There is a difference between ‘abiding’ in His Presence and ‘checking in’ with Him. How much of our day is on ‘cruise control’ of the way we just always ‘do things’ without ever really ‘listening to’ or being aware of His Presence? How many projects and mundane tasks are done in a ‘zombie’ mode without thinking or engaging your brain or mind at all? Is your prayer done the same way? With repetitive ritual words and statements without any real honest communication? Just ‘throwing’ up requests without any real ‘engagement’ with the Holy Spirit?

How should we stay focused? Part of it is a mind-set. Imagine you are living in a ‘war-zone’ and the moment you awake every movement you make could put you at risk of severe injury or death if you don’t immediately engage with your ‘security’ advisor? After receiving several really bad injuries in the past because you were careless and didn’t engage with your ‘security’ advisor right away — you learn pretty quick to listen to Him immediately at every turn. But you think “I’m at home, I’m safe, warm and comfortable, and my home is secure, I don’t need to worry or be concerned.” The battle ground in the spiritual realm of your life is VERY often in the confines of your own home. The ‘enemies’ of God are not hindered by physical spaces as we know them. The mental barrage can begin in your sleep, or in the shower, or the moment you put your feet on the floor. You are actually ON a spiritual battlefield IF you are still on this earth. (Ephesians 6:12) Wouldn’t it help to actually ‘see’ what the enemy is doing all around you? Wouldn’t it be nice to know where they set the mines and traps that were to cause you harm? Could some of those traps be little lies that were designed to ‘spin’ in your head that constantly belittles you, and makes you feel worthless? Our security advisor really should be the Presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives. And we should be engaging Him from the moment we open our eyes in the morning, throughout our entire day, till we lay our head on the pillow to sleep. (And then I actually ask Him to be with me in my sleep and dreams.)

Doing life this way is very different and it takes practice and discipline. Learning how to ‘abide’ in His Presence at the beginning takes focus and purposeful reminders to ‘stay’ in that mode. After awhile like any practice made into a habit — you begin to live your life with Him always at the forefront of your mind. Prayer becomes an on-going conversation with Him. Temptation is immediately revealed for what it actually is when you are in this ‘mode’ of abiding. I carry a coin in my pocket at all times that is my reminder to listen to the Holy Spirit. At first it was a type of challenge coin that had the spiritual armor depicted on it. (Ephesians 6:10-20) Now I carry a TC2 coin (Coming soon to the website) that reminds me to stay ‘in tune’ with my security Advisor. But you can use whatever reminders that you need that continue to point you in the direction of constantly listening to and for the Holy Spirit. The goal is to achieve this mode of constantly ‘abiding’ IN Him. 

What are your methods of staying in the place of abiding in Him?

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