Message From Matt | August 10, 2018

Flickering or Flourishing?

We have had some new lights installed in our house recently that look great but have had us a little worried lately.  The reason that we were concerned is because as soon as the air conditioning would turn on, the lights would flicker for a brief moment making us think that we might have some electrical issues.  After checking with an electrician about the issue and finding out that we didn’t have anything to worry about the thought came to me about spiritually flickering that can happen in many believers lives.  Sure, anyone can have a spiritual power surge from time to time, but often times these are short lived events like the lights in my house and we can find ourselves flickering instead of flourishing!  I am positive that God doesn’t intend for us to just “flicker” for Him but since that can easily can happen in my life if I allow it to I think that it is good to talk about what can change this…it’s abiding in Christ!  
Stating the obvious, the closer that we get to God, the brighter our lights shine for Him!  The closer that we get to God, the more that we want that experience to continue!  The more that we abide in Him, the more addictive He is to us…we can’t get enough!
What is abiding?
From the Greek, it means “to continue, to remain, to tarry, to be present” and the part about being present is a big deal that we should focus on!  Being present is more than just being “around”!  Being present is more than checking off a box noting your attendance!  So, what does it mean?  In my mind, being present means that I am taking an active role in my relationship with God.  I am deliberately choosing to follow His Word, His Spirit, and His ways!  I am choosing not to sit on the sidelines but choosing to be in the daily fight to submit to God and resist the devil!  I am abiding!  I am choosing to be actively connected to God!  
Being “around” is not “abiding”!  
Why is it different?  Because presence alone does not mean that there is involvement!  Ask any wife if they want their husband to turn off the TV and listen to them and they will give an emphatic…YES!  Ask them if they want their husbands to engage them in conversation rather than just plopping in the easy chair after work…again, YES!  The wives will tell you that having their husbands around the house is wonderful but if there isn’t much communication then they are left unfulfilled!  I think this is how it can be spiritually speaking as well!  We can go to church every Sunday, but if we are not actively applying God’s Word to our lives and serving Him and others with the gifts that He has given us, then we aren’t really abiding…we are just around!  Just being around is not what God intends for our lives to be!  He wants us to abide (be present) so that we will grow closer to Him each day.  He wants us to actively be involved with Him so He can help us bear fruit for Him!  
What about you?  Are you abiding with Christ or are you just around?  
If you are just showing up on Sunday’s and not much else, then make the decision today to get more active in your walk with the Lord!  Make the decision to get close to God (James 4:8) and see how He will get close to you!  Serve God by serving others!  Read, study, meditate and apply God’s Word to your life and see how His presence will radically change your walk with Him!