Trusting In Him to Keep You (continued)
Abide In Me: These words are no law of Moses, demanding from the sinful what they cannot perform. They are the command of love, which is ever only a promise in a different shape. Think of this until all feeling of burden and fear and despair pass away, and the first thought that comes as you hear of abiding in Jesus be one of bright and joyous hope: it is for me, I know I shall enjoy it. You are not under the law, with its inexorable "Do", but under grace, with its blessed "Believe what Christ will do for you. And if the question be asked, "But surely there is something for us to do?" the answer is, "Our doing and working are but the fruit of Christ's work in us." It is when the soul becomes utterly passive, looking and resting on what Christ is to do, that its energies are stirred to their highest activity, that we work most effectually because we know that He works in us. It is as we see in that word "In Me" the mighty energies o love reaching out after us to have us and to hold us, that all the strength of our will is roused to abide in Him.
This connection between Christ's work and our work is beautifully expressed in the words of Paul: "I follow after, if that I may apprehend that where unto I also am apprehended of Christ Jesus." It was because he knew that the mighty and the faithful One had grasped him with the glorious purpose of making him one with Himself, that he did his utmost to grasp the glorious prize. The faith, the experience, the full assurance, "Christ hath apprehended me," gave him the courage and the strength to press on and apprehend that whereunto he was apprehended. Each new insight of the great end for which Christ had apprehended and was holding him, roused him afresh to aim at nothing less.
Paul's expression, and its application to the Christian life, can be best understood if we think of a father helping his child to mount the side of some steep precipice. The father stands above, and has taken the son by the hand to help him on. He points him to the spot on which he will help him to plant his feet, as he leaps upward. The leap would be too high and dangerous for the child alone; but the father's hand is his trust, and he leaps to get hold of the point for which his father has taken hold of him. It is the father's strength that secures him and lifts him up, and so urges him to use his utmost strength.
Such is the relation between Christ and you, O weak and trembling believer! Fix first your eyes on the "whereunto" for which He has apprehended you. It is nothing less than a life of abiding, unbroken fellowship with Himself to which he is seeking to lift you up. All that you have already received - pardon and peace, the Spirit and His grace - are but preliminary to this. And all that you see promised to you in the future - holiness and fruitfulness and glory everlasting - are but its Father, is His highest object. Fix your eyes on this, and gaze until it stands out before you clear and unmistakable: Christ's aim is to have me abiding in Him.
(continued with # 10)