Holding to Truth

holding to truth in love for the building up of the Body of Christ

6 Ways to Abide in God

To abide in God, to take Him as our dwelling, is one of the highest truths in the Bible. Many know that it is revealed by Christ in John 17, but did you know that Moses spoke of it as well? Yes, in his last prayer in Deuteronomy 33:27, repeated in Psalm 90:1, he says “O Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations.”

Isn’t it amazing that an Old Testament saint could see this high truth? He even saw that it is a corporate matter, a matter for a body of saints, not just for one individual, as indicated by his use of the plural “our.” And it is a present perfect continuous tense, “You have been,” indicating an action in the past continuing up to now, such that during our entire life here on earth, we should be those continually living in God.


In the New Testament, the Lord Jesus used the word “abide” (John 15:4-5)—“abide in Me.” Other words in the New Testament point to this truth: the preposition “in” (John 14:20 and many places), the word dwell (Gk. oikeo, taken from the noun for house) (1 Cor. 3:16), and to deeply dwell (Gk. katoikeo, with a prefix meaning to an excessive degree) (Eph. 3:17). May we all progress from merely occasionally being in God, to more often abiding in God, to dwelling in God for longer periods, to deeply dwelling in God for our whole life!

How can we practice this? The following are six ways:

First, eat Christ as the hidden manna.

The first way to abide in God is to eat Christ as the hidden manna. The hidden manna is first mentioned in Exodus 16:32-34, which according to Hebrews 9:4 was placed in a golden pot, which was placed in the ark, which was in the Holy of Holies within the tabernacle of God. This special portion of manna, the children of Israel’s daily food, was kept aside as a memorial, and lasts forever. In Revelation 2:17 it is mentioned as the promise to the overcomers. Only those who overcome have such a special, hidden enjoyment of God, not the common kind that all people enjoyed together.

How can we have such a hidden enjoyment of Christ as our food? By spending personal, intimate, private time with Him every day. Our enjoyment of God must be more than in the meetings of the church. It is the private prayer and fellowship with God that cements the word we have heard into an eternal memorial within our being, and even more as a treasure within the house of God.

Second, abide in His word.

The second way to abide in God is to abide in His Word (John 8:31). We have His constant word in the Scriptures, and His present word from the Spirit in our spirit. We must not come to the Bible without also coming to Christ (John 5:39-40). The more we come to His word, the more the Word should become His instant speaking to us day by day, guiding us to live in Him.

The best way to learn to abide in His Word is to pray-read the Word of God, that is, to use the Bible as the inspiration and source of our prayer (Eph. 6:17-18). This practice helps us to use our spirit to touch the Spirit in the word. Don’t live a day without pray-reading the Word, even just two verses.

Third, speak in Him.

If we allow His word to abide in us, we will have something to speak to others unto the building of His house (1 Cor. 14:4). The apostle Paul declared in 2 Cor. 2:17 that “we speak in Christ.”  In my experience, the more I speak for Him, in Him, the deeper I myself move into God.

Fourth, always rejoice, unceasingly pray, and in everything give thanks.

This fourth practice to abide in God is from 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18:

“Always rejoice, Unceasingly pray, In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

It’s one thing for God to say His will for us is to rejoice, pray, and give thanks; it’s so much more for Him to say always rejoice,  unceasingly pray, and in everything give thanks. It’s easy to rejoice, pray, and give thanks once a week at a church meeting, but the modifiers in these verses refer to a practice that involves our entire human living, all day, every day.

[A good way to remember to do this is to sing these verses. You can find one tune at Hymnal.net and click the link: Tune (Midi)]

This is the most practical way, I’ve found, to remind me to abide in God. It means even to rejoice when things seem bleak (for we always have God with us), to pray at all times, even while we are driving or studying a textbook, and to give thanks for everything, even when we are poor, hungry, or imprisoned (cf. Acts 16:23-25). We should look at all circumstances, environments, and even all persons as set by God for us to learn to dwell in Him. This is the “good” that all things work for as mentioned in Romans 8:28.

Fifth, bear much fruit.

This fifth way to abide in God is both a method and a result. The more we bear spiritual fruit (John 15:8), the deeper is our abiding in God; the more we abide in God, the more we bear fruit. This fruit is both the virtues and characteristics of God expressed by us (see Gal  5:22 and note) and also those whom we bring to salvation and offer to God (see John 15:16 and note). Helping those whom we bring to the Lord to remain is a long-lasting labor that requires that we abide in God.

Sixth, care for His presence.

The last way to abide in God that I’ll present here is to care for His presence. After the Lord’s death, when he appeared and disappeared to His disciples, He was training them to care for His invisible presence, the presence of His Spirit within them (John 20:26Acts 1:3, 26 and notes). Since He breathed the Spirit into us when we believed in Him (John 20:22), He is with us all the time. It’s just that we too often forget He is within us, and live as if God is far away.

Sometimes we want Him to go away; other times we just live by our habits and not by His guiding from within. What He wants is that we would not ignore Him, but rather, consult Him in everything, caring for the One who is inside of us. By doing so, we deepen our dwelling in Him, from just paying attention to Him during meetings to all the time, in everything.

You may have noticed that most of these practices on how to abide in God have to do with His abiding in us. That’s right, for the abiding is a mutual abiding: “Abide in Me and I in you” (John 15:4). We need to allow Christ’s abiding in us to move from a fact that we know to our practice of allowing Him to live out of us, which is our abiding in Him.

“Lord, teach me to abide in You. I want to progress from having You in me, to having me live in You. To do this, Lord, keep me contacting You. Don’t let me slip away from spending private time with You. Keep me in Your Word every day, even pray-reading it. Lord, increase my speaking for You; may I say as Paul did, ‘I speak in Christ.’ Lord, I want to bear much fruit, and I want to care for Your presence, even for the smiling of Your face. Lastly Lord, remind me to call  on Your name, to always rejoice, to unceasingly pray, and to give thanks in everything. May everything remind me to abide in You.”

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References and Recommended Reading:

 

About Tom Smith

Hi. My name is Tom Smith. I'm the writer behind Holding to Truth in Love, and I love the Lord Jesus and His life-giving Word. Please feel free to send me an e-mail through the contact page if you have any questions. I hope you'd take a moment to subscribe to the Holding to Truth blog. Then you'll be sure not to miss a post. Thanks!

25 Replies

  1. Amen! I left this part out of the article on, the highest and fullest experience of God is taking God as our dwelling place (via http://www.agodman.com/blog/the-highest-and-fullest-experience-of-god-is-taking-god-as-our-dwelling-place/ ) – but these ways are vital and organic practices we need to incorporate into our living until they become our habit! Thank you, brothers 🙂

  2. Dawit Geinamo

    If you are in me at all times, and my words are in you, then anything for which you make a request will be done for you. Do you know what the word is.
    I will some more question later on.

  3. Dawit, I think you are quoting John 15:7. Many Christians forget the predicate in this verse, thinking that whatever they ask in prayer should get answered. But we must remember to abide in Him firstly. By abiding in Him, we will learn to know His will. If you have lived with someone for a long time, you can know what they want even without having to hear it from them, because you know them so well. We should know our Lord in this way. Then our asking will be for what He already wants to be done.

    Thanks for your question, and I look forward to more fellowship.

  4. God is the truth and if we abide in the truth we abide in God and God will set us free. thnks God for what he has layed to you, may stay blessed in Jesus name.

  5. Gracie

    I’ve been searching for a new way to connect with God and I just found it reading the above note! Thank you so much.

  6. Gracie, I’m glad this helped you. It’s good to know that this is still bringing people into God.
    Coming back to this post I wrote a year ago and re-reading it helped me too.

  7. paul hanrahan

    I read in the Holy Word for morning revival to abide in His death so that His life would be made manifest in me. I typed in google how to do this and came across this website. Living stream ministries pray read and when i saw this on this website too i was encouraged. Thankyou.

  8. Chris Nerstad

    Hi Brother Tom,
    A new brother we’ve been meeting with here in Manchester, UK,sent me the link to your site. He likes it. He was looking for help on abiding in the death of Christ.
    May The Lord be with you and may we all be faithful to ” give them food at the proper time.” Chris Nerstad

    1. Tom Smith

      Thanks for the encouraging reply. Yes, may we continually receive the Lord’s supplying grace to be those faithful to give food at the proper time.

  9. Oh such a blessing. I am filled with this knowledge of abiding in Him. God bless you so much man of God. I will make sure I share this message with all my pals through the social media. You are a true blessing.

  10. Gary

    Greetings in Messiah (Christ)! As a born again Jewish believer in Yeshua (Jesus), I face many challenges; From my unbelieving Jewish people and the ignorance of the body of Messiah, my people. He is the Head, we are the body. Without Him we are without life. He came abounding in grace and truth and so must we.

