ABIDING BETTER THAN OBEYING
“Friendship is rare on earth. It means identify in thought and heart and spirit. The whole discipline of life is to enable us to enter into this closest relationship with Jesus Christ. We receive His blessings and know His word, but do we know Him” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, Jan 7th)?
“In order to maintain this friendship…we have to be more careful of our…relationship to Him than of any other thing, even of obedience. Sometimes there is nothing to obey, the only thing to do is to maintain a vital connection with Jesus Christ, to see that nothing interferes with that….the greater part of the life is not conscious obedience but the maintenance of this relationship…” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, March 25th).
“Conformity to live with God, is a far higher and more divine life than to live simply in submission to God” E. M. Bounds (ref#54, p51-52).
“From eternity Christ and I were ordained for each other; inseparably we belong to each other; it is God’s will; I shall abide in Christ. It is of God I am in Christ Jesus” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p47-48).
“Most essential to the abiding in Christ is the daily renewal of our faith’s assurance, ‘I am in Christ Jesus’” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p43).
FATHER, move my thinking toward abiding instead of obeying. When I think of obeying I default to my natural abilities to carry out Your request. But if I can keep my eyes on JESUS… I will gladly obey because of my love for Him. Obeying is a natural outcome of a loving relationship.
Abiding in CHRIST means to watch and wait—observe and be with Him, and then yield myself to the SPIRIT who will work mightily in me (ref#266, p119).
There are some excellent insights here. If you look at the cross that Jesus died upon, the vertical beam is probably twice as long as the horizontal beam. Our relationship with our heavenly Father (vertical relationship) should be much more important that our relationships with other people (horizontal relationships). We can have great relationships with other people, but if we do not have a relationship with Jesus Christ, we are merely humanists in sheep’s clothing.
If we abide in Christ, the whole world may reject us, but we still have our relationship with our heavenly Father. John the Baptist lived on the other side of the Jordan River. Why? Probably to keep his relationship with the Lord pure and free from worldly temptations. We are not all called to be like John the Baptist, but he did have his priorities straight: he pleased his heavenly Father, even though his earthly ministry did not last that long.
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