3 Ways Abiding in Christ Can Change Your Life: Remaining

Copy of abide

When my husband graduated from seminary, his first call as a pastor was to a church in Missoula, Montana. He had asked for placement in the northeastern part of the United States. So naturally, the powers that be thought Montana would be perfect.

When we first arrived in the city, we immediately wanted to leave. We knew no one. Our family was all in the Midwest or the Northeast. We were lonely and disillusioned. But God asked us to stay–to remain.

This word–remain–helps me understand the concept of abiding in Christ. Lately, I’ve been studying the word abide: What does it mean to abide? What does abiding look like in real life? How can abiding change me?

One of the English meanings of the word abide is “to dwell or reside” as in “I abide in a quaint but remote mountain village.” When you abide somewhere you live there. You stay there. You remain there.

To abide is to remain.

South African pastor Andrew Murray wrote:

It is faith in what Christ is, more than anything else, that will keep you abiding in Him…there is nothing wanting but just my consent to be what He has made me, to remain where He has placed me. I am in Christ.

To remain is to accept who I am in Christ–to not try to be something I’m not.

To remain is to be content where I am–to not fight the place or position God has placed me in.

To remain is to trust God’s goodness, His timing, and His plans for my life.

3 WaysAbiding in ChristCan Change Your LifeRemaining

Remaining sounds easy. And it is–if you like where you are.

But when the place God has placed you is filled with difficulty–you simply want to move on.

When we first moved to Missoula, Montana we wanted to leave. We did not want to stay. The heartache of loneliness made us want to move on.

But eventually, we grew to love Missoula. Its setting in the Rocky Mountains is stunning. The people of our church were welcoming. The ministry was rewarding.

Remaining was not easy, but in the end, it was worth it.

As I continue to study what it means to abide in Christ, I am learning that it means to remain where He has placed me. To accept His plan for my life. 

This changes my life. If I make the decision to abide, I don’t spend my energy trying to move ahead of God’s will. I don’t constantly struggle against my place or position in life. Instead, I focus on what God wants me to do where I am right now. I remain in His love, drawing on His strength to produce fruit where He has placed me.

To abide is to remain.

Next step: Is remaining easy or difficult for you right now? Ask the Father to give you the strength to remain and produce fruit where you are–whatever your place or station in life.