Abiding in God’s Truth

“You are nothing more than a warm meal and a clean house”
“Your purpose isn’t significant compared to the work of others”
“He deserves so much more than you have to offer”
“You don’t deserve what God has blessed you with”

Lies. That is what those statements have in common. They come from the enemy and they come loud and persistent, and even more so if I haven’t been in the word consistently. So that’s where I go. I abide in Christ I seek his word – his truth. The sword of the spirit is God’s word {Eph. 6:17} and his word is inspired and available to us. To fight the lies. To fill us with truth.

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.
{John 15:9}

What does it mean – practically – to abide in Jesus? To remain in God’s love? To dwell in his presence?

I think as believing, professing Christians, it has a lot to do with believing the truth we have stored in our hearts, giving ourselves the grace to approach a holy God even when we don’t feel worthy, and surrendering our hearts, minds, and souls to Jesus.

If we want to practically abide in Jesus we must
1) Believe his truth in the most hurt places of our souls
2) Love others and embrace the love Jesus has for us
3) Engage the fruit God is cultivating in us in our everyday lives
4) Pray with faithful expectation to a powerful God

It is so easy to say “yes God, I believe.” I believe his plan is greater. I believe his peace surpasses all understanding. I believe he works all things for good. I believe he loves my imperfect attempts at being more like him. I believe I don’t have to be enough. But hold my feet to the fire, and all of a sudden the lies are louder than the truth. When I have a hard time hearing and believing God’s truth in the depths of the most wounded places of my soul, I cry out to God. Just like the father of the boy with the evil spirit, I am quick to question God with an “if you can” statement – meaning I do believe God can but I don’t believe he will. So I cry out. I cry out to him and tell him I believe, but I need his help in my unbelief. (Mark 9:14-29)

When we believe the truth of God’s word, we can throw off the lies of Satan and begin to dig our heals in to the work God has set forth for us. No matter if our life looks like wife, mom, babysitter, waitress, teacher, friend, single, sister,  or CEO – God commands us to love others. His work for us boils down to something rather simple. Love God, serve God and love people, serve people. 1 John 4:12-18 lays it out quite clearly. When we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us. We know we abide in him when we are able to pour out unconditional love laced with grace, mercy, and truth to others. We must confess that Jesus is God, believe the love he has for us, and live without fear of imperfection. The freedom that comes from truly believe this allows us to love and serve in a capacity that draws the eyes of others to God. It’s so great and so powerful, in cannot just be us.

We know we abide in Jesus by the fruit we bear (John 15:5), even in our worst moments. We must accept what Jesus is doing in our hearts. That often times means forgiving someone, laying aside shame or fear, or taking off our pride and clothing ourselves in humility. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness – that’s a tall order! So focus on one. Pray and ask God to show you the fruit he wants to grow in your today and then act on the opportunities you have.

I also think abiding in Jesus means we pray faithful prayers with the expectation that a powerful God will move (John 15:7). He may not always move in the way we would like, but that doesn’t mean we can’t or shouldn’t pray with faith that he will continue to be a good, steadfast God and with expectation that he is so powerful, he will move in miraculous ways – in his will, and in his perfect timing.

Our closeness with Jesus isn’t dependent on us – his tethering (the vine) becomes our provision. He loves us, he takes us in, and he cares for us. We are enough to him because he doesn’t need us, he wants us. My prayer is that as momma/wife/friend/sister/teacher-warriors, we can learn to practically and spiritually abide in Christ so that we may experience the full joy he so freely gives.

These things I have spoken to you,
that my joy may be in you & that your joy may be full.
{John 15:11}

There are many times when I struggle to abide in the truth of God’s word and the love that comes from his unconditional mercy and grace. I find myself thinking it isn’t for me. Or that it isn’t as powerful in overcoming my circumstances as it may be for someone else. Sometimes I just find it hard to understand! It can be overwhelming to sit down and know there is so much truth in front of me to discern and digest – where do you even start?

How do we practically apply the truth of God’s word to fight the lies of the enemy?

  • Believe God’s word is living and active and – his word just as true and powerful now as it was when Jesus walked with the disciples {Hebrews 4:12}. If we truly believe this, we can approach God’s word from a different angle. His word will be applicable every time we open it.
  • If you are overwhelmed by the greatness of his truth and don’t know where to begin (like me!) – PRAY! James 1:5 says “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” Before I open my bible, whether I am doing a topical or word study or just reading a chapter or book, I pray that God will give me the wisdom to understand his word and that he would reveal to me what he wants to teach me in that moment.
  • Don’t just search for a specific verse or passage – also include time just reading the bible or participating in a study. 2 Timothy 3:16 says “All scripture” is inspired by God and good for teaching. So many times God leads me to verses, passages, or stories that speak directly to my heart. Sometimes in ways I am expecting, and sometimes in ways I didn’t know I needed.
  • Memorize and store up God’s word – this is one I really struggle with, but want to get better at. I want to have God’s word ready to call upon when the lies come. Memorize verses about the attributes of God and about who you are in him. Have verses about God’s purpose in your life and your worth in his eyes stored in your heart. And when the lies of the enemy begin to swirl around in your head, call Satan out and fight back with the truth you know!

I long to be free from the lies of the enemy. I want to remove the strongholds he has in my life – the fear that holds me back from obedience, the shame that says “you aren’t worthy”, and the sorrow that comes from believing God won’t use me.

“Sanctify them in truth. Your word is truth.” {John 17:17}

So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him,
“If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth,
and the truth will set you free.
{John 8:31-32}

Jesus himself spoke it – his word is truth, and the truth will set you free. Free from fear. Free from shame. And free from the lies of the enemy.

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Abiding in God’s Truth

  1. I am reading your posts in a Walmart parking lot in tears. Its like you’ve written down everything that I’ve gone through as a newly married person. The year mark is almost here and its been so hard! So many mistakes, disappointments, and lies from the enemy that made me feel like everything was over. Thank you so much for posting your story. You’ve given me hope and helped refresh my spirit.

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    1. I am so glad you are finding hope here – marriage is SO HARD but so worth it to see Gods grace and mercy in our own lives and in the lives of our spouses. I will be lifting up you and your marriage in prayer – God is good and will accomplish beautiful things according to his will!

      Like

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