But the anointing that you received from Him abides in you (1 John 2:27, ESV).
The more I abide in Jesus, the more confident I am of having peace, power, and provision in my life.
When I move out of God’s presence, I find fear, doubt, and inadequacy.
The difference between following Jesus and all other religions is works. With religion, our efforts try to earn the confidence of God’s favor. But with Jesus, He abides in us because of grace and not our effort.
Let me repeat myself.
God loves us, and if we have prayed to receive Him as Lord and Savior, He abides in us. Even during our unfaithfulness, He is with us.
Jesus gives us this assurance…
“I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So, we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear” (Hebrews 13:5-6).
In our earthly relationships, all of us have experienced rejection. We build emotional barriers behind which we hide the truth about ourselves. We are afraid of what others will think of us.
Jesus loves us and we can worship Him while struggling with inadequacy.
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:15-16).
This sympathy for our weaknesses, resulting in confident abiding, can only be found in Jesus.
All other religious leaders, philosophies, or political agendas lack a “suffering servant” as Lord. Everyone and everything else – other than Jesus – has a “to do” or “must think like this” list to find favor.
When I first heard a teacher say, “We need to abide in Christ,” I was determined to do just that, as I am a goal-oriented person.
I made a list of scripture to memorize, confessed all my sins, decided to fast, and began getting up early in the morning to pray.
I was going to “abide in Christ!”
Early one morning while praying, I heard the Lord say, “You are tired, why did you get up so early?”
My somewhat shocked response, “Because I’m abiding in You!”
His response, “I will always abide in you; you can’t really abide in me of your own works and efforts. Now go back to bed.”
I didn’t expect this conversation.
There is nothing wrong with disciplines of the faith. But abiding means that our disciplines should result from being pursued and caught by Jesus – not as the result of us pursuing God.
We need to abide in Jesus, but listen closely…
Abiding is the result of Jesus pursuing us!!!!
Grace and mercy, brothers and sisters.
Now go take a nap!