The greatest adventure for the soul of man is probably also the hardest thing to accomplish using one's mind to understand it. With all things pertaining to the new covenant each aspect is to be spiritually discerned as to its meaning and its walking out in our lives. Abiding in Christ is one of those things that needs to be walked out, daily, moment by moment, to receive the benefit of coming to know God in an intimate way.
How does one go about walking with God in the first place? The first thing is to accept His sacrifice for your life. One would say that you need to believe that first before you can walk with Him. I beg to differ. It has been my personal experience that before one even becomes aware of God's message and plan of salvation that the Spirit of God is already at work within the individual preparing the soul for the truth for when it is to be revealed and then leading the individual to the place where the message can then be heard.
I would not call this abiding in Christ but it is important to understand that the individual is being led by God's Spirit perhaps long before the knowledge of His existence is even hinted at. What makes the difference in abiding is when the Spirit begins to open the eyes of the individual so that he becomes aware of the truth of the gospel. It is at this point on the road of discovery that the person will either accept the truth being revealed or they will harden their heart and close their minds to the truth. Acceptance of this truth is their first knowing step in their abiding in Christ. Yet it is but a part of the experience.
For the fullness to come there needs also to be an acceptance that this same Jesus is also Lord of our lives. This is the falling point of many Christians' lives. Happy to receive the truth they stumble and stop short of making Him Lord. A lord is someone who has authority over another. The one under authority needs to obey his lord in what he asks to be done. The beauty of accepting the truth of the gospel, that Jesus paid the sacrifice for our sins, and repentance from doing our way to follow His way, is that on acceptance we receive the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
You cannot have one without the other. There is no saving of the soul unless there is also acceptance of His lordship. This is where abiding comes in. It would be wonderful if we would just naturally begin to walk in the light as He is in the light but we also have a mind that is corrupted by the ways of the world. This carnal mind is the only thing we have at the beginning of our journey. The spiritual mind has not yet grown in the knowledge of His ways. That is why it is so important to read the word of God and to come under a teacher and those others who have knowledge of the ways of God so they can become our tutors and we the student.
So where do we begin this process of gathering knowledge? In the word of God itself. Though you may have many teachers there is really only one who can open the eyes of the student and He is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will use the word of God and I mean by this the bible and not the sayings of latter day prophets, whether real or false. This is what Jesus said of the word; "If My word abide in you, and you in Me, then you will bear much fruit." In the beginning a person must put the words of God into their mind. When that is done the Holy Spirit can then use those words to begin to conform the mind and the actions of the individual to that of Jesus. Put the words inside of yourself and then the Spirit who abides in you will guide your steps and in following His leading you will be abiding in Christ.
But... you must follow. Certainly we fall often, perhaps too often at times, yet it is a matter of obedience. Willing obedience to His command and will. As we learn and grow we become strengthened in His might and we walk with less error and more truth. Nobody, I repeat, nobody has it all except for Jesus. Paul the apostle said that he doesn't think of having obtained that perfection which comes from God, he runs to attain it. This when he was a powerhouse in the things of God. Those who think they have arrived have stopped short and have ceased to grow in the grace and knowledge of God.
What God has given us through His word and His abiding within us through the Holy Spirit is not a life of recommendations. These are His commands, His words. We must strive with all that is within us to achieve the fullness of Christ. Some will say that it is impossible to walk always as Jesus did and have the same heart always that Jesus did. Here is the secret to answer that.
Those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength. What does that mean? Have you ever gone to a posh restaurant where the service is truly great. Why? It isn't because the waiters are running around trying to accomplish the impossible. On the contrary their biggest task is to wait and observe what is happening and when they observe a need they then move to fill it. The Christian who is truly abiding in Christ is not rushing around trying to do all the things that the bible says. They do not take on the responsibility for the whole work of God in their community. They wait and observe what God is doing and when they see a need then they move to fill it. Do not try to out work God. Everything has a season and those who wait on Him renew their strength and then are able to move when the time is right. You will not know how to do this unless you put God's word within you and learn to follow His leading. It is His words and His leading that give us life and life abundantly... then we are walking in Him. Then we are abiding in Him and He in us.
Do not be taken in by the zealot nor the slothful person. They both need to come to a better understanding of the way of God. While you wait for the moving of God observe what He is doing and then move when He does, fulfilling your part of the work. Take the time to talk to Him about your struggles and questions, your victories and answers. Remember that He is a Person and that you have His words. Take Him by the hand and walk with Him. Then you will bear fruit.
go to: www.christianmuse.com
Please, if you copy a page with scripture ref´, you must include the notice below, thanks.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ´Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000.´
Website administrator: Joseph A Raymond
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada