If you’re anything like me, I’m a procrastinator through and through. Growing up, I was a constant source of stress for my parents, who didn’t seem to match my confidence that I would indeed do it later.
As I grew up, I began to learn the lesson that not everything can wait until later. There are things that 1) can wait a little longer (yay, procrastination!), 2) should not wait a moment longer to be done, or 3) cannot wait a moment longer. There are tasks, responsibilities, and conversations that you should not wait longer on but are not absolutely essential. And depending on priorities, it may vary from person to person. However, these actions are the essentials for the latter—the priorities that make up our very person.
What are some of the priorities in your life that absolutely cannot wait? What are the places you are not willing to sacrifice or move from?
In this distracted and overwhelmed age, there is always something vying for our attention. There is always something to do, someone to see, something to buy—the list goes on. Our minds work overtime to clear the murky waters of distraction and make sense of what matters most.
I don’t know about you, but I struggle to see clearly when priorities are not set straight. If I am constantly shifting—mixing and matching the can wait tasks with the should not and the cannot—not only do I lack the productivity I wish for, but, more importantly, I lack the peace I desperately need.
Did you know that you can find peace in every circumstance?
Did you know that you can find joy even in hardship?
Did you know that through the confusion of daily life, you can still have clarity?
As most know by now, Abiding Love Co.’s name comes from the parable of the True Vine and the branches in John 15. While this is one of the last teachings Jesus shares with His disciples before His crucifixion, it is not something for us to procrastinate on. In all honesty, this is the very secret to life and needs to fall in the “it cannot wait a moment longer” category for followers of Jesus.
Abiding is the act of resting within Jesus, partaking in a relationship with the Creator of the Universe, but, more importantly, the Creator of you (Psalm 139).
Just as a vine transfers nutrients to a connected branch, we receive all that we need (the peace, joy, clarity, love—you name it) through Jesus. God is not some genie from which we declare we want things and receive them just as quickly. From the very beginning, He is a Father who sent His only Son to die for us so that we can have a relationship with Him. This, my friends, is where an abiding life stems.
When I first began to study abiding, I was instantly overwhelmed with the idea. Constantly abiding? Is that like praying without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:1), where upon first reading, you question if you actually should be up all hours of the night praying?
Yet, neither reference stopping our lives to sit in a dark corner to become our own International House of Prayer; instead, it is about a position of the heart. It is a heart beating for God, wanting to grow in Him daily through spending time with Him.
After that statement, you might say, “Katie, I work a full-time job, and I have three kids. I don’t have time for a two-hour Bible study in a quiet house.” Well, thankfully, that is not a requirement for either. God doesn’t hold us to something we cannot do, and, if you noticed, there’s no verse saying you have to have those types of Bible studies.
What God will always care about is our hearts. He will choose obedience over sacrifice (1 Samuel 15:22) and a pure heart over a religious to-do.
God values the little you can truly give Him, which is exemplified in Mark 12:41-44 with the widow who gave two copper coins in the offering box. God is looking for your heart, an intimate and consistent relationship between the Father and His child. Don’t look around for what you “should” give; giving from what you can from a pure heart is what He wants.
This abiding relationship is not meant to be something strenuous or demanding. Jesus is the Living Water in which there is no longer thirst (John 4:10-14). He carries an easy yoke upon which we can cast our cares, giving true rest for our weary souls (Matthew 11:28-29).
To receive both of these things, we must choose to drink the Living Water and cast our cares upon Him. We must decide not to drink from other wells to quench our thirst nor take back our cast-off burdens. In the same way, to abide requires action.
Are you weary, overwhelmed, or without direction? Have you lost your passions, are unsure of who you are, or are stuck in the motions of clearing the murky waters of to-dos? I know a place you can go—the True Vine.
We are made as branches; we are made to connect in intimate communion with our Father, who has loved us with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3). Abiding in the Vine doesn’t mean a crazy time commitment; it is simply living your life from moment to moment with the conviction that He comes first. Time with Him—no matter how little it may be—is the one thing that cannot wait another moment; it cannot be procrastinated.
Andrew Murray, the author of Abide in Christ, powerfully explains learning to live a life abiding as this:
“Each time your attention is free to occupy itself with the thought of Jesus—wherever it is with time to think and pray, or only for a few passing seconds—let your first thought be to say, ‘Now, at this moment, I do abide in Jesus.’ Use such time, not in vain regrets that you have not been abiding fully, or still not hurtful fears that you will not be able to abide, but just at once take the position the Father has given you: ‘I am in Christ; this is the place God has given me. I accept it; here I rest; I do now abide in Jesus.’ This is the way to learn to abide continually.”
He writes that in our weakest moments, abiding can be as simple as reminding oneself that we are abiding in Christ. “It is not a matter of feeling—it is not a question of growth or strength in the Christian life—it is the simple question of whether the will at the present moment desires and consents to recognize the place you have in your Lord and to accept it.”
Our journey of abiding is a lifetime process and is the root of the Christian walk. The habit of abiding doesn’t grow overnight, just like a branch takes time to bear fruit, yet as the branch consistently abides in the vine and receives the nutrients it needs, it, over time, will bear much fruit.
The same thing can happen to you if you want it. But do it now; do not procrastinate it any longer. Realign yourself with the priorities that truly cannot wait a moment longer.
I leave you with how Murray ends this particular chapter, as I believe it is a call to action that we all need to hear today.
“The ‘do it now’ of the present moment—a little thing though it seems—is nothing less than the beginning of the ever-present now, which is the mystery and the glory of eternity. Therefore, Christian, abide in Christ: do it now."