In today’s verse, John gives us a key concept for following Jesus. If we want to face Jesus with confidence when He makes His eventual return, we must abide in Him. In other words, we need to learn how to “be” with Him.
Abiding is not just a doctrinal position…it is an ongoing experience.
It is an experience of intimacy.
We have been given an amazing invitation. We have been invited to come into the presence of the God and Creator of this universe…and simply spend time with Him.
We don’t have to earn His respect. We don’t have to wonder whether we have the right to come into His presence.
We have been invited by Him…to abide, or simply “be” with Him.
Learning how to simply “be” in our culture requires practice and patience since our world is engulfed in frenzied, distracted activity.
In a rather surprising article featured in the Washington Post, researchers found that two-thirds of men and 25% of women preferred being zapped with a 9-volt battery rather than spending time in quiet meditation.
We have not only forgotten how to be quiet, we are learning to prefer pain over quiet.
In his excellent book on spiritual formation, Conformed to His Image, Ken Boa lists several differences between being and doing.
Being or abiding with Christ is experiencing intimacy with Him.
Doing is activity in the world.
Being is experienced through solitude.
Doing is engagement in action.
Being focuses on the interior…doing focuses on the exterior.
Being is about abiding…while doing is about serving.
Being is not visible or tangible…while doing is usually both.
Remember, both being and doing are necessary as well as complementary. They work together when doing flows out of our being.
Being without doing is faith without works…dead.
But doing without being is simply unfruitful activity.
Learn to rest in who you are in Christ, not in what you do for Him in medicine…and you will find joy and shalom.
Prayer: Lord help me put aside my tendency for doing and teach me how to abide in You.