It’s easy to get excited when God speaks. It is hard to remain in what He has said.
What a refreshing moment it is when God speaks. It is supernatural. It elicits excitement and faith out of us. Yet, no matter how explosive, excitement seldom carries one over the finish line—because excitement will most certainly always fade. Excitement fades even when God is the one who elicits it out of us. This is not because God is not exciting enough, but because we have the tendency get distracted. We must remember that excitement is a response, not a source. It doesn’t have any power of its own. It only works when attached to the source that elicits it—and the means by which it gets attached is abiding.
In John 8:31-32 Jesus speaks the famous words, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
— A few things to note here:
1. Jesus is speaking to people who had already believed in Him.
The people whom Jesus tells to “abide in His word” are people who had just believed in Him (John 8:25-30). They had seen His work, heard His message and had been convinced that He is The Son of God.
Powerful? Indeed. Yet, this is what Jesus says to them in direct response to their new faith in Him. He tells them to abide. Jesus is saying to them “Hey. It’s wonderful that you believe in Me. Great start! But here is what you must do now: No matter what takes place hereafter—you must abide or rmain in what you just believed in.”
Remember, Jesus would go the cross soon, and His believers would be tempted to doubt. Even after His resurrection, the church would face terrible persecution and many believers would be tempted to abandon the faith. This is why Jesus tells them to abide. He is telling them to remain in the truth they have believed about Him—even after the excitement fades, and as a matter of fact, when their excitement is replaced by temptations of doubt, anxiety, and fear.
The application for us? It may be easy for us to start out with faith and excitement, at the moment we hear God. Yet, it is hard to remain excited in what He has spoken to us mid-journey, as we’re faced with different challenges and trials. God is telling us that this is normal. He is saying to us, “don’t fret about your fleeting excitement—focus on remaining on My words. It is not excitement that fuels your life; it is Me and My promises!”.
2. Knowing is the fruit of abiding.
I find it interesting that Jesus tells a group of people who had believed the truth about Him that they have yet to know the truth. How could they have believed in the truth, if they did not know it already?
The answer to this lies in what God defines knowledge to be. We generally interpret knowledge as having good information/being well-informed about something; but God defines knowledge as having the complete experience of something.
So here, Jesus is telling his believers, that they will come to know or experience the truth they’d believed about Him—only if they continue to remain or abide in His word, for the long haul. This makes sense, as the truth they would come to experience—rebirth into God’s family—was not yet available to them, since Jesus has not yet defeated sin and death. Only those who remained believing in Him, after His resurrection and glorification, would come to know truth and be set free by it!
The application for us? Knowing or experiencing God’s promise is not the fruit of excitedly receiving His promise, but abiding in His promise till the end.
My friend, what has God promised you? What is He speaking to you right now? Did you start out with faith and excitement, but lost sight of His word on the way? I’m here to tell you that you’re not alone. God is a Faithful Friend. The Holy Spirit is your Great Helper—and He’s reminding you to abide and remain in Him today, no matter where you are on the journey.
Faith is an easy choice in good weather, but a challenging one in the midst of the storm. Still, it’s in your possession, and just as powerful in the midst of the storm! Choose it! When you choose to abide and remain by faith, in the Voice that excited you at the start, you will be empowered to run with great endurance—oh and excitement returns by the way, since you’ve attached to the Source.