Do we really abide?
In any battle, whether it’s a school academic competition, dealing with a market competitor at work, in a sports game or in a military warfare we heavily rely for coaching or strategic direction coming from our mentors, leaders, coaches or generals. And we have consistent communication and an established relationships to these persons we are dependent on. Do we fight this battle with our leaders involved in the inside our sports courts closely and openly show them the situation? Do we abide to our coaches instructions or we leave them out of the game?
Similar to our spiritual life, as we wear God’s armor we should always connect to the vine through prayer (Eph 6). Even Jesus’ ministry of healing and preaching was growing, Jesus himself prioritized his life in having the quiet time with the father above his ministries (Mark1, Mt14, Lk5). The apostles as well saw how important prayer is as this is the only thing they asked of Jesus; not to do miracles, not to preach, but the apostles asked Jesus how to Pray (Lk11).
God’s communication lines are always open. It is us with the distractions in this world makes us spend time with him. Like in every game there are time-outs, quarter breaks, and half time every 90mins or less. How about you how often do you spend your quiet time with Jesus? How often do you encounter him. Is our relationship transactional (only when we want) or we may have a prayer life but we have a hidden agenda by only looking to our glory rather than God’s glory? Do we abide to his will as we pray?
In our relationship with God, through our prayers, we have been either encountering God, or learning more about God, or obeying Gods will and recalibrating to His heart. We normally start our Christian Encounter through the joy of God’s salvation. Sometimes we encounter God through trials, stillness, or people’s circumstance. Every time we encounter something in life we should think more of God and less of us. And through this encounter we research within the Bible why this is happening to us. As we read his Word, we further understand God’s love and faithfulness in our live and with that we love God more.
We naturally get closely dependent to the vine, as God is our source of all goodness. God’s word and will is connected in our hearts. This makes us obedient to his will (John15). The Father’s will is simple to Love him of our 100% (Mt22) and love our neighbor as ourselves, as love is the fulfilment of his laws/commandments (Rom13).
When we abide to Jesus’ heart, and falling in love to God more when we further encounter Him and learn more about Him. Though the Holy Spirit or hearts are being calibrated to the appropriate measure, to the appropriate standard the one who is perfect, God’s heart. As we in our walk of prayer in obedience the more our hearts are aligned to God’s will, and as we pray we will be asking for His will take precedence and His Glory to be prioritized.
It is through surrender and on our knees we are more powerful in this battle through the Father’s grace. Jesus showed the best example for prayer and obedience at the Garden of Gethsemane. It would just be easier for Jesus to be a a Military Messiah as a savior. But the Father want’s Jesus to be tortured, beaten and die the most humiliating way possible. Jesus’s prayer was:
Jesus in his way to his crucifixion knelt down many times and did not disconnect with the Father in the middle of pain and suffering. This pain that he bore for us was due to our disobedience. Jesus surrendered his life and resurrected just for us to have the victory in this battle as well. We by ourselves cannot do all of this. We need to empty ourselves of our own righteousness and surrender this battle to the Holy Spirit. Like what Jesus did, as we are empty we allow the Holy Spirit to fill us and be seen in us in this spiritual warfare.
Questions to reflect on:
When are the toughest times to pray to God, how did you resolved the reconnection?
Give an example of something you have asked to God but God made an encounter for to align to his will rather than your will?
Has God ever directed you to do something that seemed impossible? What was it and how did you respond to it?
In what areas of your life do you have the most difficulty obeying God? What did you do about it?
What / who are or were your greatest hurdles in abiding in Christ? Explain further and how did or will you triumph over these hurdles?
What are you doing today that is a reflection of your will and not God’s will?
What steps are you taking today to be Christ-like in your obedience?
Who in the church or in your family is helping you take these steps of obedience on a daily basis?