Remain in Me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me. (John 15:4 NIV)
He has chosen us from the foundation of the world in Christ. He has selected One in whom we shall find Him, and in whom alone we shall find Him. All the forces of hell will be at work, in the first place, to keep us out of Christ. They rage to prevent people coming into Christ, and when once they have come in, these forces are unceasing and relentless in their efforts to get them off the ground of Christ, on to things possibly, on to any other ground. There is an immense meaning in Christ's words: "Abide in Me... except ye abide in Me..." (John 15:4). It is a warning, governing word. Where and how shall we find the Lord? Only on the line of Christ, where Christ's interests are the object of our being here, where it is true "For me to live is Christ" (Philippians 1:21). You find the Lord there. Get off that ground, be driven off, be allured off, and you lose the Lord. It is there, on that ground, that the very explanation of the Christian life is found. It is on that line that the very purpose for which we are created will have its out-working. It is on that line that we shall find Divine guidance.
This Divine law of God's way has many practical applications in the life of the Christian. How many spiritual tragedies we have known brought about by human selectiveness apart from the first and supreme interest of Christ. It might be the choice of residence, location, for instance, for reasons of convenience, pleasure, escape, or seeming necessity, as in the case of Abraham to which we have referred. And no less a question than having the Lord with us is bound up with such choices and decisions. We cannot move off the Lord's ground without the consequence of spiritual disaster. How costly it was in the case of Elimelech! If Christ is the Way, the Directive; then He is the Example. How meticulously careful He was never to move, or to be moved by any consideration but the directive of the Father! Many motives were put to Him for action and movement, but He abided in the Father, and, often at great cost, refused all other considerations.
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