OUR LIFE-ALTERING IDENTITY IN CHRIST AND WHAT IT ACTUALLY MEANS TO ABIDE IN HIM

Abiding with Christ is not only knowing who you are in Him — your identity, but also living with all the resources provided through Him — your walk.

It’s easy to think of abiding as a stagnant, maybe even passive word, a calling to stay put. Be still. Rest content.

I picture a lovely spring morning and a beautiful wrap-around, white front porch. Birds are happily chirping while I sit quietly in a gently distressed rocking chair, sipping on a cup of steaming coffee, aroma filling the air.

This scene just beckons you to sit down, kick back, read your Bible and talk with Jesus. And it is certainly Instagram worthy, right?

Here’s the life-altering reality — abide means so much more.

And this is good news for all of us who don’t live most of our lives on quiet front porches. Life isn’t always chirping birds and peaceful rocking chairs. Trust me, I have been blessed with three loud and high-energy children. And life can be filled with unexpected circumstances and challenging battles to endure.

Listen, we do need to slow down long enough to meditate on God’s Word, pray intentionally and quiet our lives enough to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s promptings. And that often requires a set apart, sabbath space.

Fight for that time.

But what about the rest of our day to day?

Is it not also holy and set apart?

Maybe abide also means to be still in action, in the chaos and busy, an inner peace and resolve that comes with the presence of God that never leaves or forsakes us — Messy, but real prayers that happen while folding the laundry, sitting beside the hospital bed and taking your widow grandmother to lunch.

Maybe abide is the verse you repeatedly say aloud and the deep theology of “Christ in you” that you desperately cling to when your spouse is unfaithful, teenager is rebellious and the toddler is pulling at your last nerve.

Or maybe the phrase “abide in Christ” feels more a reminder of who we are and also whose we are in Jesus. Our identity. Or worth. But once we understand our name, I believe we often fail to grasp the significance. We just leave it there — never maturing, never growing, never coming to a complete understanding of what that means and how to live in it.

Yes, it’s important to understand that we are a daughter of the most high King, that we are beloved. But let’s not stay stuck there, needing a constant reassurance, not realizing that an understanding of the position, placement and spiritual possessions entrusted to us in Jesus are a means to an end, not the end itself.

We are meant to walk faithfully, run the race set before us and boldly live out the path set before us. He is the author and finisher, our sustainer and satisfier.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us with perseverance the race marked out for fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2

Our identity carries massive significance in our ability to carry on in the monotony of every day life while maintaining purpose and joy, in the daily sacrifices required to love others and the power needed to walk through the fires of difficulty and challenging circumstances.

The Word abide in the original Greek is “Meno”. It means to remain, to live with and continue to be present.

God isn’t just asking us to stay put, but rather remain in Him, in His identity, His presence and His power while doing life. He is reminding us that He is present in all that we do and all that He calls us to — the hills and the valleys.

Use your God-given name tag — daughter of the king — not as a simple badge of honor, but as a reminder of the spiritual blessings, gifts and possessions He has endowed and equipped you with as a result of your new status. And then act on it.

Read Ephesians. Seriously.

It’s a fascinating book that Paul wrote to the church in Ephesus. The first half of the book is a reminder to the saints of their identity in Christ and the blessings that follow. The second half is a call to action. And the last chapter a preparation for battle. You see the progression?

Beloved, you are loved. You are enabled. You have the very power that raised Jesus to life working inside of you.

Get in the Word so you know what to believe and so He can speak truth into your head and then reshape your heart. Then believe it. Believe Him.

Abide in action. Watch Him work mightily as you rest your soul in Him and then live it out.

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