“He that saith he abideth in him, ought himself also so to walk, even as
he walked.” 1 John 2:6
“What is it “to abide” in Him. Many earnest souls have known much distress
just here. They have been told that “to abide” in Him means to be always
occupied with Him. Now I make bold to say, this is an unattainable
counsel of perfection.
We are in the world, and however [ diligent & dedicated]
we may be to keep the world out of us, we are charged with engrossing
duties calling for the utmost concentration of mind, heart and hand.
We cannot be in conscious constant occupation with Him. I do not so
understand that great word [“abiding”]..
For a moment think of that other phrase—“in Him.” What does that mean?
Ephesians explains it. “In Christ Jesus” is the sphere of the Christian life.
That is where grace has put him. We have not to concern ourselves about
getting that place: we are there. Now, what is “abiding in Him?” Why,
simply having nothing apart from Him, living in the sphere of the things which
interest Christ; bringing Him into the sphere of all our necessary occupations,
joys and innocent pleasures down here; having no business in which He is
not senior Partner; no wedding feast or other feast at which He is not chief
Guest, no failures which are not brought to Christ for forgiveness and cleansing.
What is John’s test of such a life? In degree, though not as perfectly, it
will be a walk even as He walked. It will lead along the same road; it will
encounter the same trials, enlist the same sympathies. “
“Knowing about God is one thing: knowing God is quite another. Job’s
confession illustrates this:
“I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear:” Job 42:5
and upon the hearing there had come to Job a true faith, a faith which
had withstood tremendous shocks. Well, we all begin there. Our saving
faith is based on testimony. But Job goes on:
“but now mine eye seeth thee.” Job 42:5
A very different matter. Are we then content to remain with a hearsay
knowledge of God? By no means. In the 17th chapter of John, our Lord
tells us that the ultimate end of the gift of eternal life is that we may know
Him. He is our Father, and can our hearts rest with anything short of that
personal knowledge of Him of which John speaks? At this point, John’s
test of spirituality is not to discourage a true knowledge of God, but to
expose a false assumption of such knowledge. What is the test?
“He that saith, I know him, and kept not his commandments, is a liar,”
1 John 2:4
It is not sinless obedience, but it is a heart set to live in the known will
of God. Such a one will have many a failure, but, though often stumbling,
he will keep on. The needle in the compass is often deflected by influences
about it— it trembles and is unquiet, but it resumes its steady alignment with
the object of its devotion. Now a life aligned to the will of God, is in the way
to know God. It is not an arbitrary requirement. In no other way, to
no other man, can God reveal Himself. Paul’s prayer for the Colossians
runs along that road:
“That ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and
spiritual understanding; ….increasing in the knowledge of God; “ Col. 1:9-10