The primary thing every follower of Jesus must do is: dwell in God’s presence. Resolutely, I will choose to abide in Christ.
We see these concepts in both the First Testament and the Second Testament.
In the First Testament we have the idea of “the presence of God,” especially in the Temple. In the Second Testament we have the idea of “abiding in Christ,” as given by Jesus in John 14-16, and the “in Christ” status Paul writes about in his letters (my identity - I am the Lord's.).
I have an acronym I use to describe a Jesus-follower’s job description:
· I will follow Jesus' final instructions to his disciples, given in John chapters 14-16. The results will be that...
· I am a branch, connected to Jesus the True Vine
· My life will be fruit-bearing
· I will experience his love
· I will experience his peace (not "peace" like our world gives)
· I will experience his joy
· With Christ in me I do the things that Jesus did
· I will not go up and down according to the circumstances of life
· I will not be a conference-dependent or book-dependent follower of Jesus
· I will live in expectation. Today, and this week, could contain a watershed moment. Anything good and amazing can happen to the Jesus-follower who lives attached to Jesus, who lives "in Christ."
· I will take The Book and read
· I will meditate on the biblical text
· I will slow-cook in the teriyaki sauce of God's thoughts and God's ways and God's promises
· I will shut my ears to our hyper-wordy world and attend to the deep words of Scripture
· I will fix my eyes, not on things seen, but on things unseen
· I will be illuminated by God's Spirit
· God's Spirit will escort my heart to its true home
· God has much to say to me this week
· Today, I have "ears to hear"
· I will be alert
· I will live with ears wide open
· When God speaks to me, I will write it down in my journal
· I will remember the words of the Lord, to me
· God will tell me that he loves me
· God will shepherd me. Jesus said that his sheep hear his voice. That's me.
· God will lead me in paths of righteousness, not for my glory, but for his sake
· God will direct my paths
· God will make my paths straight
· The inner "GPS" ("God Positioning System") is turned on
· Where he leads me, I will follow
· I will experience life as an adventure
· In obedience to God, my life finds meaning and purpose
This is my primary “job responsibility” of pastors and Christian leaders. Without this I will be irrelevant, inauthentic, and subject to irrational anxieties and fears.