Acts 27:31 “Paul said to the centurion and to the soldiers, Except these abide in the ship, ye cannot be saved.” (KJV) “But Paul said to the commanding officer and the soldiers, “You will all die unless the sailors stay aboard.” (NLT)
The church has been compared to a ship with precious cargo. The precious cargo is the people of God.
Do you view yourself as ‘precious cargo’? How do you view other people? Why?
Sometimes, people get frustrated because things aren’t working the way you think they should. Paul says, ‘Abide.’ That means ‘to stay.’
John 15:4 “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.”
How do you know you’re abiding? When you obey the Word, then you have the assurance that your soul is at home in God. If you abide in Christ, you are well protected, covered, privileged. You’re a royal priesthood, a peculiar people, special.
1 Peter 2:9 “But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.”
Hold onto your heritage. The best is yet to come. When you abide, you can ask for anything.
Are you obeying God’s Word? Are you trusting what His Word says and applying that thinking to your life? What do you need to change?
Jesus set the man who was a demoniac free. The devil will always attack something important to you. When the demons said, ‘Bid us to go into the swines,’ those people depended on the swine for their economy. 2000 swine died that day. The people’s economy went down. So, the people wanted Jesus to go away. Because you’re abiding, he will not attack you directly. You’ve got to hold onto that Word no matter what is happening.
Those ‘attacks’ are distractions to turn you away from God. The enemy will use financial troubles and relationship troubles to distract you from God, His Word, and His promises.
Isaiah 26:3 “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!”
God will always keep His promises. He will keep you in peace if you fix your thoughts on Him.
Psalm 145:13 “For your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom. You rule throughout all generations. The Lord always keeps his promises; he is gracious in all he does.”
God will never break His promises. If you abide, you can do anything in Jesus. Abiding positions you for the benefits that are in Jesus Christ. Abiding positions for you for divine protection and divine provision.
What ‘attacks’ or ‘distractions’ are you experiencing today? Knowing the devil’s strategy and purpose, how will you handle those situations? How will you trust God in this situation and continue to abide in Him?
When the people went into the Promised Land, God told them to have six Cities of Refuge. Those were for those who accidentally killed someone and needed a place that was safe from the avenger.
No matter where you are, keep your mind on Jesus. At work, at home, at church, at the barbecue, at play, at the grocery store, or even all alone. If you’re abiding, the enemy can’t touch you. Stay in the church. This is your City of Refuge. If you come out of the City of Refuge, the avenger will kill you.
Determine within yourself to have your mind made up fully.
James 1:8 “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” (KJV) “Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.” (NLT)
Rom 8:38-39 “And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
1 John 2:9 “If anyone claims, ‘I am living in the light,’ but hates a fellow believer, that person is still living in darkness.”
Are you abiding? How will you check yourself every day, throughout the day? Will you make yourself accountable to other people around you?
After Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden, God knew where Adam was, but He still asked, ‘Adam, where are you?’
Adam hid because he was no longer abiding. He was uncovered because he stopped abiding.
Prov 18:10 “The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.”
The Prodigal Son ‘came to himself’ and finally went home. He was at his lowest point. He’d been wishing to eat the food he was giving to the pigs.
In order to be restored, you’ve got to come back with words ready in your mouth, an attitude of repentance. You can’t sneak in. The father was waiting and looking. The father ran to him. If you start moving, God will run to you, but you must recognize your condition, where you are. If you don’t want God, no one can give you God.
Mat 5:6 “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.”
When the Prodigal reaches the abiding place, there is no telling what God will do for you. He will turn things around in seconds. The Prodigal received a banquet in his honor. He was fully restored.
God is ‘well able.’
When you abide, God is for you.
How do you come back when you realize you’ve sinned? If you’re a Prodigal, what words of repentance do you have ready? Do you trust God to restore you? Will you push aside your fear of rejection and allow Jesus to restore you to Him?
Rom 8:31 “What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?”
Rom 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
God uses the bad stuff as instruments for blessing when you are abiding. He loves you so much, that when you are positioned, he will still test you, but He is still with you.
You’ve got to go through some stuff, but He didn’t bring you this far to leave you. God is a keeper. He kept Daniel in the Lion’s Den.
Sometimes, you’re in a fire because you must learn to deal with the fire. He is an all-consuming fire. That fire burns all those things that are contrary to God’s ways and will, your attitudes, your habits, your ideas, your thoughts, your feelings.
Know the God you serve. His name is Jesus. Do all in the name of Jesus. When you’re abiding, you’ve got to know your God for yourself. Because there comes a time when no one else is around but you and your God. You have two presences to deal with, the God who is everywhere all the time Presence and the Manifested Presence. You’ve got to invoke His Manifested Presence yourself. You can’t do that if you’re not abiding.
‘Just a closer walk with thee, grant it Jesus, is my plea.’
Is that what you want? How will you pursue a closer walk with Jesus?
Excerpted from a sermon preached by Everton Wellington.
For the full YouTube audio/video, click here.
If you are looking for an Apostolic Pentecostal church and are in the Chicagoland area, come check out The Life Church located at 3030 Central Road in Glenview, IL. Services are Sundays at 1pm and Wednesdays at 7pm. We would love to see you there!