Teach Us How
2He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. 3And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. 4Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, 5but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: 6whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked. —1 John 2:2-6
How beautiful the thought of a life always abiding in Christ! The longer we think of it, the more attractive it becomes. And yet how often it is that the precious words, “Abide in me” (John 15:4) are heard by the young disciple with a sigh! It is as if he understands so little what they really mean and can realize so little how this full enjoyment can be attained. He longs for someone who could make it perfectly clear and continually remind him that the abiding is indeed within his reach. If such a one would but listen to the word we have from John this day, what hope and joy it would bring! It gives us the divine assurance that we have the anointing of the Holy Spirit to teach us all things, also to teach us how to abide in Christ.
Alas, someone answers, this word does not give me comfort, it only depresses me more. For it tells of another privilege I so little enjoy: I do not understand how the teaching of the Spirit is given—where or how I can discern His voice. If the Teacher is so unknown, no wonder the promise of His teaching about the abiding does not help me much.
Thoughts like these come from an error which is very common among believers. They imagine that the Spirit, in teaching them, must reveal the mysteries of the spiritual life first to their intellect, and afterwards in their experience. And God’s way is just the contrary of this. What holds true of all spiritual truth is especially true of the abiding in Christ: we must live and experience truth in order to know it. Life fellowship with Jesus is the only school for the science of heavenly things. “What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter” (John 13:7 KJV) is a law in the kingdom, especially true of the daily cleansing of which it first was spoken, and the daily keeping. Receive what you do not comprehend, submit to what you cannot understand, accept and expect what to reason appears a mystery, believe what looks impossible, walk in the way you know not—such are the first lessons in the school of God. “If you abide in My word, you will understand the truth”—in these and other words of God we are taught that there is a habit of mind and life which precedes the understanding of the truth. True discipleship consists in first following and then knowing the Lord. —Andrew Murray
- What has been my experience of how the Holy Spirit teaches me?
- Does the fact that the Holy Spirit teaches me how to abide in Christ encourage or discourage me? Why?
Prayer - Dear Father, help me rejoice in the confidence that I must succeed in my desire to abide in Christ because the Holy Spirit is working with secret but divine power in my soul which isn’t hindered by my unbelief. Thank You that You sent a Teacher to encourage me to step out in faith as I learn how to abide in Your through Your precious Word. In Jesus’ name, Amen.