I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives inMe and I in him bears much (abundant) fruit. However, apart from Me [cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing. If a person does not dwell in Me, he is thrown out like a [broken-off] branch, and withers; such branches are gathered up and thrown into the fire, and they are burned. If you live in Me [abide vitally united to Me] and My words remain in you and continue to live in your hearts, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you.

// John‬ 15:5-7

As I've gotten older, I am more and more aware of the gift and blessing I have in a father who is always present in my life. My father has taught me many things growing up, but one thing he still voices till this day is, “I am always here to pray for you and help you with anything!” Like any amazing father, he helped even when I did not voice certain things; but when I did, he was always there to assist. He would say, “Son, I'm here to do whatever I can for you, but you have to tell me what it is you need help with.” Whenever my dad helped, I had this renewed sense of confidence and rest! If an earthly father is that caring, how much more is our Heavenly Father?

The question is, what keeps us from running to Him, resting in Him, and talking with Him? Pride! As I grew older, the dynamics of mine and my father’s relationship began to change. Of course, I should be doing things on my own, but I stopped voicing certain things because I wanted to do it all. I didn't want help, or his advice. Pride was the root of this, because I began to think that I knew best in all situations. False, I do not! As I matured in my faith, I realized I also had this same mindset towards God.

Andrew Murray writes, “It was even this He meant when to that first word, ‘Come to me’, He added this, ‘Abide in me’. As earnest and faithful, as loving and tender, as the compassion that breathed in that blessed ‘Come’, was the grace that added this no less blessed ‘Abide’.”

This is probably one of the most overlooked or forgotten gifts of the Gospel. The simple fact is that God Himself is the greatest gift! Abiding in the Father not only leads to rest, but it leads to strength, to security in our identity and to help in our time of need. Hebrew 4:14-16 talks about the fact that we have Jesus, who sympathizes with our weaknesses. and is waiting for us to approach the Throne of Grace to rest and receive help.

Today, ask yourself: In what areas are you trying to be strong, where the Lord needs you to be weak? Where are you getting by on your own strength, whereas The Lord is asking you to let Him do it?

Seek Him, abide in Him, remain in Him!

// LJ Slan