A New Level of Abiding in Jesus

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Are you in a place of absolute desperation? Does it seem like the formerly-open windows of Heaven seem shut to you, except for your daily bread? Do you sense how acutely you need Jesus to give you strength today, even for you to breathe in and out all day?

If so, this word of encouragement is for you. Read on! 🙂

Friend, the Lord showed me this because I’ve been in a season of desperation myself.

In this season, I have been acutely aware of my natural weakness like never before. For example:

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    • I’ve been crying out to the Lord for strength every single day, feeling so tired and worn out in my body that I knew I did not have the strength to get through the day unless He helped me. (Yes, this is despite getting physical rest!)
    • I’ve been praying for the Lord’s provision, as I always do; and yet, instead of great and abundant answers, for a long time He has chosen instead to provide our daily bread: what we needed for that day. And then the next day, to provide that next day’s daily bread. This is extremely crucifying to the flesh! 🙂
    • I’ve been more aware than ever of the needs of the people whom we serve and support in this ministry. I LOVE all our readers and missionaries, as well as projects and people we help support both locally and in Israel, Southeast Asia, and Guatemala. Love for these precious people and their needs has eaten me up, but I have had to depend on daily bread from the Lord to sow into these things.

    The theme of all these dependencies (and more!) in my own life has been trusting God in the moment.

    And while that may seem extremely un-noteworthy at first glance, it is earth-shattering to me, because I’m used to a believing God for, praying for, and receiving from Him:

    • His abundant provision;
    • a vast amount of courage, faith, joy, hope, and physical strength;
    • decent amounts of physical energy and motivation as I go about my day; and
    • feeling large amounts of the power and inspiration of God the Father, Jesus, and His Holy Spirit all day long.

    But in this season, I haven’t had those things. Instead, I’ve had “daily bread” amounts of each one:

    • Just enough courage to get through this moment, but no more.
    • Enough money to pay today’s bills, but not always more.
    • And enough strength to get through the day only after I tearfully petition God for it, asking Him to make His grace sufficient for me, and for His strength to be made perfect in my weakness.

    And the funny thing is that this situation has not involved depression.

    A lot of these things, if you were reading them at surface level, you could chalk up to depression or anxiety. But the weird thing is that I’m not depressed or anxious. I am just weak and desperate and tired, and I feel my dependency on Jesus in absolutely every moment of every day, and at a whole new level.

    This is different from almost all of my walk with God, in which I have petitioned the Lord for help, strength, and grace first thing in the morning–then walked by faith in the strength of that grace and help all day long, without feeling particularly desperate.

    I would always think about the Lord all day, but it wasn’t like I was desperately petitioning Him for my next breath all day long (usually). But, in this season, I feel that desperation and that acute, emergency-level personal need for Him; for His help; for His strength; and for His sustenance.

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    So I prayed about it and asked the Lord to show me what He is doing in me, and what He is doing in the Spirit realm.

    God moves seasonally across the Body of Christ. Therefore, generally, what God does in one person’s heart is the same thing He is doing in everyone’s heart. (That’s one of the many reasons why we need each other–to strengthen one another as we’re all going through similar things spiritually!)

    In answer to my questions, the Lord reminded me of the following passage from the Gospel of John:

    “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.

    You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.

    “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.

    If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.

    By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples” (John 15:1-8 NKJV).

    And here is what the Lord has shown me about this passage over the last few weeks:

    • It is a season of pruning. You/I (we) have been bearing fruit, but now the Father is pruning us so that we can bear more fruit.
    • In this season of pruning, He is cutting off dependence on the flesh.
    • This dependence on the flesh includes cutting off our belief in our own natural ability solve problems.
    • This includes cutting off our belief in our ability to “strongarm” (by logic, perseverance, and extra effort) our way through providing for our own needs.
    • He is allowing us to be acutely aware of our own dependence on Him so that we WILL abide in Him at a whole new level: drawing on Him purposefully all day long, for every single need we have (including things like breathing and carrying out simple tasks that used to feel like no problem).
    • This acute awareness of our dependence on Him is actually good and right, even though it feels “off.” It only feels wrong because we’re not used to it.
    • It’s good and right because this is exactly what a grapevine branch does: it “sucks sap” from the trunk of the vine all day long. If it stops actively sucking sap for even one moment, it would be cutting off its own life force.
    • The branch doesn’t feel humiliated or sorry for sucking sap from the vine at all times. This is just the natural order of things.
    • Similarly, since we are the branches and Jesus is the Vine, “sucking sap” (drawing our life-force, breath, strength, hope, courage, inspiration, motivation, joy, power, anointing, and creativity) from Jesus in every moment is actually normal function in the Body of Christ.
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    In summary:

    This is abiding in Jesus at a whole new level, but this is what abiding has been supposed to look like all along!

