We’ve been talking about letting God’s truth abide in us. If we do, we have a promise. “Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise that He has promised us—eternal life.” (1 Jn 2:24-25)
Eternal life is life that never ends, but the essential factor about eternal life is not quantity, but quality. What John is speaking of here is not merely something we are going to get in heaven someday, but it is something we can experience and enjoy now. It is fullness of life, the full quality of divine life lived out in our situation, right now, and increasing in fullness of enjoyment forever. In other words, eternal life is the daily adventure of experiencing God’s solution to every problem instead of our own. It is the discovery of God’s program for every opportunity, instead of ours. Every time we are confronted with a problem, there are two things we can do.
In the weakness of our own intellect, relying upon our own human resources, we can try to work out the problem. When we do, the result is inevitably the same. Life dissipates into a drabness, a boredom, a routine that leaves us utterly uninterested and desiring to be uninvolved. That is our program. It’s where we allow anxiety and depression to rule our emotions because of what our finite vision can see in the here and now.
Or we can have God’s solution to any problem or any opportunity. In any situation we can say, “Lord, You are in me, and You have come in me to live through me. This situation has been brought about by your planning and your programming, or my actions in my free will you generously give. Father, I wouldn’t have the opportunity to do it any other way if it were not for you. Now, Lord, do through me what you want to do with it.”
Then we watch to see what God does, and we become instantly available to Him to move in whatever direction it looks like the situation demands. As we do, we discover that His program begins to unfold in that situation. Every obstacle becomes a glorious opportunity to display the fullness of glory, wisdom, and power that is in the God who has come to live and make His home within us. Let’s look at His promise in Eph 3:20: “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to [His] power that works in us”.
Ray Steadman tells about looking at that verse as a young Christian. “Does God really offer to do for me beyond that which I can ever ask or think at this moment? That’s fantastic! I can ask a lot of life. I can dream and imagine a great many wonderful experiences that I would love to have, to bring satisfaction to my life and heart. I even had the program outlined in my mind, just how God could do it. But as I look back across these thirty years, I can see that God did not take my program and do it my way, but He has abundantly fulfilled the promise. My life is richer than I ever dreamed it would be when I was a young Christian.”
If we are ready to give ourselves to the Word of God, to let it possess us, to understand it, and to obey it—if that which we heard from the beginning abides in us, we also will abide in the Son and in the Father. The experience of that is eternal life!
Father, grant to me, through all the feeble searchings of my heart, the discovery of eternal life in my everyday experience. Lord, give me the desire to seek You first, so that I follow Your program for my life, instead of my own. Thank You for this reminder, Your love and Your gentle prodding to live my life as You intended. In the precious name of Jesus, amen.
Source: The Living Word by Ray Steadman