ABIDING IN CHRIST

 

ABIDE IN CHRIST – FOLLOW COMMANDS

“The progressive renewal of the Holy Spirit leads to growing like-mindedness to Christ; then comes a delicate power of spiritual perception—a holy instinct—by which the soul…knows to recognize the meaning and the application of the Lord’s commands to daily life…” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p156).

“Love will assimilate into your inmost being the commands as food from heaven.  They will no longer come to you as a law standing outside and against you, but as the living power…into perfect harmony with all your Lord requires” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p157).

“As we day by day receive grace from Jesus, and more constantly recognize it as coming from Him, we will behold Him in communion with us, and enjoy communion with Him.  Let us make daily use of our riches and ever go to Him as to our own…taking from Him the supply of all we need with as much boldness as men take money from their own pockets” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, March 15th AM).

“To abide in His love, His mighty, saving, keeping, satisfying love, even as He abode in the Father’s love—surely the very greatness of our calling teaches us that it never can be a work we have to perform; it must be with us as with Him, the result of the spontaneous outflowing of a life from within, and the mighty inworking of the love from above…” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p150-151).

“And if even for a moment the commandments appear grievous, just remember whose they are” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p157).  (And commands that seem hard are because I’m thinking of myself—not the One who loves me and I love back).

ABIDING IN CHRIST

UNNOTICED ABIDING

“It is only into the thirst of an empty soul that the streams of living waters flow.  Ever thirsting is the secret of never thirsting” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p109).

FATHER, what joy I experience ever thirsting.  This You have provided without any action on my part but waiting, surrendered in Your presence.  In this waiting my soul is learning how to abandon itself completely to the keeping of CHRIST (Jude 1:21) Andrew Murray (ref#266, p109).  “It is because Jesus has taken hold of me, and because Jesus keeps me, that I dare to say: Saviour, I abide in Thee” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p28).

“Abiding in Jesus is not a work that needs each moment the mind to be engaged, or the affections to be directly and actively occupied with it.  It is an entrusting of oneself to the keeping of the Eternal Love, in the faith that it will abide near us, and with its holy presence watch over us and ward off the evil, even when we have to be most intently occupied with other things.  And so the heart has rest and peace and joy in the consciousness of being kept when it cannot keep itself….We are in Christ, kept in Him by His almighty power….Our abiding in Jesus is even more than a fellowship of love—it is a fellowship of life” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p88-89).

FATHER, as I continue to write these posts I see more and more that abiding in CHRIST is much out of my hands—that, You, as Everlasting Love, draw me like a magnet ever to You.  It’s all about You; You have chosen me and will keep me as with a magnet strong enough that either of us can ever separate ourselves from each other (Rom 8:37-39).

ABIDING IN CHRIST

UNITED AT THE CROSS

“Abide in Christ: and your cross becomes the means of fellowship with His cross” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p125).

“…the Calvary road is where everyone meets Jesus…” John Piper (ref#92, p94).

FATHER, the Cross is where I meet CHRIST; it is the place where I can reach out my hand and touch His for it is there He was obedient in His suffering (Heb 5:8) and, being tempted as I, able to sympathize with my weakness (Heb 4:15).  Truly He proved He is the SON of Man and is still the SON of Man abiding in me.  FATHER, You have showered upon me grace upon grace by giving Your Son.  “He can be nearer to me than anything in the world…” Andrew Murray (ref#272, p41).

On the Cross the Son of God enters into the fullest union with man—enters into the fullest experience of what it says to have become a son of man, a member of a race under the curse” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p77).

“…my curse pointed Him to the Cross as the only place where He could be fully united to me, His blessing points me to the Cross too as the only place where I can be united to Him” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p78).

