ABIDING IN THE SHADOWS

In Luke 2: 41-49, we are told:

 

Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Passover festival.  When Jesus was twelve years old, they attended the festival as usual.  After the celebration was over, they started home to Nazareth, but Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents didn’t miss him at first,  because they assumed he was among the other travelers. But when he didn’t show up that evening, they started looking for him among their relatives and friends.When they couldn’t find him, they went back to Jerusalem to search for him there.  Three days later they finally discovered him in the Temple, sitting among the religious teachers, listening to them and asking questions. All who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. His parents didn’t know what to think. “Son,” his mother said to him, “why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been frantic, searching for you everywhere.”  “But why did you need to search?” he asked. “Didn’t you know that I must be in my Father’s house?” But they didn’t understand what he meant.

The passage tells us that this incident occurred when Jesus was 12.

 

Here, the 12-year-old Jesus is bewildered as to why His parents were worried about His whereabouts.

 

“Where did you expect me to be?”

                 OR

“Where else could I have possibly been?”

 

Was the question that the child Jesus asked, quite perplexed.

 

Luke 3:23 says “Jesus was about thirty years old when he began his public ministry.”

 

Even though the “Miracle Working Jesus” was not made known until age thirty or so, the scripture tells us clearly that “The Son, doing the will of His Father” had always been there. Present. Doing exactly what the Father had called Him to do:

 

ABIDING.

 

As Christians, we often believe that it is only the conscious “thrilling” things of life, are a sign of God’s presence in us.

 

We are only conscious of God when we are in the act of service: preaching, ministering, charity work, prophecy, church work, when we are in prayer and the expectation of answered prayer.

 

However, here was Jesus, years before His public ministry began.

 

When He was just “the carpenter’s son”, faithfully abiding in the will of His Heavenly Father. Behind the scenes. With no audience – except the One who sent Him.

 

Are we zealous in the shadows?

 

Are we faithful in obscurity?

 

Are we abiding in the ordinary, mundane, routine, every day aspects of our lives?

 

Is abiding in Christ as important to us in the menial things as it is in the grand “everyone is looking at me” things?

 

Is abiding in Christ as important to us when we the other driver cuts us off in the road?

 

Is abiding in Christ important when our husband/wife/friend/parent/sibling does not behave in the way that we would prefer them to?

 

Is abiding in Christ important to us when we don’t receive the things we believe are our right to receive?

 

Do we abide in Christ when someone disrespects us? Dishonors us? Cheats us? Wrongs us?

 

Is abiding in Christ important to us when dealing with people we don’t like? Who don’t like us?

 

Is abiding in Christ important to us even if it does not seem like God even hears us? Not to mention giving us what we are asking of Him?

 

Are we abiding in Christ in the drudgery of life? Or are we just barely getting through it?

 

If someone came looking for us in those times, where would they find us?

 

In our “Father’s House” abiding faithfully? Or in “Our own houses” doing as we see fit, while saying “God will understand.”

 

God does not call us to perform miracles. He does not call us to raise the dead, heal the sick or save souls.

 

He calls us to ABIDE IN HIM. OBEY HIM. PLACE HIS WILL ABOVE OUR OWN.

 

It is in the obedience of ABIDING, that He can now use us to raise the dead. Heal the sick. Save souls.

 

Jesus Christ says “I and my Father are one” John 10:30

He also says “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” John 15:4-5.

Jesus is our only example of what it means to Abide in the Father.

                     AT ALL TIMES!

“How is that even possible?” We ask.

He answers:

For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. Philippians 2:13

Not only was Jesus’ life on earth our example, it is He, by His Spirit, who works in us, enabling us to obey the will of The Father”

But He can only work in us when we come to what is called “The end of ourselves”.

Which simply means that “On my best day, at the peak of my self -flattering reverence of all of the good qualities that I possess – and my  “thank God I’m not like all those weak, useless, sinners” state of mind – I realize that “I” do not have the power or ability to make myself right before God.

Only Jesus Christ can do that.

Only Jesus Christ –through His blood and by His Spirit – can make me acceptable before God.

But Jesus Christ will do NOTHING until we come to Him in the total, broken, humble, inadequacy of ourselves…

…and when we arrive there, we should not ask for any other heart’s desire, except the desire to live every single day, for the rest of our lives, Abiding in Him.

Jesus Christ could only be the “Propitiation for sin” because He was “The Spotless Lamb”.

Not just as an adult but throughout His entire life!

How did He do it? Have we ever thought about this? He was FAITHFUL to His Father his entire life! NEVER, not even once, placing His own will above the will of His Father.

But the Word of God tells us that this is exactly what He did.

Therefore, if we truly believe the Word of God, if we truly believe on the Name of Jesus, then we will ask Him to give us His Spirit. This Spirit, which is His Life; His victorious, successful, perfectly God pleasing Life. It is then by this Spirit and through this Spirit, the Holy Spirit, that we too can live a life that is pleasing to God.

This is the “life” that the Father requires that we live on this earth. This is the “life” causes us to be “in this world” but not “of this world”.

But brethren, we cannot live this life unless we willfully, purposely, determinedly, abide in Christ.   May this be the new life, the Abiding Life, that we desire from this day. Amen.

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