Number 8 on My Top Ten List is Abiding. When you respond to the Lord from a place of abiding in Him, you bear good fruit for the Kingdom because you are nourished by your relationship with the Father through the work of Jesus and the indwelling Holy Spirit. Your actions are in response to what you have heard the Father tell you.
John 15:1-5 (NASB) “I am the vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.”
In this context, abiding is “remaining or continuing in place”. It also means “to conform, accept without objection or acquiesce in will”. In these definitions, you will recognize several of previously discussed items from My Top 10 List – submission, listening, integrating and responding. Abiding in Christ gives us all we need to Iive life on earth and to do the will of the Father.
2 Peter 1:3 (NLT) “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.”
Consider this, warrior – unless we abide in Christ when we act, we are not acting on behalf of the Kingdom. In the Medieval Age, knights who had pledged allegiance to a king would follow orders of that king. If a knight went rogue and decided to take his own course of action, then those actions were not representative of the king’s intentions. The same is true of personnel in the military today who choose not to follow their commander. And, the same is true of warriors of Christ. We can do something apart from Christ, but it will be nothing for the Kingdom.
My husband and I do a bit of farming. Wow, can my husband grow okra and corn! Our gardens contain other luscious items including a variety of peppers, tomatoes and squashes, bush green beans, cucumbers, zucchini, and a variety of leafy greens and herbs. I use marigolds and petunias to help deter certain pests and animals from grazing on our goodies. Unless I deadhead or prune those flowering plants, they will stop producing flowers and will not be effective in their role as guardians of our gardens. I don’t necessarily enjoy the pruning process and I am not sure the plants do either, but it is necessary for their continued growth and for them fulfilling their intended purpose. Much like the Lord prunes us.
Proverbs 3:12 (NLT) “For the LORD corrects those he loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights.”
Warrior, when times of pruning come in life, don’t run or hide. Embrace the pruning because your relationship with the Lord is getting an upgrade. You are learning about Who He is and what His plans are for you. Just like garden compost, those trimmings from your life aren’t wasted. They become fodder for you to grow and to minister to those around you. Nothing is wasted in the economy or gardening of God.