Holly T. Ashley

Oh did I type that outloud?

Lean in…

Lean in…

Ever get tired of hearing the new phrase of the moment?

I do.

At the end of the day… I did a thing… That’s it. That’s the post (tweet)… It is what it is…


This year, it’s lean in or lean into.

I am so tired of hearing this phrase. I hear it in every new topic spoken, from every speaker, on every television show, and even in people’s prayers.

What does it even mean, lean in?

According to the Oxford dictionary, the verb “Lean” means to rely on and derive support from. It also means to incline or be partial to; to incline from the perpendicular and rest against.

So, when I hear people ask God to allow them to “lean in” to Jesus, His word, the message, Scripture, etc.… I have to ask myself, what are they asking?

And heaven help! When you say it out loud, are you considering what message you are sending to those listening?

“Lord, help us to be partial to you… help us to derive support from your word… help us to rely on… incline ourselves… rest against you… your word… your commands…”

? Are you kidding me?

According to God’s holy, infallible word – we are commanded (not inclined) to Abide.

Abide: Hebrew: yashab. To sit, remain, and dwell. To inhabit, live, settle, or stay.

Abide: Greek: menō. To stay, remain, continue.

 “He will abide before God forever” (Ps 61:7, NASB95).

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty” (Ps. 91:1, NASB95).

God is a promise keeper – not a reliable source.

“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine” (Jn 15:4)

 Do you see the difference?

When we want to be cool and use secular phrases to lure the audience’s attention, it never fails to disappoint.  

We cannot simply tell people to “lean into Jesus…” Like He’s a door post that we rest against until the circumstances pass. That’s nothing more than a crutch.

We do not simply “lean in” to God’s word as a support system that we are partial to… that’s implying that although it might be a good source of information, it isn’t absolute.

Is that the message of the infallible word of God?

Not by a long shot.

Words matter.

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. (2 Tim 2:15).

How often are we taught the do’s and don’ts of the use of our tongue? A quick reference check came up with 109 times “tongue” is found in the NASB – should have checked lips, speech, words, etc. point in case: It’s a big deal!

Contrary to popular Christian belief – keeping our tongue in check applies not only to speaking in “cursing” but also applies to when we are not speaking the truth (false teaching) or compromising truth by way of culturally appropriate vernacular – like telling them to merely lean in, that leads people into a belief that the god image they have created, or the way they personally believe what the Bible means to them… is good enough for the holy Kingdom of God.

Not speaking truth is a violation of the Great Commission. And “leaning in, into, or on” is not the Truth that will set them free, nor is it the Way of salvation.

Jesus Christ is, indeed, the Almighty Lord of lords and King of kings. He does not plead with us to lean in(to) Him and/or His word, saying, “pretty please with a cherry on top…”

As a matter of fact, we are commanded (it is not optional) to abide in Him, in every single aspect of life and in our daily living, during our fleeting vapor of a moment here on planet earth.

We are not to simply stop for a minute and take a rest, like a leaf blowing in the wind, only to come to rest on the branch of a tree… the result is certain death.

There is no nutritional value that allows for growth if the leaf is not attached to its source of nutrition! It can’t just lean in or on the vine! It must abide!

We are commanded to abide in Him – The vine. The cause of our sustenance. The basis of our very existence!

The One who commands your heart to beat and decides if oxygen will reach your brain with the next breath demands that we are immovable and unshakeable because we maintain our dwelling in Him.

And He demands it because the shed blood of His son is worth it.  

A leaf.

Now, isn’t that just the perfect depiction of modern-day American Christianity! Just blowing in the wind… blowing into church every now and again, leaning in…

No urgency, commitment, study, striving for righteousness, or holiness.

Oh, maybe when life falls apart or disease and disaster come about, they drop to their (proverbial) knees to lean on God with a: “Lord, if you’re there…” or reach out on social media with a request for “praying people,” to lean into “the man upstairs.”

Why not? They’re just following our lead.

“Lord, help us to really lean in…”

Quit trying to be socially acceptable.

We are called to be holy, not accepted.

Holy, in its simplest form, means to be set apart, and God demands (not suggests) that we are to be holy (Lv. 11:44, 45; 1 Pt 1:16).

In both Greek and Hebrew, the word is translated to mean precisely the same thing: To be set apart and consecrated for God’s holy purpose.

Holy is who you are because Holy is who God is. Holy is literally the name of the third member of the trinity: The Holy Spirit.

We have been set apart. We are “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession” (1 Pt 2:9).

There is no “world unity” with the biblical worldview because the God of the biblical worldview is Holy.

And there is no room for wanna–be Christians who want to take a rest stop at the altar of Christ and lean-in for a minute.  

That’s stolen valor.

They are not a part of God’s holy army just because they went to a surplus store and wear the uniform on Sunday – any more than they are a part of the Buffalo Bills because they wear the quarterback’s jersey on Sunday.

We must make sure the world knows that because we are commanded to keep the bride of Christ pure, holy, and blameless – that we are not tolerant of any other belief or compromised systematic belief such as “inclusion,” which allows you to lean in(to) rather than to abide in Christ.

We are not to be so prideful that we flirt with worldly things, including words that are evasive or misleading.

“For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh (that innate desire to be accepted by others), and the lust of the eyes (what you allow your eyes to take into your mind matters!), the boastful pride of life (look at me, what I’ve done, how cool I sound, how nice I am, how loving…), is not from the Father, but is from the world” (1 Jn 2:15).

God will not tolerate it – and He warns us: “Now, little children, abide in Him so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming” (1 Jn 2:28).

Leaning in, into, or on the holy God of the universe will get you nothing but a one-way ticket to hell – and for those of you spouting the clever, new phrase of the day – Their blood will be required of you (Ez 3:18).


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This entry was posted on January 25, 2023 by in Call to Action and tagged , , , , .
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