Abiding

Many, many Christians testify as to how God is speaking to them, or, “giving them a word.” Some go so far as to continually use the phrase, “Thus says the Lord,” or speak in first person as if God is speaking directly through them. Such histrionics rarely carry the anointing of the Holy Spirit. The entire concept of “God giving a word to us” must give way to a higher revelation of the Lord. The central theme of God’s purpose for us is “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Yes, God fills the heavens and is omnipresent, but He has chosen to make his abode and resting place IN us. Such phrases as “getting a word from God” reflect a relationship with God apart from us. God speaking as a separate entity is deeply ingrained in us. It is part of the religious, fallen nature of Adam.

How did Jesus relate to the Father?

John 10
8  Philip *said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.
9  Jesus *said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?
10  “Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works.
11  “Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves.

Jesus tells us in John 15 that the exact same relationship He had with the Father is to be replicated in us.

1 ¶  “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.
2  “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.
3  “You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.
4  “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.
5  “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.
6  “If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned.
7  “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
8  “My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.

Learning to abide in Him, and Him in us, eliminates the pretentiousness of religion. Jesus never said, “Thus says the Lord.” Jesus never emphasized that He was speaking “a mighty word from God.” He simply spoke. Jesus’ words were always left up to the hearer to discern. At times, Jesus spoke, “He who has ears, let him hear.” Jesus never tried to convince anyone of anything. Jesus told the Pharisees, “Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word.” We do not need to embellish God’s word with a religious emphasis to make people understand it’s God speaking. People will either hear or they won’t. Having such a mindset gives room for the dealings of God in a person’s life if they cannot hear the word. When we emphatically tell someone it’s “God speaking,” and that person cannot hear the word, we have forced that person to either accept something that God has not made real to them, or reject it. Either way, the open door for that word to work in that person’s life is removed.

The word of Christ will flow naturally from us as we learn to abide in Him. The religious need to separate ourselves from His word with an unnecessary emphasis on “God speaking,” will disappear. Ironically, the higher the level of God’s word through us, the less dramatic it will be.

I know people who feel as if “God is never speaking to them,” yet, they discern accurately again and again the true from the false. Others, who make a great fanfare of God speaking and giving them words, miss the mark again and again. How is all of this so? It is the inward Christ in us who bears witness to the truth. Jesus said in John 7:

17  “If anyone is willing to do His will, he will know of the teaching, whether it is of God or whether I speak from Myself.
18  “He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who is seeking the glory of the One who sent Him, He is true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.

It is the humble of heart and who are little in their own sight that shall inherit the kingdom. Did not Jesus say as much when He said, “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”

Let us have confidence in Jesus Christ abiding in us. Let us recognize that our capacity to see accurately is because Christ is, in fact, “speaking” IN us. In this day of abiding in Him, the greatest revelation we will ever have will be the unfolding word of Christ in us. God is not speaking in the theatrics of religion, but in the uncovering of His word in us as we abide in Christ.

 

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