    If we look factually at what the Bible says, Jesus clearly tells us that we can’t do anything at all without Him; all things are only done through Him. The Word of God, which was breathed out by Holy Spirit Himself, clearly states this in Jesus’ teaching in John 15:5, and also in Philippians 4:13:

    “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5 NKJV).

    And also:

    “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13 NKJV).

    It was never proper function for us to be going through our day simply remembering our prayers from our time with the Lord in the morning. It has always been Jesus’ will to teach us to abide at this constant, continual level, knowing that His grace is sufficient for us, and His strength is made perfect in weakness.

    Here’s one more thing you need to know: if you’re in this season of learning a new level of abiding (even by accident!), I believe the Lord will test you on this.

    For me, there came a moment a few short days ago when I had a choice to:

    • Either try to (sanctified) think and work myself out of a situation, allowing panic and desperate measures to set in; OR
    • Abide in peace and let the Lord crush me in that moment, knowing that He would take care of me no matter what.

    And you know what? It was a very difficult decision. Not gonna lie. I wanted to try to strongarm myself out of the situation, because the strongarm method I had in mind has always worked for me before, and gotten the results I needed.

    (Note that, when I say “strongarm,” I’m not talking about anything evil. It was a perfectly normal thing I was considering doing, but the reason/motive behind my consideration of that decision was that I felt it was time for me to solve this problem in the flesh, with my own wisdom.) #transparency 🙂

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    But as I sat and prayed about this strongarming-type decision …

    I felt the Lord showing me that this moment was the culmination of all the lessons He has been teaching me about this new level of abiding. And I knew I didn’t want to abort His progress in my life. I wanted to let Him crush me however He needed to, because I could see that this new level of abiding was healthy spiritually, and it lined up with the Word–even though my flesh hasn’t liked it, not even one bit.

    So I didn’t make the strongarm decision. I didn’t try to solve the problem with my own natural flesh, or with logic, or with a normal reaction. Instead, I sat before the Lord and prayed some more, rested, sowed a seed, and glued myself to Him–because I knew I would come apart under the pressure if I didn’t.

    And you know what? Within hours, He broke through.

    Within hours, He began sending many of the answers to prayer that I have been asking Him for these many weeks.

    And His flow (both of His manifest glory and of His tangible blessings) in me, for me, and towards me has been different ever since.

    It’s only been a few days, but I can look back and see that the moment of testing was a vital part of this process.

    So beloved, what’s the takeaway for you?

    Just this: Are you in a season where you are being forced to learn to abide in Jesus at a new level? If so, don’t despair–and don’t abort the process. Instead:

    • Just practice “sucking sap” like a good grape branch should.
    • Depend on Jesus every moment of every day, for everything, and don’t be ashamed or embarrassed about your weakness.
    • Realize that you were made for this level of desperate dependency on God, and abiding in Jesus at this level is the only way to further your level of intimacy with Him.

    If you’re in a season right now where you feel desperate and completely incapable of doing anything on your own, God is in it. He is with you right now. He is for you. He is teaching you a new level of abiding in Jesus.

    Beloved, this season of pruning is actually going to result in new life in you. Hang in there, and ABIDE in Jesus the way He is asking you to!

    Does this word about abiding in Jesus speak to your heart today? If so, please leave a comment below and tell me so!

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    7 Comments

    1. 💯 exactly what I’m going through thank you 😊

    2. Oh man, this is so true! I’ve left a few big ol’e projects in His lap lately. I simply cannot continue in my own strength… because I have so little. In the past, I have emptied myself for things that I thought were important (and they were). After 2 years of emptiness and feeling abandoned I won’t do that again! No person or project or dream is worth that unless it’s HIS. (In which case they’d be fulfilling , not draining). So I just made them HIS.

      Thank you for the TRUTH you’re putting out there!

    3. Melanie Raschke says:

      This is word for word what I am experiencing and could not understand. Thank you Holy Spirit! Thank you Jamie! Praise the Lord for this Word!!

    4. Lisa Sweet says:

      I strongly feel feel this is for me. You encourage me so much. Thank you for allowing God to use you for others. I’m going through the worse battle of my life. It’s rock bottom and my eyes are only on Jesus through it. He knows my needs, I feel so void honestly but I know he’s there and I stand and wait for my break through. I know My God and I stand on his word! Anyone at all..please pray for me. Thank you

    5. Blessings,

      This word was a Rhema word, it was as though you looked in my window of life and wrote word for word what you saw. Thank you for your obedience to release the prophetic word God gives you. But thank you for also being transparent.

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