by Vikki Lim
Staff at YWAM Perth
Abiding in Jesus is like learning to drive a car. Two years ago I sat in the driver’s seat for the first time. Within the first hour, I mounted a kerb along the highway and jammed the brake. I clenched the steering wheel tightly, focusing intensely on how much to tilt it left or right to stay in the centre of the winding road. My driving instructor then calmly said to me, “You need to look up.”
“You are too focused on your hands and the ground in front of you. You need to look ahead to where you are going. You do not need to think about how much to turn the wheel. If you look up at where you are going, your hands will adjust accordingly. ”The moment my eyes focused on where I was going instead of my own hands, staying on course became almost effortless. All I needed was to adjust my vision.
by Richard Blake
Base leader at YWAM Perth
As we come to the end of a year, it is a time to reflect on what God has done and an opportunity to thank Him. As the scriptures encourage us to give thanks at all times, we never want to forget to be thankful to our Jesus. Just like the disciples on the road to Emmaus we have grown in our understanding of Him as we have walked with Him. There are so many reasons to pursue friendship with Jesus; His worthiness, perspective on our lives and the process of becoming more like Him are only a few of many things God shows us as we abide in Him.
He is worthy
All of us who have given our hearts to Jesus can probably recollect the moment in time when we encountered Him. Whatever it was of Him that we experienced – His mercy, His glory, His pure love – it was so staggeringly real and glorious that we had to respond with, “yes, yes, I want to be with you.” When we recognise how beautiful our God is, how wonderful, and how there is none like Him, what other response could we have?
When we draw near to Him we behold Him. We discover how glorious He is as we contemplate the nature of His love. Jesus came to save us from the mess we have gotten ourselves into.
He was obedient through pain, suffering, and humiliation, even to death, because He saw something greater; fulfilling the desires of the Father’s heart. And that desire is that we would be reconciled to Him.
The Apostle Paul considered the Lord’s loving pursuit of us in his letter to the Roman churches. Paul tells us that God made plainly known His “eternal power and divine nature ever since the beginning of creation, in the things that have been made” (Romans 1:20 ESV). He did this so that we would know Him. But He is not just the creator of the heavens and the earth, but a personal God who sustains us through His intimate presence. God’s great desire is that we would worship Him and enter into communion with Him.
Finding who we are
As we discover more of His living, infinite personality, we find our way. If someone asked “What is your name?” you would be able to tell them. But you did not always know your name. There was a time when you couldn’t even say it let alone write it. But just as someone taught you your true name, the Father longs to show you your true self. As Jesus is revealed to us by Holy Spirit, and we identify with Him, we gain an inner knowledge of what it means to be children of God and the confidence in Christ to proclaim “This is who I really am!”
As we grow in our awareness of the presence of Jesus in our lives, remaining in Him, abiding in Him, we gain His perspective.
We see as He would have us see. Fear and anxiety are removed as He guides and directs us.
We become what we behold
This is evident as we watch a child develop and take on the mannerisms of their parents. As we behold Jesus His “…love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgement; because as He is, so also are we in this world.” (1 John 4:17 NASB, emphasis added). It is God’s own promise to us; it is the all-surpassing miracle of what Christ has done for us. Not only are our sins forgiven but through seeing Him we are transformed into His likeness. Because we know Him we will be like Him: “Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.”
(1 John 3:2 NIV, emphasis added)
Our responsibility as we look forward in hopeful expectation is to contemplate, to behold, to pursue greater revelation of Jesus. “And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18 NIV).
The knowledge of God changes us
Just think, we are surrounded by millions of radio signals every day and we don’t even know it. But if we have the right equipment, and we tune in, we can access it all. What a wonder, to think that Jesus fills our lives in millions of ways we don’t even detect. We have the right equipment but we are normally too busy to tune in to Him. What a blessing to notice His presence in our lives. Jesus, the fullness of God expressed in mankind, glorious and holy, says to us: “Remain in me, and I will remain in you.” (John 15:4 NLT)
When we died to ourselves by identifying with His death on the cross,
we took hold of the life He has for
us. St Paul writes, “I have been
crucified with Christ; it is no longer
I who live, but Christ who lives in me.” (Galatians 2:20 NKJV).
Our desire to be with Jesus is what will take us to where we should go.
The great commission is not about fear of punishment or desire for reward. As we abide in Jesus His love abounds in us and the natural overflow is engagement with a world desperately in need. We go for one reason: because He goes and we want to go with him. Let us position our hearts in hopeful expectation of beholding Jesus this coming year.
This article was published in the
January 2018 edition of Westcoast News.
Read the other articles from this edition: