Think About This: “Prayers are the nerves that move the muscles of omnipotence. Prayer is not an exercise in futility because God’s will, will be done in any case; prayer is the means by which God’s will is carried out.” – John MacArthur
Posted on October 28, 2021 by Catey Stover in Victory Call
Who wants to be desperate? There is something in us that shrinks back from the very notion of desperation. It implies weakness and, generally speaking, we don’t like the vulnerability that comes with weakness.
Who among us has not chuckled at the 2 or 3 year old saying, “me do” or “I can do it myself”? Perhaps it’s cute at 2 or 3 but unfortunately we carry the “I can do it myself” attitude into adulthood and our walk with Jesus.
Let’s face it, so often we tend to live life, day in and day out, in our own strength because frankly there is a lot we CAN do in our own strength. It’s only when the big stuff happens we finally turn to God because we are desperate.
It’s when we are desperate we are more inclined to call out, “Lord, I can’t do this, you will have to do it through me.” In desperation we lean on Him, depending on Him by faith.
The thing is in the Scriptures, desperate dependence on Christ is not supposed to be an on and off thing, sometimes relying on Christ to live His life through us and sometimes relying on our own strength.
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.[i] (underlining mine)
I recently heard the following definition of abiding:
Constant, conscious, desperate, dependence on Jesus Christ[ii]
Just because we are redeemed, saved, born-again does not mean abiding comes naturally to us. It needs to be cultivated, nurtured, practiced.
It begins with embracing the truth that Jesus lives in us:
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.[iii]
It occurs to me that most likely we know and believe that Christ lives in us, but perhaps we have failed to believe the other truth in this verse – we have been crucified with Christ and no longer live… many Christians try to co-exist with Christ. That will never work. There will be a constant struggle. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other…[iv]
Abiding requires moment by moment believing and appropriating the truth of Galatians 2:20, Jesus constantly living His life through me. How is it appropriated? By faith! It’s by faith.
This is the crux of a victorious life – Jesus living His life through us. That is not the same as us trying to live like Jesus (my strength) but by faith trusting Jesus to live His life through us. We abide in constant, conscious, desperate, dependence on Jesus Christ
…the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.[v]
[i] John 15:4-5
[ii] Dr. Phil Jones, lecture
[iii] Galatians 2;20
[iv] Galatians 5:17
[v] Colossians 1:27
Written By Diane Hunt: Diane Hunt serves on the board of America’s Keswick and provides ministry support from her home in North Carolina. She is also a biblical counselor and women’s event speaker. For more information about having Diane speak at your next event please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: I will love You, O Lord, my strength. 2 The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my [a]strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the [b]horn of my salvation, my stronghold. –Psalm 18:1-2