Wasting Time With a King

I’ve lived in 3 different states since 1996. I’ve held at least 13 different jobs from then until now.

Apparently, my generation is quite gifted at transition from job to job so that makes sense.

I always wondered why I had to listen to music while watching TV and reading a magazine article. Anyone else know that feeling?

I feel like my life has been in constant motion, and I can’t exactly say I’ve put down roots anywhere because I was always thinking about going to the next place that was better than or simply different from my location at the time.

Taken too far, this is a formation issue. It’s spiritual ADD. “Look, something shiny…”

Here’s why:

Obedience to Jesus, over the course of our lives, is impossible without remaining or “abiding” in Him. You can't follow Jesus' Kingdom life without wasting some time with the King.

Some might read that statement and think it’s too general – “that’s silly, of course I can obey Jesus without abiding in Him. What does that even mean?”

Abiding is the simple act of resting and remaining in the presence of someone or some thing for a sustained period of time.

We can’t be obedient to the Kingdom life and calling that Jesus presents us without abiding because of three very simple ideas:

1.    Jesus calls us to abide in Him. (John 15:9-10)

Jesus has in mind, in this last conversation before all Hell breaks loose, the future. “If the Kingdom life is going to invade the dark corners of the world, my friends need to know the thing that will drive that life. They need to know the spring from which they must drink in order to stay alive.” He calls them to have the same kind of relationship with Him – staying in Him and remaining with Him – as Jesus has with His Father. Guidance for their own life decisions and for the sustaining life and hope in the midst of hate and anger are keyed on “abiding in my love.” Staying there is what frees us to go everywhere else.

2.    We have no idea what the Kingdom of God looks like without abiding in Him.

Just take a straw poll in the community where you worship and serve and ask them to define “the Kingdom of God.” You’ll get a whole host of definitions, all of them good, but likely all of them will be significantly different. Take that and multiply it by infinity and you’ll understand the intensity and urgency for the people who claim to be a part of the Kingdom to abide with the King Himself so that we don’t find ourselves creating our Kingdom under the banner of His Kingdom.

3.    We have little to no power to sustain a Kingdom life without abiding in Him.

Trying harder is the motto of most of our lives. We’ve been taught that with enough effort we can do anything. The problem is that to love as Jesus loved, forgive as Jesus forgave, and rescue as Jesus rescued, that’s above our pay grade. We don’t have the clarity of vision or the perfected motivation it takes to carry on the work of the Kingdom. Trying harder is just us trying to be so much like us that we accidentally do the will of God. We need Jesus speaking, regularly and clearly, to a waiting people who have nothing better to do than waste their lives waiting on Him and moving at His urging. Jesus knew the disciples would have the temptation to start their own movements – build monuments and Kingdoms to themselves – because people are naturally gifted at building tributes to their own Kingdom but woefully unprepared on their own to choose the life of a powerful and beautiful God’ Kingdom.

Can you say that you have an active “abiding” presence with Jesus? Why or why not?

What occupies the time and brain power that could be used to waste time in the presence of the King?