Abide in Christ by Andrew Murray:
What it means 'to abide' #1.4
Rest for the soul
Andrew Murray argues that the term “abide” in the Bible equates with spiritual rest of the soul. To illustrate this point, he turns to Matthew 11: 28, 29 that says:
Come unto me, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me, and ye shall find rest to your souls.
The promise is repeated twice
Murray points out that the promise is repeated twice. Included in this rest is the thought that we need to become students who are ready to yield ourselves to Christ’s training, submit to His will, and let our whole life become one with His.
Not apart from Christ
Murray emphasizes that the rest is in Christ and not something apart from Him. It is because we fail to lay hold of this truth that the rest so speedily passes away.
He sums up his understanding of rest by saying that we as Christians have not understood how entire surrender to Jesus is the secret of perfect rest.
One with Christ
Another concept related to “abide” is being one with Christ. AM perceives this oneness as being like a new graft that needs to shoot its little fibers down the stem of a branch, which in this case is the vine. And when the branch becomes one with the vine a structural union occurs.
But we now have to make progress towards a vital union. This is when the sap enters the new structure and flows into the shoots, the leaves and the fruit. In a similar way, says Murray, we are called to sink ourselves into Christ so that our hearts can be prepared for the fuller experience of “I in you.”
In the case of the graft, it needs to have grown into the stem before the sap can flow. In the same way, the filling of the Spirit can only come once the “abide in me” is maintained.
It is an act of God
Murray closes his discussion on what it means to abide by asserting that both structural and vital union is an act of God. We cannot bring it about via human wisdom or human will. He states that God’s role is clearly depicted in Scripture by the words from Galatians 4: 6:
God hath sent forth the Spirit of His son into your hearts.
In our next blog post, we will delve more deeply into God’s role in helping us abide.
Abide in Christ (1882), Chapter 2.
The Mystery of the True Vine (1897), Chapter 8.
© Olea Nel