In John 15, Jesus speaks of abiding in Him. “If you abide in Me and I in you … you will bear much fruit … if you abide in Me … ask and it will be given.” Later He adds, “Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant will also be” (John 12:26). To be a disciple of Jesus is to be one with Him.
Abiding means to be where Jesus is; it means being constantly aware of His presence in our lives. Often that’s the last thing we want to do. We frequently have an agenda of our own that we’d prefer to follow, or perhaps something is going on inside us that we are ashamed of. But in order to follow Jesus as His disciples, we need to submit to God’s word and allow it to judge “the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12). When God examines us, it is then that we see our sinfulness and recommit ourselves to God’s plans and purposes. The goal, according to Jesus, is to be an attentive servant, ready to respond to His prompting. We want to keep “in step with the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25).
We need to prioritize investing time with Jesus, focusing on being a disciple. Disciples yearn to ensure that God’s word has predominance over our thoughts and actions. I have read and studied the Scriptures for nearly 50 years; the accumulated understanding I’ve gained certainly helps, but it is not the solution to my sinfulness, my distractedness, or my waywardness. Encounters with Jesus need to be fresh, frequent, and transparent.
It is in being where He is that we get our instructions for His assignments both in and through us. Our lives in Jesus must be initiated from within. The words we speak, and the boldness to speak them, must all come from Him.
To grasp the heart and mind of Jesus and access the power He promises, it requires being with Him.
Yet understand, in renewing our minds and hearts, we can only do so much alone in our closets. We also need the help of our brothers and sisters. The Bible tells us, “If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).
We need one another to implant and to practice God’s “one anothering.” We need one another to stay pure, motivated and on God’s path. Disciples are not meant to be lone rangers.
Disciples walk with Jesus. We are meant to be one with Jesus.
PATRICK LAI and his family have worked in SE Asia for over 37 years. His experience in doing business with Jesus has brought him to understand the meaning of work and worship in the marketplace. He started 14 businesses in four countries, six of which are still operating. Patrick and his wife, May, mentor and coach businesspeople working where there are few or no Christians. Check out Patrick’s latest book, Workship, now available in paperback and e-book.