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Can you abide in something you don't know?

vine
Unsplash/Zbynek Burival

Sometimes the Christian faith can feel reduced to learning about the things we are not supposed to do or even the things we are blatantly against. Whether that’s partying, getting drunk, sex outside of marriage, or other worldly pleasures – cancel culture loves to point out all the activities Christians don’t support.

Wouldn’t it be nice to be known by what we’re for instead? But what exactly are we for? To put it simply, we are for the transformational power of the Gospel. We have incredible hope because of our relationship with Jesus Christ, and with that, we have instructions to spread that hope to the ends of the earth. What a beautiful purpose God has given each of us.

Matthew 28:19 (ESV) says, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

We can see in the words of Jesus in Matthew that we clearly have this mission to share the Gospel, and yet, we don’t always do that. Why?

Sometimes we’re afraid. We fear rejection or awkwardness in our relationships. What this really points to though is a lack of understanding of who we are in Christ. It’s about our identity. We are transformed into a new self when we put our faith in Christ, and we receive the power of the Holy Spirit. We are no longer working through our own strength.

In the book of John, Jesus describes it this way: “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5 ESV). He goes on to say in verse 8, “By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.”

When we abide in Jesus, we learn to stay connected to the power source of our faith. And it’s this connection with Jesus that will stir us to share the Gospel. We won’t be able to contain it. By reading the Word of God, surrounding ourselves with the people of God and listening to the Spirit, we will bear much fruit. I have found three primary ways to stay connected and abide with and in Jesus:

The Word of God

To put it simply, Christ-followers can’t afford to read their Bibles on an irregular basis. Inspired by God and filled with His truth and wisdom, the Word is there to renew us every day. It’s hard to abide in someone we don’t know, and the Bible is filled with stories that teach us about the nature and character of God. 

Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” So as we battle our flesh, the Word can help us to determine how to live for God and not ourselves.

The people of God

Proverbs 27:17 (NLT) says, “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.” The second way we can continue to abide in the vine is by staying actively connected to our brothers and sisters in Christ.

God has given us the gift of community through His church. The call of the church is for its members to rally and challenge each other. We can make a difference in each other's lives as we sharpen one another.

The Spirit of God

Finally, we have to stay in tune with the Spirit of God. According to John 3:34, “For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without limit.”

By being filled with the Holy Spirit, our eyes will be opened to see exactly where God is leading us. We will be empowered to get outside of our comfort zones to reach the hurting and lost people around us.

Learn more about the importance of sharing your faith and how to grow in knowledge and confidence in doing so with Nick Hall’s new “Make Jesus Known” curriculum available this fall. Featuring Nick Hall and multiple emerging leaders, these training videos teach people how to share the Gospel with the world around them. These videos are available to churches, youth pastors, and leaders to use in their congregations to equip and embolden people to share the Gospel of Jesus.

Pulse is a Minneapolis-based, millennial-led prayer and evangelism movement on mission to make Jesus known. For over a decade, Pulse has hosted some of the largest events for the next generation, impacting over five million students and young adults.

Nick Hall is the founder and president of Pulse and a leading international evangelist. He holds a position on the Board of Directors Executive Committee of the National Association of Evangelicals. He is the author of Reset: Jesus Changes Everything.

Website: pulse.org | Facebook: pulsemovement Instagram: @pulse.movement | Youtube: Pulse

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