Journal Entry // April 20, 2022
So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples,  and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”John 8:31-32 ESV
We are always looking for the steps to success in this life. Rules or ideas that will bring happiness and joy or success and wealth if we just follow them. There are a thousand books written every year claiming to know the secret to success and the pathway to riches and happiness. We all want this life to be easy and we all want this life to be simple. Here Jesus tells me that the Christian life is a simple formula: abide in his word –> true disciple –> know the truth –> set free. It also seems so simple and easy doesn’t it? It’s the most simple message that is seemingly so very difficult to follow. My heart is a lot like the people who Jesus is speaking to. His words are difficult to hear as they cut through all the clutter of my mind and penetrate straight to my heart and pierce my pride.
Abide in his word. This word, abide, has been on my mind for about a week now. It is such an interesting word that Jesus uses throughout the gospels when speaking about our relationship with him. I am to abide in his word. This is more than just reading his word every morning like a good book. This is more than just listening to a sermon or teaching about God’s word to gives me an emotional boost. This is more than just treating the word of God as a means to knowledge and understanding. Abiding in his word is relationship with Jesus. It is an all encompassing indwelling of his word within me. Changing me.
It’s like making a cup of tea. I bring my cup of water and intentionally place the tea leaves into the water and let it steep. The tea leaves penetrate and diffuse into and throughout the water. It takes time and patience and intentionality to make a cup of tea. There is no shortcut that will produce a proper cup of tea without letting the tea leaves steep in the hot water for the appropriate amount of time. This is true for my time in God’s word. I mustn’t rush through my reading. I mustn’t treat my reading as just that. I must come to the word of God with intentionality. I must let the word steep in my mind and my heart. It must have time to diffuse throughout and thoroughly penetrate my soul.
This is key. I need the word of God to penetrate deep within my soul. It needs to affect the very essence of who I am. My character, my personality, my habits, my everything. It needs to affect my mind and steep in my thoughts. It needs to be what I contemplate and meditate on throughout the day. It needs to affect my heart as it diffuses throughout. It needs to stir my emotions and affections. It is needs to penetrate my strength and actions.
This all takes time. This takes patience. This takes repetition. This takes prayer. It’s not just a tick box on a long list of things I need to do today. No, this is the thing I need to do today. I need to let the word of God steep in my task list. Everything I have to do today needs to be filtered through the word of God. Am I meeting a friend? Am I working on my car? Am I resting to recover? All of these should be done through the word of God. Living my life completely filled with the presence of the Lord. Bringing the word of God into my heart, my soul, my mind, and my strength. Every moment. Again and again. This is abiding in the word of God.