“…there is but one place which is both His and mine—that place is the Cross.  His in virtue of His free choice; mine by reason of the curse of sin.  He came there to seek me; there alone I can find Him.  When He found me there, it was the place of cursing; this He experienced, for ‘cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.’  He made it a place of blessing; this I experienced, for Christ has delivered us from the curse, being made a curse for us.  When Christ comes in my place, He remains what He was, the beloved of the Father; but in the fellowship with me He shares my curse and dies my death.  When I stand in His place, which is still always mine, I am still what I was by nature, the accused one, who deserves to die; but as united to Him, I share His blessing, and receive His life” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p78).

“He took my cross for His own; I must take His Cross as my own…” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p78).

ABIDING IN CHRIST

CHRIST MY SANCTIFICATION

As a new Christian I was anxious to begin my journey toward holiness (sanctification).  I thought of it like a box that I was commissioned to fill up with activities that where like CHRIST.  That seemed logical to me.

As I filled the box I figured I’d become more and more Christ-like.  Instead, I became more and more prideful and found little joy.  (FYI.  The joy of being a successful Christian is so short lived!)

“A superficial acquaintance with God’s plan leads to the view that while justification is God’s work…sanctification is our work, to be performed under the influence of the gratitude we feel for the deliverance we have experienced” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p62).  “…we commonly think that we must get an holy frame by producing it anew in ourselves, and by pursing it and working it out of our own heart” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p67).

“The establishing in Christ is His work…But this He can do with power only as we cease interrupting Him by our self-working…” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p82).  We are simply to receive that holy frame of spirit that is in CHRIST—to take it to ourselves. (ref#266, p67).

“There is no other way of our becoming holy, but by becoming partakers of the holiness of Christ.  And there is no other way of this taking place than by our personal spiritual union with Him, so that through His Holy Spirit His holy life flows into us”  Andrew Murray (ref#266, p62).

“…the Father…has grafted the life of Christ on your life.  That holy life is mightier than your evil life…that new life can keep down the working of the evil life within you” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p65).

“…the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ…” (Rom 6:23 ESV, italics mine).  Eternal life is not through CHRIST, but in CHRIST.

FATHER, let me get it in my head again—it’s being not doing.  By fellowshipping with Christ I become like Him.  The difference between being and doing is this: when I pick out some noble thing to do and work at it, it is me alone trying to be holy, but if I continually seek to be in CHRIST’s presence, anything I do will be Christlike.

HOLY SPIRIT

ABIDING WITH THE SPIRIT

“…the Holy Spirit…God has given to those who obey him” (Acts 5:32 ESV).

“The Spirit of God undertakes the achievement of an amazing work.  He enters the soul, and proposes to restore the empire of grace, the reign of holiness, and the throne of God.  He works to form all things anew, to create a revolution in favor of Christ and heaven.  He undertakes to change the heart, turning its enmity into love; to collect all the elements of darkness and confusion, changing them into perfect light and perfect order; to subdue the will, bringing it into harmony with God’s will; to explore all the recesses of sin, turning its very impurity into holiness; in a word, to regenerate the soul, restoring the divine image and fitting it for the full and eternal enjoyment of God in glory” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, July 4th).

So, first I have to make a habit of asking the FATHER daily for the SPIRIT.  Then I have to make a habit of recognizing often throughout the day His presence with me.  Then I have to discipline my actions to parallel the FATHER’s.

It’s just like possessing a new nature.  It can’t be in me latent but I must work it into my activities—use it—depend on it.  FATHER, my goal is to cast out my humanness and rely on the SPIRIT’s direction.

Refusing human fleshly thoughts will be a constant battle the rest of my life.  But practice leads toward perfectness.  I will never get there but the process (progression) will bring me more and more joy.  FATHER, thank You for the HOLY SPIRIT who brings You to me and takes my praise back to You.

Matthew, speaking of JESUS says “…He will ignite the kingdom life within you, a fire within you, the Holy Spirit within you, changing you from the inside out. He’s going to clean house—make a clean sweep of your lives. He’ll place everything true in its proper place before God; everything false he’ll put out with the trash to be burned”(Matt 3:11-12 MSG).