When I was reading Philip Yancey's book, Prayer", I came across John 15 about abiding in Christ., "If you remain in me and my words remain in you. To help the reader more fully understand this, think of the space shuttle approaching the space station. There must be a perfect linking between the two crafts and a full seal has to be established for the two hatches to open. The same applies to God's heart in our heart.
To remain in Christ, we must be close to Him. We must trust what He has for us. And to have His words remain in us, we must memorize the scriptures as well. Very difficult to do as well. Yet, He ultimately knows what is best for us.
The essence of abiding is like being connected to the internet and having a strong signal coming through. When we are not tied down by sin, then our effect on God will be much greater. I have found that when I am focused on God through prayer, more can be done as a result.
In another passage of the prayer book, Yancey refers to Hebrews 11 where some men of faith did not attain to what they asked. Moses never got to go to the promised land ;yet, he led his people close to it and left instructions for his successors on how to get there. And Jesus did not get to heal everyone or even personally establish churches in his physical sense of mortars and brick. Yet, Jesus calls us to do what He did in creating churches in which people will create changed lives. In the scriptures, there is the verse of John 14:12: even greater things you will do through me."
And in our lives some of the answers to our prayers or the effects of our testimony may never be known to us. sYet, just as in a tapestry the very markings that were made will make a very beautiful patternl to be commented on. Let it be with our lives that they point to Jesus's work on the cross and in our lives as well.
That we are connected so that we can build not just a space station but the Kingdom of God that is out of this world.
For if this is to happen, we need to spend and prepare time for prayer. It is not always easy to do this since we live in a culture with many distractions. Part of the goal for this sermon series is to have us as individuals to focus on God more and have him be relevant in our very lives.
The very best athletes spend many hours in conditioning to be the very best that they can be. We need to present ourselves with opportunities so that we can have the best quality time for the Lord. As God requires the best in the offering of our gifts, time is a big and valuable gift that we can give the Lord.