On a recent walk I noticed a little vine that held fast to the surface it claimed as its home—the trunk of an immense pine tree. The graceful, serrated leaves contributed to the vine’s delicate appearance and created contrast against the furrowed gray-brown bark.
How did the vine cling to the rough tree covering? Maybe it wasn’t as delicate as I’d supposed.
Upon further investigation, I noticed the vine’s stem had sprouted bunches of tiny tendrils that grasped the bark like the spikes on hiking boots grip mountain surfaces. The collection of tendrils tethered the vine to the pine tree and held the leaves upright exposing them to the sunlight.
By clinging to the tree’s support, the vine stayed alive. Neither recent winds nor rainstorms dislodged the tenacious plant from the spot it claimed.
The vine’s clinging power reminded me of the way the Bible instructs us to hold fast to God. David wrote,
My soul clings to You; Your right hand takes hold of me.Psalm 63:8
Perhaps when the psalmist penned those words, he recalled the words God had spoken to his ancestors:
You shall follow the Lord your God and fear Him; and you shall keep His commandments, listen to His voice, serve Him, and cling to Him.Deuteronomy 13:4
Let’s consider the verse above, phrase by phrase, as a guide for holding fast to God, our heavenly Father. Then let’s imagine a child following these steps with her earthly dad.
Six Ways to Cling to God
1. You shall follow the Lord your God.
Step-by-step, we seek to learn more about God through prayer, Bible study, and wise counsel as we obey previous lessons. Believers can trust God’s guidance as we walk out our daily lives relying on His promise to direct our steps (Proverbs 16:9, Psalm 32:8, Psalm 37:23-24).
Picture a child stretching upward to place her hand in the big, capable hand of her father. She smiles with confidence knowing he will guide and protect her on the path she walks that day.
2. Fear Him.
As God’s children, we don’t cower in the corner fearing His power, but instead, we honor and respect Him because of His character. Our hearts are filled with a reverential awe of Almighty God, our heavenly Father.
Imagine a child who giggles with delight as she gazes up at her daddy with respect and admiration shining from her eyes. She understands his authority and the need to obey him. She recognizes his strength and experiences his unconditional love.
3. Keep His commandments.
As Christ-followers, we study the Bible, ask the Holy Spirit to teach us, and obey the truths we learn so that we can honor God. He promises to forgive confessed sin (1 John 1:9), but we strive to keep His commandments.
Think about a little girl who admires her dad and longs to please him. Displeasing him breaks her heart and urges her to seek forgiveness. The next day, she reviews his directions, asks for his help, and tries harder to obey.
4. Listen to His voice.
In a hurry-scurry world full of fast-paced visual and audio messages and conflicting news reports, we need reminders to stop and listen to God. Scheduling a daily time to converse with Him in prayer and Bible study stills our racing minds and opens our spiritual ears to hear His messages.
Envision a child who listens with rapt attention to an adult he admires. The child holds keen interest in the topic and the speaker. He tilts his head upward, tunes out the voices of others, focuses his eyes on the adult, and listens intently. When the conversation ends, the obedient child sets out to follow directions.
5. Serve Him.
Serving the Lord is an honor. Our omnipotent God could complete His kingdom’s work without assistance from us. However, like a loving dad who allows a daughter to help build a birdhouse, He gives us the privilege of participating in His plan.
Suppose a young girl is eager to help her dad make pizza. He positions a stool beside the counter so that his daughter can reach the ingredients. He uses the sharp knife to cut the pepperoni but encourages her to add the grated cheese. She does her part, and he does his. How proud she is to assist in his work.
6. Cling to Him.
Just as the little vine held fast to the pine tree despite wind and rain, we can cling to God as our refuge. Exposing our minds and hearts to His truths nourishes our souls. The storms of life can’t pry us from His hands because He also holds onto us.
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.Romans 8:38-39
As the vine’s tendrils hold fast to the pine tree, we can extend our efforts to hold fast to God by following His instructions in Deuteronomy 13:4.
Please share the ways you practice clinging to God. How have these practices helped you recently?
Bible verses are from the NASB.