Reading: 1 John 5:20-21
The song “Come Thou Fount” has always been dear to my heart. It is as if the lyrics capture my daily spiritual life.
Come Thou Fount of every blessing tune my heart to sing Thy praise. Streams of mercy never ceasing, call for songs of loudest praise…prone to wander, Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love. Here’s my heart, Lord, take and seal it, seal it for Thy courts above.
Prone to wander, Lord I feel it. I feel it every single day. Do you? Each day there are new distractions that try to grab my attention from staying focused on the cross. Each morning I tear down altar’s I’ve built with the Lord and then I close my Bible and proceed to build them back up again. We are an easily distracted people. How quickly do we forget to worship the One, True God?! This is a pattern that began in Genesis 3 when Adam and Eve bit into the apple, hoping that they, too, would be like God. They were worshipping themselves. And then the Israelites proceeded in a cycle of idol worship for generations. The period of the Judges was a period of lawlessness and idol worship. The people erected idols to worship instead of Yahweh God.
John knows all too well that we are prone to wander and worship little idols. After writing his letter to the believers to encourage them, remind them of truth and build them up, he ends with one command: “little children, keep yourselves from idols.” As a father would to his children, John instructs the children of God to “watch out for idols.” These idols are like shadows that make us stumble. Many nights I wake up in the wee hours of the morning and walk through the pitch black to get to the bathroom. I usually stumble over a stray shoe or walk into the wall (yes, this has happened:) because the shadows have clouded my view of obstacles. Idols are shadows that distract us from our purpose and from “abiding in Light.”
In order to keep ourselves from idols, we must abide in the light of Christ. We must immerse ourselves in the truth of Scripture. We must make our dwelling place in the Lord. Because we know Jesus, we are literally “in him who is true.” You are in God. You might be reading this last post in a house or some building that you are currently in. The walls surround you, the roof covers you. You are in the house. Just like a building is your covering and protection, so is Christ, You are in Him, sister. You have no need to fear because He covers you, protects you and keeps you. Therefore, you are to keep yourself from idols.
Idols can come in any shadowy form. You can worship the idol of security, of affirmation, of comfort, of wealth, of knowledge, of reputation, of dreams, of achievements and even of fear. Idols are anything that distracts us from the Lord and anything that takes Christ from being the center of your life. He alone is worthy of our praise, adoration and joy. Jesus is your life, and the art of abiding in Him is to live as an act of worship to Him. We keep ourselves from idols by worshipping God alone and keeping Him the center of our heart’s affection.
In Revelation 19, John (the same author of 1 John), was taken up in a vision on the island of Patmos foretelling what is to come. In chapter 19, the angel of the Lord takes John to hear a great multitude in heaven singing praises to God, crying out,
“Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready…” (Revelation 19:6b-7)
John was about to witness what is to come for all of us, that is, the marriage supper of the Lamb. One day, you and I will be married to Christ. We are His bride and He is our future husband. Upon witnessing this and hearing the angel, John fell to his face to worship the angel. Immediately, the angle responded to him, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God. For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” (Revelation 19:10)
In the very end, John was reminded of his own words to worship God alone. How beautiful is that? The art of abiding in Christ is worshipping Him alone. It is embracing truth and cherishing grace. It is loving each other fervently and praying with belief. One day, we will abide with Christ forever and worship God in His presence. This is the art of abiding. Life on earth is but a mere practice for the eternity of abiding that is to come.
I pray that through this study, God has opened your eyes to the beauty of abiding in His light, his truth, his love, his grace and his mercy. May we all make our dwelling place in the house of the Lord and worship God alone, forever.
abiding with you,