OUR GAME OF SIMON SAYS
We have speaking about abiding, and learning to abide in Christ.
"To Abide" The Greek word is "menō". Abiding means "to stay in a given place, a given state, a given relationship or a given expectancy: To abide is to continue, dwell, endure, be present, remain, stand, and tarry.
There are verses in the N.T. which many believers use incorrectly because of who the Scriptures are written for. One example is 1 Jn.1:9 which is a key verse for believers on how to maintain fellowship with the Father, although many in the body of Christ use it on lost people as a "soul-winning" verse.
1 John 1:9 ESV If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Another one misused a lot is Jn.8:32 as we go around quoting it like it is a magic wand verse to make everything okay.
John 8:32 ESV and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
However Jn.8:32 is not a stand alone verse. It is in connection with Jn.8:31 which makes it an abiding verse.
John 8:31-32 ESV So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, (32) and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
So the process of growth goes in this order after salvation. Learn to abide (stay in the place of, in the state of, in relationship with, and in expectancy), in the Word then we become (are made into) His disciples. Then as disciples we will know different truths about different things. All of the things where we have truth in, we are set free from. But, all this starts with the believer abiding in God's Word.
GOD'S GAME OF HIDE AND SEEK:
I have a friend who made a statement to me years ago: "The Father plays hide and seek with me." It was the first time I every heard this statement and I didn't know how to take. Then I realized there are many Scriptures about finding the Lord only as we seek Him.
God is everywhere, which embraces our doctrine of the Omnipresence of God. This is one trait that defines the greatness of our Heavenly Father. Yet, although God is all present, there are literally hundreds of Scriptures commanding us to seek Him.
The Lord may overwhelm us and blesse us with His incredible presence today. However, tomorrow He may step back a pace, and say, "Find Me here!" Then we, in the attitude of seeking must press into that new position. The following day He steps further back and says, "Follow Me here." And so on to the fullness of the stature of Christ.
GOD PLAYING HIDE AND SEEK, WHILE WE PLAY SIMON SAYS:
This is what it means to abide in Christ. We are to seek and go where He is each day. This kind of rubs us wrongly when we are in the habit of going to our places which we call "sanctuaries" and almost demand God's presence to come to us and bless, in whatever we are doing. It is like we are playing the game of "Simon says" with God and telling Him what He is to do next. Ouch!
Abiding is not an option and it is not a "One Time Good Deal." It is a continual process.
1 John 2:23-25 ESV No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also. (24) Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you too will abide in the Son and in the Father. (25) And this is the promise that he made to us—eternal life.
Our abiding in Christ today is different from our abiding in Him a year ago. More is required of us as we grow in knowledge and grace. Sins we practiced unknowingly a year ago are not permitted today. The self-love in which we indulged a year ago is not acceptable today. The Lord Jesus challenges us each day to a fuller abiding in Himself. Think of growing from a baby to a toddler to a young child to a teenager to a man.
As a 16 month-old it was expected that you eat with your fingers and leave a large mess around your plate, on the floor and across your face. But at 16 years old, all of that is unexpected and unacceptable behavior.
So the next time you are praying or crying out to the Lord and you can't seem to sense His presence, go ahead and enter the game of hide and seek with Him and seek Him out instead of demanding that He comes to your party.
Matthew 6:33 ESV But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
It's all about abiding.