The following is, in essence, my journal entry from right after a big conference I went to. I debated about sharing it, but felt inclined to do it now. I hope you understand my heart in it all and are challenged or encouraged by it.
“You have never truly been abiding in me.” The gentle rebuke reverberated in my soul as I wept before God. I have jumped from experience to experience with a knowledge of God and desire for him, but have never truly, daily abided in Him. My walk has always been inconsistent, and for a long while I have known that I needed to start stepping into my spiritual calling, but I haven’t. My prayer life has been weak and dead, though there have been sparks of life and lessons in my Bible reading.
Abide means “to remain, continue, stay; to remain steadfast or faithful to; keep; to endure, sustain, or withstand without yielding or submitting.” In John 15, Jesus talks about abiding in him (the vine) and Him abiding in me. In the Amplified Bible, at one point it says of abiding in the vine as being vitally united to. Have I ever been so vitally united to God that it is my complete sustenance? Have I ever remained, daily, in God? Have I ever been steadfast in my pursuit of God? It has more been a roller coaster, if I am being honest with myself. I often read out of “I know I need this,” rather than out of a hunger. I rarely pray anymore. It isn’t because I lack desire. It is because I lack fire and motivation. I don’t FEEL results, thus I don’t FEEL like doing it. And when I heard God tell me that I had never truly abided in Him. I wept. Bitterly, I wept.
Now, I was and am a Christian, but I believe God told me that because He is taking me to a deeper level. A deeper, intimate level. He is calling me out of the wavering to a place where I can stand in a firm knowledge of His presence and anointing and war for the invisible things He has revealed to me that they may become visible. I have felt close to God in the past. I have heard from God. I have talked to God. But I have not stayed, remained, abided in his presence, daily. He wasn’t tangible to me. He wants to be.
Since this message last night, I have been in two worship services. Sometimes it is hard when God wrecks you like that to know what to expect in worship next. The last two worship sets I have just felt like a girl sitting at her Daddy’s feet listening to His voice. I was able to just bask in His presence, His peaceful, perfect presence. And I felt like He was saying, “This is what abiding looks like for you right now. It is not a matter of reading every day (thought it is critical). It is not a matter of how long you pray. It is a matter of getting yourself aligned with My tangible presence.”
It is a bit like practicing the violin (which I need to get back into doing. Between hosting the foreign boys, getting sick, and getting depressed, I have not made time for it like I should). In the same way that I can’t expect to hear and correct my playing without practicing it, without training my ear musically through practice, I cannot sense God’s presence and know when it has left if I am not getting into His presence. In the same way that I need to know what is musically right to practice it, I need to know what God’s peaceful, perfect presence is to know when it isn’t there.
And in all this, I know that God is moving me into a different level of authority and intercession. He has forced me to lay aside my teaching dreams to pursue a new understanding of this spiritual calling. I don’t fully know what it looks like yet, but something new is coming. And it starts with getting into His tangible presence.