Abiding, remaining, communing in Christ; this is the pinnacle of Christian living. It signifies a 24/7 relational connection to Jesus. It is walking with God in the cool of the day. When you rise from sleep you are with him and he is with you. When you eat you are eating to the glory of God and dining at the table of the Bridegroom. When you put your head to rest you are resting in the palm of God’s mighty hand. All thoughts, feelings, actions flowing from and toward God; this is what it means to abide.
You may ask, “How can this be? How can I get to this point of constantly communing with God?” There are several secrets I’ve learned to help me to abide in Christ. In 1 John 4, we see two key points about abiding: “Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God… God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him” (1 John 4:15-16). When you confess that Jesus is the Son of God, you know for a fact that God is abiding in you and you in him.
This may seem silly, but sometimes when I’m by myself I whisper this prayer, “Jesus, you are the Son of God, and I love you.” Then I get chills because I know that in this most sacred moment God is with me. If you are struggling to feel God’s presence, and if you have doubts about whether or not you are abiding in him, then simply confess Jesus to be the Son of God and let yourself be overcome with the reality that God is abiding in you. The other secret, which is no secret at all, is love. Love is sacrificing yourself for the good of another. Giving yourself fully to God and serving your neighbor are interconnected pieces to the love equation. When you love the people you encounter, you can know with certainty that you are abiding in God and God is abiding in you.
To adequately love others, you first must know how much God loves you. Imagine God smiling down on you and giving you great big hugs throughout the day. This is something pure and lovely to think about. He loves you and desires to make that known to you. Let your mind be filled with images of God being a Father to you. Let him pat you on the back and speak words of comfort to you.
Infuse yourself with the things of God and you will greatly enhance your ability to abide in Christ. Reading, memorizing, and meditating on the Scriptures every day puts the Word of God in your mind. Singing and making melody to the Lord through worship songs will move your heart to be united with his. Being constant in prayer keeps the lines of communication open. Partaking in the Eucharist literally infuses your whole being with Jesus’s Body and Blood. It doesn’t get much more intimate than that!
Let these truths wash over you! God in you and you in God; this is life and life to the full!