Tuesday, August 22, 2017

"The Indwelling and the Following"

"The Indwelling and the Following"      

    When Scripture calls us to be "followers of God, as dear children," the meaning involves a very different process of following than we usually consider.

    "I will dwell in them and walk in them" (II Corinthians 6:16).

    We normally follow someone from a distance.  We may be very near to the one who pilots the path, but still a gap exists between ourselves and our guide.  This is not the case in our relationship with God.  By His indwelling Holy Spirit, our Lord walks with and within us as we follow.  He enables as well as directs our journeys.  During His earthly lifetime, the Lord Jesus Christ lived accordingly: "I seek not Mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent Me… I live by the Father… the Father which dwelleth in Me, He doeth the works" (John 5:30; John 6:57; John 14:10).  The Son followed the Father, who dwelt within the Son by the Holy Spirit, guiding and enabling every step of His sublime life of love, truth, and grace.  The same dynamic leading and following now applies to God's trusting sons and daughters in Christ.  By His Spirit and His Word, the Lord guides as we seek to walk in His footsteps.  However, we also realize our utter need for God's strength for the journey - "Without Me, ye can do nothing" (John 15:5).  Every step requires such grace, including the next one.  Thankfully, grace is always present for believers, the grace of our Lord's presence, life, and promise of enabling - "I can do all things through Christ which strengthenth me" (Philippians 4:13).

   "My soul followeth hard after thee" declared the Psalmist (Psalm 63:8).  However, David also knew God's grace well enough to affirm, "Thy right hand upholdeth me."  For born again believers in the present dispensation, such grace is even more present and dynamic.  God's Spirit now dwells within us.  Thus, we are not only upheld by the Divine hand, but inhabited by the heart of God.  Through Christ's life, death, resurrection, and ascension, the great Follower of the Father made possible such a life of following for all who believe.  We do well to consider such a gift that involves the imminent presence of God and our calling to walk the path He lays before us.  Indeed, when the Apostle John calls us to walk as the Lord Jesus walked, he beckons us to a life of following as made possible by His indwelling.  This includes every step of the journey, including the one at hand…

"I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live.  Yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.  And the life I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who lived me and gave Himself for me."
(Galatians 2:20)

Weekly Memory Verse 
   For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
(Ephesians 2:10)

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