Philippians 3:12 “Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.”
Many Christians shrink away from a life of unbroken fellowship with Jesus. We are so occupied with the things of this life it just does not make any sense to even consider a life of unbroken fellowship with Jesus. The more we hear of this life, the deeper our sense of its glory and blessedness, and there is nothing that we would not sacrifice to be made partakers of it. But we are too weak, too unfaithful, we can never attain it.
Abiding in Jesus is not for the strong, it is for the weak. It does not demand the doing of some great thing or that we must first lead a holy and devoted life. Our part is simply to yield, to trust, and to wait for what He has said He would perform for us.
It is this quiet expectation and confidence, resting on the word of God that in Him an abiding place is prepared, that is so sadly lacking among Christians. We will not take the time or trouble to realize that when He said “Abide in me”, He offered Himself, the Keeper of Israel who neither sleeps nor slumbers, with all His power and love, as the living home of the soul, where the influences of His grace will be stronger than all our feebleness to lead us astray. The idea we have of grace is this: our conversion and pardon are God’s work, but we are to work and live as Christians and follow Jesus. There is always the thought of a work that has to be done, and even though we pray for help, the work is still ours. We fail constantly and we become hopeless and the helplessness only gets worse.
It was Jesus that drew you when He said “Come”, and it is Jesus that keeps you when He says “abide.” The grace to come and the grace to abide are both from Him only.
Listen to the voice of Jesus. He says, “In me is your place, in my almighty arms. It is I who loves you, who says ‘Abide in me’, surely you can trust me.” The voice of Jesus in your soul calls for the response “Yes, Jesus. In You, I can, I will abide.”
The connection between the work of Jesus and our work is expressed beautifully in the words of Paul: “I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.” It was because Paul knew that Jesus had taken hold of him with the purpose of making Paul one with Himself and Paul did his utmost to grasp that glorious prize. The faith, the experience, the full assurance “Christ has apprehended me,” gave him the courage and the strength to go on and apprehend that for which he was apprehended.
Fix your eyes on that which He has apprehended you for. It is nothing less than a life of abiding, unbroken fellowship with Himself. All that you have already received, pardon and peace, the Spirit and His grace are all preliminary to this. And all that you can see in the future, holiness and glory everlasting, are the natural outcome. Union with Himself and with the Father, is the highest object. Fix your eyes on this and gaze until it stands out clearly unmistakably before you: Jesus’s aim is to have us abiding in Him.
“Jesus, if You call me, and if You lift me up to keep me there, I will go. Trembling, but trusting, I will say, Jesus, I do abide in You.”
Take time to be along with Him and say this to Him. God’s truth must be acted on. Give yourself to Jesus in surrender, give up yourself to abide in Him. He will work it out in you. You can trust Him to keep trusting and abiding.