Cultivating Intimacy With God Through The “Abiding Lifestyle”

By Ryan Shaw

One of the important factors distinguishing a life used of God or not, is the powerful presence of God in that life. As a result it is essential we ask the question, “What must I do to be saturated with God’s powerful presence in my life and ministry?”

The answer is simple—yet walking it out proves quite challenging. We are called to abide in Christ (John 15), giving ourselves to long hours with Him—enjoying intimate fellowship, our hearts resting in Him, gazing on His beauty, and meditating on the depths of His person-hood and works.

We give ourselves to open adoration, unhindered worship, and gratitude for who He is and the divine purposes He is working on the earth.

We become like what we behold. When we come to Jesus in this way, in time, we become more like Him.

The Lord began teaching me this lesson of abiding when I was 19 years old. He took me through an intense period of personal revival which lasted about six months.

As I sought His face, He poured His Spirit upon me in a way I had not experienced previously. A powerful desire (which I did not conjure up in my own strength) to simply “be” with Jesus consumed me.

I did not want to go to my college classes, spend time with my friends or be entertained. I simply wanted to abide with Jesus and fellowship with Him.

His presence was strong upon me. I spent hours each day in prayer and reading the Bible. I didn’t get bored or find myself looking at my watch. Time seemed to fly as I grasped concepts in God’s Word I had not previously understood.

It was God’s way of unveiling to me an introduction to the abiding lifestyle. He was stamping the importance of abiding consistently in Christ upon my heart that I have never forgotten.

In pursuing this lifestyle, we turn from issues that hinder this process within, receiving His enabling power (grace) to overcome temptation and sin. We seek Him for increased understanding concerning His ways, plans, and desires, and apply the light He reveals to us in obedience.

We open our lives and welcome Him to accomplish His will within us and through us. Our watchword echoes the Apostle Paul, “I want to know Him” (Philippians 3:10) and all else becomes secondary.

He is our priority and loving, obeying, honoring, and glorifying Him becomes our life’s ambition. Abiding in Him is the primary way to increase the measure of being saturated with God’s powerful presence.

Having our capacity to enjoy Him expanded through abiding with Christ is an ongoing process.
Giving ourselves to this process consistently is a condition of being saturated with God’s powerful presence.

This includes increasing:
• Worship
• Repentance
• Abandonment
• Communion prayer
• Listening prayer
• Meditation on God’s Word
• Praying the Scriptures
• Waiting upon God
• Warfare prayer
• Maturing in the fear of the Lord
• Holiness
• Joy of the Lord
• Humility and meekness
• A guarded tongue
• The fruit of the Spirit
• Abounding love
• Death to self
• Much more

There are no shortcuts. We are meant to go deep with Jesus in costly devotion as the only foundation for our heart’s being equipped as a carrier of God’s powerful presence.

We experience His presence on the heart, mind, and spirit while being a conduit to release His presence upon others through our lives and ministries.

If we give ourselves to the abiding lifestyle we will see God’s presence released over our lives in wonderful ways. These ways will include both subtle and dramatic expressions as we walk with the Lord and devote ourselves to what pleases His heart.

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