1 John 2:27 “The anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you . . . and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.”
A life always abiding in Jesus is a beautiful thought. The more we think about it the more attractive it becomes. Yet how often it is that the words “abide in me” in John 15:4 are heard by young Christians with a sigh as if they understand so little about what it really means and they realize so little about how abiding in Jesus can be attained. God’s way is just the opposite of what we think. What is true of all spiritual truth is especially true of abiding in Jesus: 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) is a law of the kingdom, especially true of the daily cleansing of which it was first 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 a way that you know not, these 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 there is a habit of mind and life that precedes the understanding of the truth. True discipleship consists first in following and then knowing the Lord Jesus. Believing surrender to Jesus and submission to His Word to expect what appears most improbable is the only way to the full blessedness of knowing Him.
These principles hold especially good in regard to the teaching of the Spirit. That teaching consists in His guiding the spiritual life within us to what God has prepared for us, without our always knowing how. On the strength of God’s promise, and trusting in His faithfulness, the believer gives himself to the leading of the Holy Spirit, without claiming to have it first made clear to the intellect what he is to do, but consenting to let Him do His work in the soul and afterward to know what He did there. Faith trusts the working of the Spirit unseen in the deep recesses of the inner life. And so the Word of Jesus and the gift of the Spirit are, to the believer enough guarantee that he will be taught by the Spirit to abide in Jesus. By faith he rejoices in what he does not see or feel; he knows and is confident the Spirit within him is doing His work silently, but surely, guiding him into the life full of abiding and unbroken communion. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus; it is His work, not just to breathe, but to foster and strengthen, and perfect the new life within. And the believer gives himself in simple trust to the unseen but certain law of the Spirit of life working within him, his faith becomes knowledge. It will be rewarded by the Spirit’s light revealing in the Word what has already been done by the power of the Spirit in the life.