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Transformed Through Abiding by Kelly Prendiville

Abide: to stay; to remain;


Everyday we’re abiding. Everyday we’re choosing what we want in our lives and staying in, remaining in, those things. We abide in exercising. We abide in work. We abide in friendships, community, people. We abide in reading, TV, music. Abiding is something I associate with long term. Something that happens over and over again and again. Like we do during the holiday season, I was reflecting on my life. Holidays tend to have us thinking about what we’re thankful for and reflecting on the good things in our lives. But I was reflecting on what I abide in. Where do I put my time? How do I spend my moments? What do I abide in?


Of course the answer should be God. Of course the answer should be reading the Bible, praying, His presence. And, many times, it is that. But lately I’ve been noticing too much focus on abiding in doing. Doing altar team, small groups, serving others, work. I’ve been abiding in those things. And I’ve been abiding in social media. Not wrapped up in it, but spending too much time there, abiding in the news and learning about other people’s lives. But not abiding in God Himself.


That’s not to say I haven’t been reading the Bible, praying, or spending quality time with Him. I have. But abiding in Him lets my heart and mind stay aligned with His thoughts and ways. Abiding in Him keeps me in a place where I’m not anxious or trying to figure things out on my own or getting tired from giving and not receiving. It keeps me in peace and not returning to old stress habits. And lately, those things have been creeping up.


Maybe this resonates with you. Maybe you’ve been there or are there now. So what’s the antidote? Turn it off! Turn it all off and spend time with Him. Pray, acknowledge the things that have come your way and are trying to take up more brain and emotional space than they should, and read the Bible. Stay there until the worries are gone and your thoughts are aligned with the promises again. God’s Word has antidotes for everything. Fearful of what’s on the news? 2 Timothy 1:7, Jeremiah 29:11, Philippians 4:6&7, Isaiah 41:10 are all verses to meditate on. Not feeling loved? John 3:16, 1 John 4:9&10, Isaiah 54:10, Romans 5:8 and 8:37-39 are all scriptures on God’s love for us. Believe you don’t belong? Read 1 Corinthians 12:12-27, with particular attention on verses 15-21. Unsure of your identity? Feeling worthless? Confused about the roles of men and women in the church? There are answers for everything in the Bible. 


Simply reading isn’t enough. We must abide – remain or stay – until our thoughts, our innermost being, agrees with what it says. We can’t stay in our rooms hiding from the world and reading our Bibles and talking to God forever so how do we abide? We continue to go back. We read the scriptures over and over and we think about them when other thoughts come our way. Someone tells you that you aren’t worthy? Disagree and think about a scripture that speaks the truth into that situation. Feeling fearful about the future? Speak a scripture that reminds you of God’s plan for the future every time you feel fearful. It isn’t a constant battle. The more we abide, the more we meditate on His Word, the more it is our thoughts and beliefs.

Does this mean we’ll have to choose to abide in Him instead of other things? Yep. Does it mean turning off the TV or social media or not going out with friends because our emotional and spiritual wellbeing calls for extra focus, for meditating on the Word and abiding in Him? Yep. But having peace, a sound mind, rest, and everything else He gives us sounds worth it. Let’s abide in Him and not carry the cares of this world. 


Maybe this resonates with you. Maybe you’ve been there or are there now. So what’s the antidote? Turn it off! Turn it all off and spend time with Him. Pray, acknowledge the things that have come your way and are trying to take up more brain and emotional space than they should, and read the Bible. Stay there until the worries are gone and your thoughts are aligned with the promises again. God’s Word has antidotes for everything. 



Simply reading isn’t enough. We must abide – remain or stay – until our thoughts, our innermost being, agrees with what it says. We can’t stay in our rooms hiding from the world and reading our Bibles and talking to God forever so how do we abide? We continue to go back. We read the scriptures over and over and we think about them when other thoughts come our way. 



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