Abiding and Walking with Jesus
By Darren Lindblom, First Responders Ministry — “On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’”- John 7:37-38
When I was in my 20s my zeal for helping others know and understand Christ was remarkably high. I was spending hours every week engaging with those around me over the Gospel, Jesus, the Bible. I wanted for them to know Christ the way I knew Him. I wanted them to know the transforming power of the Gospel the way I had experienced it.
During this time of my life, I saw the Lord use my life to actually make a difference. I wanted to be part of the Great Commission and, in many ways, I was.
It was also during this time of my life the Lord taught me a foundational lesson: That life, ministry and influence overflowed from the time alone I would spend with Jesus. In my head I knew this, but in my practice and in some parts of my heart, I was wanting life, fruitful ministry out of an overflow of pleasing man… and in some subtle ways it was out of an overflow of performing for God.
I would often get so excited about meeting with a young believer or a spiritually open non-believer, that what drove me was seeing how they responded to the Word or the Gospel. I certainly don’t think that was a problem. However, the Lord was pressing me to better understand my heart about why I was making disciples. Was it for the praise of man? I had to admit that, in part, it was.
Though I was spending time in the Word and prayer on a regular basis, I was only beginning to really experience intimacy with Christ. I was learning that time alone with Jesus was what truly filled me up so that I could pour my life into others.
During that time in my 20s, I was heartily laboring in the harvest as Jesus describes in Matthew 9:37-38. Today, in my 50s, I can say I am even more zealous about laboring in the harvest. This is because I’ve learned that life, ministry, and influence is an overflow of walking intimately with Christ.
I want to encourage you as you spend time in the Word and prayer to read and reflect on these passages about intimacy with Christ.
“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 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 15:4-5
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.”- Rev 3:20
“Thus the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. When Moses turned again into the camp, his assistant Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, would not depart from the tent.”- Exodus 33:11
“O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you;
my flesh faints for you,
as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.”- Psalm 63:1
“On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’”- John 7:37-38
My prayer for you is that you seek after Jesus with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength. As you thirst, spend time with Jesus in the Word and prayer. Rivers of living water will flow through you in life and ministry.
All Scripture quoted from the ESV
What are the best messages you’ve heard that teach evangelism or present the Gospel?
What are your best Bible stories or verses for sharing the Gospel?
How about the story of the Prodigal Son?
For reference, here is the “official” Navigators Wheel Illustration webpage