Saturday, December 27, 2014

December 27 – Not an exaggeration

If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.  (John 15:7 NKJV)

As kids we’ve all imagined what it would be like to be granted a wish, find a genie in a bottle, a fairy godmother, an elf or leprechaun with magic powers.  With the innocence of childhood to believe in anything, along with that naïve greediness to want everything, we’d picture mountains of candy, worlds of talking toys, and endless summer vacations.  As we’ve gotten older and common sense has kicked in, we know that’s just the stuff of fairy tales.  Real life, for most, is just hard work and hoping for the best.

But here Jesus is promising something that seems too good to be true.  He’s promising that whatever we desire will be done, clear and simple.  If that were so, Christians around the world would be living the most amazing and outstanding lives.  Whatever they desired, they would get.  But we look at our neighbors who might be doing okay, some a little better than the average family, and others less so, and we conclude that Jesus must have been exaggerating.  Worst of all, we look at our own lives with the hidden struggles and urgent needs.  We pray, and then wonder where our answers are.  We silently concede that Jesus really must have been exaggerating. 

But the word of God trumps all else.  God does not exaggerate.  He says, if you abide in Me, and My words abide in you.  That means allowing His nature, Spirit to come alive inside of us.  His Word has to be alive in our heads, convicting and guiding us every day, comforting us and being the first thing we run to when we have a need.  Only a living being can abide somewhere, but many who call themselves Christians treat Jesus and His word as a philosophy that they merely agree with.  Their days are filled with busy work, obligations and responsibilities that keep their minds occupied with “reality.”  They don’t really abide in Him and His word rarely enters their conscious thoughts.  In turn they don’t get what they desire, because their desires are so full of the flesh.  When God graciously grants them a blessing, they’ll even take the credit for themselves.

Just as Jesus asks us to work out our salvation daily, this state of abiding in Him has to be a daily practice when we reign in our impulses and calm our thoughts to make sure that we are abiding, dwelling, living in Him, and His word in us.  Even the most spiritual person has to work at this, and sometimes he’ll miss opportunities from God – not because he’s sinning, but because he has forgotten to simply abide.  I would love to see our desires come true, wouldn’t you?  Jesus is showing us that He desires to grant us what we want.  It’s time that we put abiding in Him as our top priority every single day.

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