“Remain in Him”
by Rayni Peavy
Have you ever been reading the Bible and a verse just jumps out to you? That is one way God speaks to us! Recently I read through the short but often challenging book of 1 John and throughout the day I kept coming back to this verse…
“Your fellowship with God enables you to gain a victory over the Evil One.” (1 John 2:14, The Message)
Jesus, by His death and resurrection, has already overcome the Evil One (Satan). As God’s children we, too, have overcome the Evil One because we are under Jesus’ authority. But sometimes it’s easy to let the lies of the enemy slip in—and to believe them. I find that this is most common when we aren’t continually grounding ourselves in Jesus; when we aren’t remaining in Him.
What Does it Mean to “Remain”?
In John 15:4-5 Jesus says, “Live (remain, abide) in Me. Make your home in Me just as I do in you. In the same way that a branch can’t bear grapes by itself but only by being joined to the vine, you can’t bear fruit unless you are joined with Me. I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with Me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing.”
The Greek word for “remain” in these verses is meno and it translates “to remain, abide, stay, wait.” Just like the branch that stays connected to the healthy vine will bear grapes, in order to thrive and bear spiritual fruit we must remain closely connected to Jesus. Jesus is the Vine, and when we’re connected to Him we receive the nutrients of His life-giving Spirit.
So, how do we remain in Christ in the midst of the busyness of this world?
We must be intentional! Our physical, emotional and spiritual health are depending on it.
Here are three practical ways to remain.
Koinonia with God & Others
Koinonia is a Greek word that means “community, communion, joint participation, sharing and intimacy.” It’s essential for us to regularly have times of koinonia with God and with other believers. Sometimes it’s difficult to feel that God really is with us. Yet, as a follower of Jesus, God’s Spirit is living inside of us. He’s that close!
So, let’s be intentional about talking to God throughout the day, just like He is sitting right next to you, because He’s right there. Think about Him. Pray and ask for what you need. Praise Him. Spend time encouraging other believers and being encouraged throughout the week in person. Or send a text. Pray for your friends. Write a quick note on Facebook. Even short words of encouragement to others have a huge impact!
Learn God’s Words
This is so important and yet even with all the easy access we have to the Bible there are many Christians who are Bible-illiterate. How can we fully know who God is and who He says we are if we don’t read what He has already given us in the Bible?
Jesus knew that knowing the words of God was so important. He refuted the lies of the enemy with the words of God. The Bible says the word of God is living and active. It brings refreshing. Shows you how to live. Teaches you who God is and who you are. It also says that Jesus is the Word of God.
One translation of 1 John 2:14 says, “…and the word of God lives in you, and you have overcome the evil one” (NIV). The power of the word helps you overcome the enemy. Remaining in Christ helps you understand how to overcome the enemy.
Don’t Love the World’s Ways
1 John 2:15-17 cautions us, “Don’t love the world’s ways. Don’t love the world’s goods. Love of the world squeezes out love for the Father. Practically everything that goes on in the world—wanting your own way, wanting everything for yourself, wanting to appear important—has nothing to do with the Father. It just isolates you from Him. The world and all its wanting, wanting, wanting is on the way out—but whoever does what God wants is set for eternity.”
Those verses say it all. When we are more acquainted with the ways of the world than the ways of God, we can’t help but become more and more separated from Jesus. We have to choose to remain in Jesus while we live in the world, rather than putting worldly ways that go against the very teachings of Jesus at the forefront of our lives.
Rayni Peavy is a writer and speaker who brings a message of hope, freedom and fullness of life. With a passion for healthy relationships, she encourages others to live out the abundant life Jesus offers. Rayni is author of the new book Ten Marriage Lessons From a Semi-Newlywed: Make Your Relationship Come Alive! In her free time Rayni enjoys learning to speak French and exploring new cuisine with her super cute “foodie” husband. You can find more articles and podcasts at RayniPeavy.com and connect on Twitter and Facebook.