“You call me out upon the waters`- The great unknown where feet may fail (Oceans (Where Feet May Fail), Hillsong United)
Christianity can sometimes be a confusing thing.Some days we are told that God’s Grace has already saved us.
Though these seem like conflicting statements, today we examine how they are actually two sides to the same coin.
We will begin by examining the words of Christ to His disciples in John 15:3
“You are already clean because of the words which I have spoken to you.”
Here, even before His death on the Holy Cross for our salvation, Christ cleanses his disciples, He prepares them, makes them new again, an expression of the very same grace which was bestowed upon us through the shedding of His blood. So now they, and us, have been cleansed! Fantastic! However, just because you have stepped into the shower doesn’t mean you automatically stay clean forever.
Proactive Christianity is a two-step process:
- Identify and accept the gift that has been given to you through God’s Grace.
- Follow the “next steps” which Christ makes clear.
In John 15:4 after telling His disciples that they are clean, Christ immediately gives a command – “Abide in Me.” It was as if He were saying “Until the Word of God, you were not clean; if you wish to stay that way, stay with Me.”
Abide. Not visit Me for three hours a week on a Sunday morning, not read My Word for ten minutes a night, not speak to Me for fifteen minutes each morning. Christ says to each one of us “I have made you clean! Abide in Me, abide in My love – I want to be one with you.” It is important to note that Christ has already made each and every one of us clean through His death. Christ does not love us because we are clean but rather we are clean because Christ loved us. Imagine a baby dirties his nappy, the mother will not put him aside and wait until he is clean to love him again but rather, because she loves him, she will pick him up and clean him. God treats us with this same love; we are, after all, His children.
So we have identified that God has made us clean. We have received this gift, and we need to abide in God and His Love in order to fulfil his commandments.
But how do we do this?
For this we will turn to the story of Christ’s Resurrection, the opening of the Gates of Heaven and the turning point for our salvation in John 20:1-16.
“Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb”
It is no coincidence that it was early in the morning and dark when Mary Magdalene went to the tomb. How many times do our alarm clocks ring on a Wednesday, Friday, Saturday or even Sunday morning while it is early and still dark, but instead of going to meet with the Lord as Mary did, we snooze our alarms and roll over in the warmth of our covers.
Solution 1: Be diligent in your relationship with God, even when the situation is less than ideal. Prioritise Christ and commit to your priorities the same way you do in your work, study and other relationships.
“ So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first.” He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb”
Imagine that the tomb of Christ is your heart. He once resided in there, but for whatever reason, the tomb is now empty. Christ is nowhere to be seen. Let’s be honest, that’s how many of us feel sometimes in our relationship with God. But how urgent are you in your rectification of this dilemma? Do you run to examine the depths of the tomb? Do you, like John, stoop down and humble yourself to try and see what is going on in there? Do you, like Peter, go straight in and tackle the problem head on?
Solution 2: Run as fast you can towards Christ. Do not be complacent in your relationship with Him. Humble yourself and realise that you are dealing with the King Of Kings and the Creator of everything; He should not have to beg you for your time. Tackle the issue of your spirituality immediately, do not put it off as John did, but rather go straight into the place where you know Christ is and seek Him (think congregations of believers, bible studies and, of course, churches!)
Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying…They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?” “They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.”
Solution 3: At the very least, when you look into your heart and see that Christ is no longer there, we should follow the example of Mary. If it is too hard for you to be diligent in your relationship, or perhaps you are not quite prepared to look into a place that has been devoid of God for some time, scared to address your spirituality or unsure how to humble yourself before the Lord, luckily for you, God doesn’t need any of that.
All He needs is consistent sincere, heartfelt communication.
This is exactly what abiding in God means. If we get this right, we, like Mary Magdalene will be able to declare the Good News in our own lives and say, “I have seen The Lord!”
SAYG ~ Arsanie Sawiers