Abiding life. We have much to discover in the great treasury of our birthright in our Lord Jesus. As we move on in our spiritual journey, we discover, and uncover, more and more about Him as He reveals Himself to us. Once we knew about Him, but He places in us a desire to know Him as He really is. The Incorruptible Seed was placed within us when we were born again. In the right environment the seed germinates and blossoms, and that divine life in us seeks to know Jesus as He really is. The things we once loved pale into insignificance in the light of His beauty, purity , holiness. Words fail to express the height and depth of His love, grace, mercy and faithfulness of His character and glory. This wonderful life in Christ is our birthright through Calvary, but we have to learn how to abide in Him.
Ephesians 4 declares God’s eternal purpose. We do well here to take time out to read the whole of the chapter, even if we are familiar with it. Verse 13 refers to the goal: “Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ”.
“The measure…..” Jesus Christ is the divine Builder of His physical Church and He measures everything in our lives with His measuring device. Everything must fit perfectly according to the divine pattern that He is central to. He is our Pattern. He is preparing His living stones to be “fitly framed together” to become one building where He is comfortable to live and dwell – to abide.
Ephesians 4:11 speaks of the necessity of spiritual gifts in the building of the Body of Christ….UNTIL….it comes to fullness. In fullness every man will fade into the background and only Jesus will be seen.
A visiting preacher was once asked, “Brother, what gifts would you say operate through you?” After some thought, the preacher replied: “I don’t make claim to any particular gift, but I know that the Giver of all gifts resides in me and He can manifest in any gift at any time”. Many people received an impartation from Christ through that man. The Abiding Life flows from heaven, through an earthly vessel to meet man’s need of Christ, and God alone is glorified, as the man used as a channel fades into the background.
As my nature is replaced by Christ’s, what He has put in me, flows from me. A river flows and the beauty of Jesus is seen. The glorious life of Another, the Lord Jesus Christ, operates through the earthen vessel as it surrenders to his Lord. A wheel goes round because it IS a wheel, NOT to become a wheel.
The more we get get to know our beloved Jesus, the more our hearts desire Him. His love has ruined us for anything to satisfy us but Himself. Of course, the flesh life still wars against the divine nature, but Jesus has shown us the way of surrender and humility to deal with its craving for significance. In Christ we have the victory and our flesh life dies daily by our personal choices. Jesus made the way and continues to show me the narrow way, the way less trodden that leads to the joy and peace of His abiding life….in me!…miracle of miracles, oh hallelujah!….the Comforter abides in me when I meet His terms and conditions. In surrender I find God’s terms are not grievous to me, but a joy as He dwells comfortably in me….abiding. Here in this position I am lost and found in Him. The problems arise when I come out of that abiding covering and begin to listen to a murmuring heart that is out of order. I need to retreat quickly to the shelter of abiding under the shadow of the Almighty again.
Luke 9: 51-56 records the account of Jesus and His disciples not being welcomed in a Samaritan village. James and John ignorantly asked Jesus if they should call down fire from heaven to consume them, as Elijah had done on one occasion. Jesus rebuked them. Verses 55-56 “He turned and rebuked them and said, “You know not what manner of spirit you are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy lives, but to save them.” And they went to another village.”
When I find someone who opposes what I believe to be truth, am I ready then to “call down fire” on that person? Jesus rebuked His disciples because they were operating in a spirit from the Pit. God’s nature is to win people and operate in love. I am commanded to love the person, but I do not have to bow to the spirit they are operating in. I need to clearly see and discern the difference. The Abiding Life of Christ loves unconditionally, but discerns Satan’s plan to bring disunity to divide and conquer.
The Lord will not commit Himself to disunity and schisms, nor tolerate it in His Body.
David repented before the Lord and in anguish of soul prayed, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a RIGHT spirit within me”, Psalm 51:10.
The Spirit of God is one of excellence in all things, all situations, all relationships. Only when I am abiding in the Vine, the Lord Jesus, will He manifest through me.
When we have felt the anointing on a word, a revelation, I can make the mistake of believing I have “got” something. Only when I take that word/revelation into the school of life, do I discover that it has to be wrought in me by yielding to the Holy Spirit in practice. The word is born in glory, but grows in gloom in the challenges and checks in the dark places of our walk. The divine Measurer comes to measure to see if all is according to His pattern. Only when we learn to ABIDE in Christ in the face of all difficulties, is God’s work wrought “in”. Then when I really believe I’ve “got it”, I discover that something has “got me”. Christ in me, the hope of glory! The life of Another has empowered me, through surrender, and I find the wonder of “His word working mightily in me”. It is IN me, but not OF me, it’s the life of Jesus Christ flowing unhindered through me.
LET THE RIVER FLOW……Abiding Life! Abundant life!