Spiritual Victory: Abide

“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.”

John 15:4

I’ve been feeling angry recently. Not at a person or a certain event, just a general anger that has been bubbling underneath the surface. I’ve been frustrated with my plan, and that’s the root of it, my plan. It might be easy to miss what I mean, but it’s the truth. I sometimes fall back onto my plan, what I think is best for the current state of my life and my life moving forward. Things aren’t unfolding the way I would want it to, and that’s frustrating, but I need to redirect my focus. I’ve been focusing on the things that have or have not yet happened to me, and how that doesn’t fit in with the way I wanted my story to play out. The truth is, there is a mad titan messing with my head, telling me it’s all about me, I need to know the battle plan of the enemy, and I need to remember that there is a God bigger than my faults who knows my name. What I just referenced was what I have been writing on for the past month. I’ve been writing it because I believed it’s what you, dear reader, needed to hear. What I have come to realize is that it wasn’t simply just for you, but for me as well.

Today I am reminded of John 15:4, which I have at the start of this blog. I love this verse because it helps me remember one of the biggest keys in my relationship with God; to actually cultivate that relationship with God. This is the key to spiritual victory, the lynchpin that holds it all together. Not only that, but it’s the key that helps us stay humble and live into what God has called us to do. I struggle with my anger, always have and probably will going forward. I sometimes justify it as “righteous anger” that I’m some tragic martyr who is being dealt a bad hand, but most of the time it is caused by me not humbling myself in the presence of my true savior. While yes, I have been put in frustrating no-win situations time and time again, I need to remember that God is doing something amazing. Which of course is one of the very phrases that I know is true but doesn’t feel great all the time. God is in control of all things, and I need to humble myself to the truth in that power. The fact is, we all need to humble ourselves, we need to each day turn to the source that helps us bear good fruit in our lives. Spiritual victory starts with a simple choice, one we must choose to do each day that we wake up. We must choose to abide in Christ.

Scripture brings life.

This is so vital to our daily walk. We can’t simply coast through life and talking about how much God loves us, we have to actually be connected to the source. When we read our bible every day, the spirit speaks to us. Sometimes it can be difficult to find time and have dedicated quiet time routines (and believe me, I’m not perfect either), but it is vital to our vitality. We can know that water is essential for us to live and stay hydrated, but unless we drink water, our knowledge is meaningless. The same is true with our walk with God, we have to dive in a read the inspired word of the bible in order for us to learn, grow, and step into our calling. This is an important step to humbling ourselves to God’s sovereignty, waking up each day and saying that it’s not about my plan, but what God has planned for me. God wants to teach and show you things every day, all he asks is for your time and effort in the relationship. 2 Timothy 3:16 says, “All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness.” God’s word brings life, because it draws us closer to his presence and closer to what he wants to reveal to each of us.

Scripture brings wisdom.

There are so many choices we will have to make in our lives. It can sometimes be difficult to know what to do or how to act in certain situations we find ourselves in, and without abiding in the spirit, it will be impossible to discern. As we grow closer to the heart of God, these choices will slowly become easier to answer. Does this please God? Does this follow what scripture says? Does this choice take into account the people in my life? Questions like this need to be thought of in any situation. We aren’t always making black and white decisions, often our choices fall into the grey category, but God helps us in the grey when we focus on his word. The bible is a living word, I can’t fully explain this concept, many theologians and philosophers probably have tons of papers on this, the fact is, as I read the word I know it is living. I know this because I can read a passage of scripture multiple times and have the spirit reveal different aspects to me each time. I’m not some super spiritual guy that has this gift, we all have access to the living word. When we draw close in the word, we are connected to the vine, and when we are connected to the vine, God produces good fruit in us.

Abide

I have been in a weird state over the past couple of months. The enemy is causing me to want to be angry, and I have been attacked. I guess that’s why I was convicted to write about spiritual warfare, because I have been under attack. The mad titan has tried to overwhelm me, say that the world revolves around me, distract me from his plan, and make me lose sight of worship. When I choose to abide in the presence of my savior; I know that the mad titan has no power over me, that it’s not about me, that I am aware of the plan Satan has against me, and that God wants my worship because he calls me by name. I had a chance to speak a couple of weeks ago (I will upload it to my blog), and God used me. I was able to share a word that spoke to students and leaders, but it wasn’t my power, but God using me. In that moment God told me that he has me in his hands, I don’t need to get caught up in the anger and worry that I so easily want to fall into. I am choosing to fight. Every. Single. Day. I will not fall, because I am standing firm with my father.

Choose to abide, and you will have victory in all attacks that come your way.

-Joshua Thomas

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