(By Rachel Joyce)
Long before the modern buzzword mindfulness became popular, there was the Greek word μένω (meno).
If you google mindfulness, you’ll find about 263,000,000 results. dictionary.com defines it as the state or quality of being mindful or aware of something. In psychology, it is “a technique in which one focuses one's full attention on the present, experiencing thoughts, feelings, and sensations.”
Mένω encompasses the concept of being present along with the idea of staying, continuing, and enduring. When translating μένω into English, the King James translators used the old-fashioned words abide and dwell (among others).
Jesus said, “Abide in me” (John 15:4). Mένω in Me. Be present and remain in Me. Make Me your dwelling, your safe place, where you can experience my acceptance and love, where you can be who I made you to be and experience the fullness of all I died to give you. Abide in Me.
Jesus said, “Abide in my love” (John 15:9). Mένω in my love. Life will be hard. You will face unkindness and rejection. But when you make my love your home, you will know your worth in Me. I died to make you Mine, so don’t let anyone distort the truth of who you are or keep you from the work I’ve given you to do. Abide in my love.
But John warns us not to say that we abide in Christ, that God is our dwelling place, unless we are willing to live our lives as Jesus did (1 John 2:6). His life was characterized by obedience and devotion to His Father and love to others. When we obey God’s Word, we show how completely we love Him and are living in Him (1 John 2:5). As we let His truth abide in us, we are able to enjoy the presence of the Father and in the Son (1 John 2:24). His love is perfected in us as we love others; we remain in the light and are kept from stumbling. But our refusal to love others means abiding in death itself (1 John 2:10, 3:14).
It is through dwelling in Him that we are able to “bear fruit” and bring glory to God because without Him, we can do nothing (John 15:4-5). Real blessing can only flow from lives that are tucked away in Christ, ever-present in Him.
This longing to be mindful of Christ, to abide in him, was reflected in the prayer of Andrew Murray, “May not a single moment of my life be spent outside the light, love, and joy of God's presence.” He went on to write an entire book about abiding in Christ: Abide In Christ: The Joy of Being In God’s Presence. *
As we focus our attention and awareness on the One who is the I Am, we discover that His presence with us meets our needs in ways that we couldn’t have imagined. He doesn’t just give us love and peace, He is love and peace (1 John 4:16, Ephesians 2:14). We cannot be with Him without experiencing joy and being strengthened by His grace (Psalm 16:11, John 1:16).
I love Kim Walker’s song ”Just Be” which says, “Here in Your presence, I am complete,
Jesus, You're all that I need.” He is, indeed, all that we need. May He help us to make His presence, His love, our dwelling place now and for the rest of our lives.
*Person. (2008, August 08). Andrew Murray. Retrieved October 23, 2020, from https://www.christianitytoday.com/history/people/innertravelers/andrew-murray.html