'Remain in me, as I also remain in you.' John 15:4 NIV
When you're making tea, you can dip the tea bag up and down in the water a few times, or you can leave it for a while in order to draw out the tea's full strength and flavour. Jesus said: 'If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing' (John 15:5 NIV).
In the same way that letting a tea bag remain, or dwell, in the water makes the tea stronger, when we dwell in the presence of God our faith becomes stronger, and therefore we grow stronger. Dwelling in God's presence is often mentioned in the Bible, especially in the Psalms: 'Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever' (Psalm 26:6 NIV); and 'Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you' (Psalm 84:4 NIV).
Living life as a Christian isn't about 'dipping' in God's presence once a week in church, but 'dwelling' in it every day. We need to remain in God in order to remain fruitful and to move forward in our spiritual lives. It's the depth and duration of our dwelling that determines the strength and richness of our spiritual lives.
So what now? Make yourself, or someone else, a cup of tea. Let the tea bag stay in the water for a while and, as you wait, ask God to help you desire to spend more time dwelling in his presence.
Soulfood: Isa 22-25 Luke 1:67-80 Ps 42:6-11 Pro 1:28-31,