“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you…” (John 15:7)
How can Jesus’ words abide in you?
One way to do this is to take a truth that Jesus taught, learn to apply it to your situation, and then live accordingly. For example, Jesus taught us to pray:
“Our Father who is in heaven, hallowed be Your name” (Matt 6:9).
Now, that is not a clear rule to obey. Instead, it is a statement about the holiness of God’s name. Or, more specifically, it is a prayer to keep God’s name holy.
How do you apply that truth to your life?
Well, if you are praying for God’s name to be kept holy, you will ask yourself whether you are living up that request!
So to apply that truth to your life you can ask the simple question, “Does what I am about to do hallow God’s name or dishonor it?”
That consideration becomes a powerful principle to help guide and re-organize your life.
For example, I was talking to an executive whose bosses asked him to dishonor a contract the company had signed. It turned out the contract was bad for the company. Still, my friend refused. He said they should honor the contract they signed. Why? In part, because he is a believer, and what he does reflects upon God. If he broke the contract, he would be dishonoring God’s name through his actions. So he refused.
The Lord’s Prayer does not give you specific directions about what to do when your boss asks you to break a contract. Nevertheless, do you also see that the truth taught in that prayer can have a very practical application to your life?
That’s what you need to learn to do with all Biblical truth. You have to go beyond simply learning it, to applying it. You need more than Biblical knowledge, you need Biblical wisdom, too. That is an essential part of Christian discipleship living deeply in Christ.
In sum, you must apply to abide.