    1. Tom Smith

      Gary, what a mercy and grace that you would take the Lord Jesus as your Messiah (Christ)! I’m sure this is real challenge to you even as it was to the Jewish believers in the first century. Even a weighty book like Hebrews was written specifically to encourage them (and those like you today) to “look away unto Jesus the Author and Perfecter of our faith” (Heb. 12:1-2). As they were suffering persecution from their countrymen they had such an exalted Christ to focus on. Yes, “without Him we are without life.” He is the eternal life, the One full of the grace and truth we need to run the race and finish the course of the Christian life until we meet Him in His glorious coming.

  11. Jordan Secligen

    If we learn to abide in the Lord day by day,we can be able to live an overcoming life.We may pray that the Lord may preserve our heart by loving and contacting Him daily in our entire life.

  12. ARC.ADEBOYE

    God bless your tom smith more grace 2 your life

  13. josphat mboroki

    wherever there is water their is life. God bless u there is something God has put in u to serve nations.thks

    1. Tom Smith

      Thank the Lord for the water of life. Such a flow brings us from the beginning of the Bible (Gen 2:10) to the end of the Bible (Rev. 22:1-2). This life is in Christ and this life even is Christ (John 14:6). This life is both the Spirit–the Spirit of life (Rom. 8:2) and the Word–the Word of life (Phil 2:16). When we come to the Lord in God’s word in the Scriptures, we get this divine, eternal life (John 5:39-40). By enjoying this life by means of the Word and the Spirit, contacting the Spirit as the essence of God’s word by means of prayer in our spirit we enjoy this flowing life–a life that will bring us on to God’s eternal goal–the New Jerusalem–the city of life (Rev. 21-22).

  14. aiyedero raphael babatunde

    Thanks for blessing me today with this topic”abiding in God.”

    1. Tom Smith

      Glad you enjoyed the post. To abide in the Lord it is especially helpful to let His words abide in you (John 15:7). John 15, a chapter on the abiding, mentions not only the Lord abiding in us but also His words abiding in us. Here is a practical secret to experience the abiding. Contact the Lord in prayer with the Word. As we eat and digest the Lord’s living words, we’re supplied to live because of Him (John 6:57, 63).

  15. Kanfee Nimely

    Thanks Tom. this was a great help to me. I can never survive outside of God. this I know for sure.

    1. Tom Smith

      Kanfee, That’s right. I can’t survive outside of God. It is a great mercy to see this, that God is our real dwelling place and that our Christian life is a matter of continually abiding in Him. As we abide Him, then He also abides in us. What a blessing! To enjoy such an abiding, I’ve found three indispensable elements–the Spirit of Christ, the Word of God and the mouth of the believers (which is connected to our human spirit). By opening our mouth to call on the name of the Lord Jesus, to rejoice, pray, give thanks and pray-read God’s Word, we abide in His Spirit with His Word abiding in us. In this way we dwell in God and He dwells in us. Thanks for your comment and I’m so glad you enjoyed the post enough to reply.

  16. Sally Onu

    Brother Smith, the 6 ways to abide in God have blessed me. Please, I am interested in subscribing to the Holding To The Truth Blog. I also need advice on how to revive my studying, and meditating on the God’s word and also to restore my prayer life back. I want to live my entire life for God but I am always finding it very challenging.

    1. Tom Smith

      I have added you as a subscriber to the blog. To revive you time in the word, I would strongly encourage you to read the following posts on praying, pray-reading the word and musing (or meditating) on the word: 1) 10 Short Morning Prayers We Can Pray to the Lord, 2) 12 Tips on How to Pray-read the Word of God to be Spiritually Nourished and also 3) 7 Tips on How to Meditate or Muse on God’s Word …Then I’d encourage you to share any benefit you received from your practice of these points.

  17. Adeshina Adedayo

    Thank you with this word of encouragement, am blessed by your article GOD bless you Amen

    1. Tom Smith

      Glad you found encouragement in this word. How wonderful that we, as believers, can abide in our God! I especially appreciate the Lord’s word and His name as our practical way to enjoy such an abiding. John 15:7 says, “If you abide in Me and my words abide in you, ask whatever you will and it shall be done for you.” Our abiding in the Lord is connected with His words abiding in us. When we feed on and muse on our Lord’s words this keeps us in the abiding. Also, when we call on the Lord, declaring His dear name, “Jesus is Lord!” or “Lord Jesus!” we’re in Him, that is, “No one can say, Jesus is Lord! [or Lord Jesus!] except in the Holy Spirit” (1 Cor. 12:3). Thanks for your confirming comment.

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