Monday, March 15, 2010

Casual Visits or Abiding

by Neville Johnson

John 15:4 - Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
5 - I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
7 - If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

Most Christians have walk with the Lord that is at its best casual. They come to the Lord maybe once or twice a day to pray or to ask Him for something, and that is about the extent of their walk with the lord. Most find it difficult to maintain an awareness of the Lord. The bible makes very clear the importance of abiding in the Lord.

Only when we are in the presence of the Lord can we truly understand. God looks at things very different to us; we look at things from the perspective of the natural mind which the bible tells us is an enemy of living and seeing as God sees.

Romans 8:7 - Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

The word enmity in this verse means; echthra, ekh'-thrah; ; hostility; by impl. a reason for opposition:--enmity, hatred.

The natural mind is our enemy when it comes to walking with God

It is only when we are in the presence of the Lord that we see clearly. The manifest presence of the Lord overshadows the natural mind. Now we need to understand that when I use the phrase the “the manifest presence of the Lord” I mean a presence that can be discerned and felt. When we are in the manifest presence of the Lord there is a feel that witnesses to this.

The Lord is always with us

He said that He would never leave us, and never means never.

Psalms 139:8 - If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.
9 - If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;
10 - Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.

The problem is not in getting the Lord to come to us, it is getting us to come to Him. We are distinctly told that we are to come to Him.

James 4:8 - Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.
Hebrews 4:16 - Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

The Lord is always with us, however most of the time we are not aware of Him simply because we don’t draw near to Him. If we want to hear the voice of the Lord we have to be in His presence, we have to draw near to him. When Peter took his eyes of the Lord, he lost the reality of the Lords presence and began to sink. Most Christians take their eyes of the Lord for most of their day. To come to the Lord only when we need something is quite insulting. If you only spoke to your friend when you wanted something, that friendship is not going to last. The manifest presence of the Lord can become addictive however I learnt that when I tried to maintain the feeling of the presence I lost it. The reason was that I was seeking the feeling and not the reason for it which is the Lord Himself.

Living in His presence requires discipline

We must include the Lord in whatever we are doing, talk to Him about what you are doing, He is interested in everything we do. I love talking to the Lord about cars; I was in a shopping center recently where there was the latest Jaguar car on display and we had a great conversation about it, about the engineering and style etc. The Lord is interested in everything we get up to and loves to talk about those things with us. Include the Lord in your day; don’t shut Him out of your day. He is with you all day, so talk to Him.

The more you turn to the Lord the more real He will become to you

A Man by the name of brother Lawrence who lived in the middle ages wrote a book called. The Practice of the presence of God, if you have not read it you need to get the book. (Available from Amazon .com.)

Use the eyes of your heart

The Apostle Paul told us to look at things which are invisible.

2 Corinthians 4:18 - While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
Colossians 3:1 - If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
2 - Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.

We need to use the eyes of our heart to cross over to the realm in which the Lord dwells.

Ephesians 1:18 - The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,

The word eyes, in this verse, is the Greek word dianoia, which means; deep thought, the faculty of the mind in its exercise of imagination,

As we set our heart and mind upon the Lord we enter this invisible realm and the more we turn to the Lord in this way the more real He will become. If we start to live by what we see with the eyes of our heart, which are the windows into the realm where the Lord dwells, He will become more real to us and we can come to His throne of grace at any time. The more you come to the Lord the more real He will become. This discipline of not shutting the Lord out of your day is vital to your walk with Him. To abide in Him means you must turn to Him constantly, include Him in everything you do, talk to him as you would to a close friend. When your motive is to know the Lord, and to become like Him He promises this to you.

Matthew 7:9 - Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?
10 - Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?
11 - If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

Learning to abide in the Lord must become a quest where we seek those things which are above where the Lord dwells learning to walk with Him in obedience and love

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