Daily Abiding in Christ

By Leland Earls

(Revised and Edited By Glenn Earls)


This Book was originally written by Leland Earls and was distributed in the Mid-1970’s under the ministry name of… Word of Life Fellowship

Holding forth the Word of Life Phil. 2:16

About Leland Earls
Leland Earls was born and raised in Spokane Washington. As a young man with a call of God upon his life he entered seminary and became a minister in the Christian Church Denomination. In 1958 while pastor at the Multnomah Christian Church in Portland Oregon, Leland began to search for more in God, he knew that he wanted to have a deeper relationship with his Savior. After hearing of a fellow Pastor in his denomination who was baptized in the Spirit, he sought him out to find out what this “new experience” was all about. At the age of 37 Leland was filled with the baptism of the Holy Spirit and began to truly walk in “A new and living way” (Heb. 10:20). Leland moved to Spokane Washington in the early 1960’s and Ministered at the Rock of Ages Church until 1969. In 1970 he returned to the Portland Oregon area and started Word of Life Fellowship where he Pastored until he retired. Leland went home to be with the Lord in 1991.

Upon receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit, God began to open the scriptures and reveal revelatory truth to Leland in a new light and understanding that he did not have before. As God would give insight, Leland began taking prophetic truths and relevant teachings and putting them into small teaching “booklets” which were widely distributed throughout the US and in many foreign countries. Leland has had a far-reaching prophetic/teaching ministry that has touched thousands all over the world through his writing ministry.

Daily Abiding in Christ was one of Leland Earls’ most popular booklets. It was requested often and praised much for the insight and simple clarity it brought to the subject of the peace of God. This version has been edited slightly from the original by Glenn Earls, Leland’s Son.


In John 14:9, Jesus made this astounding statement to His disciples: “he that hath seen me hath seen the Father.” Then He went on to explain this by saying, “Believest thou not that I am IN the Father, and the Father IN me? The words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself, but the Father that dwelleth IN me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I am IN the Father, and the Father IN me: or else believe me for the very works sake” (14:10-Il). There was such a union and fusing together of natures (in the harmony of perfect love) that He expressed it by Saying that the Father was IN Him, and He was IN the Father. But Jesus went on in that same discourse to explain to the disciples that He was going to make it possible for the same kind of relationship to exist between Himself and them, as He experienced with the Father, and this would be through the ministry and indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. He said He would send the Holy Spirit to abide with them forever, and to dwell in them, and through this indwelling presence, He and the Father would come to them and make their abode (dwelling) with them. Then, speaking of the Holy Spirit’s coming on the day of Pentecost, He said: “At that day ye shall know that lam in my Father, AND ye IN me, and I IN you. “W14:I5—23). In His final prayer before going to the cross, Jesus prayed that those who would believe on Him would be ONE in the same way as He and the Father are one: “That they all may be one; AS thou, Father, art IN me, and I IN thee, that they ALSO may be one IN us. . . I IN them, and thou IN me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou host sent me, and host LOVED them, AS thou host LOVED me” (John 17:21—23).

One cannot read these passages without realizing that Jesus made it possible for us to have the same kind of oneness and unity with Him, as He had with the Father. Notice that I said the same KIND, not as yet the same DEGREE. We have a long way to go yet before our natures are so fused in unity and oneness with Christ in perfect love that it approaches the degree of unity that exists between the Father and Son. But that is the ultimate goal with time and growth. But NOW, because of the miracle of the “new birth”, whereby the very life and presence of Christ is IN us through the Holy Spirit, and we are placed IN Christ, in a new relation of UNITY (fusing together) and family KINSHIP, we can say that “I am IN Christ and He Is IN me, even as Christ said when on earth “I am in the Father, and the Father in me,” I am pointing out these  facts in truth as a 7 preparation for some comments on how to ABIDE in Christ more fully. “Abiding” has to do with daily experience in our relation to Christ, But first we must grasp the fact that if we are IN

truly “born of Him” (John 3:3), then we are IN l-flm and He is IN us. Revelation of fact must precede realization in experi— ence. This is indicated by Paul in his Ephesian letter by his CS two prayers. In Ephes. 1:16-18, he prays that the Ephesian Christians might have the Spirit of revelation to SEE (understand) the
truth, and in Eph, 3:14—19, he prays that they might fully ex—
perience within themselves what has been revealed to them. By
faith we must firmly lay hold of the fact that we ore IN christ
(Eph. 1:3,4,6,7, 10, II), and Christ is IN us (CoI. 1:27, Rom.
8:10, II Cor, 13:5), if we belong to Him. Our daily experience :rn

may flucuate, as to whether we are “abiding” in Him or not, but “nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having ths Ct seal (inscription etched in stone), the Lord knoweth them that

are His” (II Tim, 2:19), And upon that foundation of fact we can stand in faith, regardless of variations of experience.

But out of faith in fact, comes~ experience; and this is what the Lord wants; for us to experience daily the reality and blessing of “abiding” in Christ. In John 15:1—16, Jesus makes it clear that the goal and purpose of learning to abide is that FRUIT might be developed and manifested in our lives. “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. Iid am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and ng I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain, Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit, so shall ye be my disciples (15:4—5, 16, 8), The “fruit” that He desires is given in Gal. 5:22, Eph0 5:9, Phil, 1:11, James 3:17— 18, Heb, 13:15, etc0

The English word “abide” is a translation of the Greek word meno. But that same Greek word is also translated “continue” “remain”, “dwell”, and “endure”, Only as we examine all of these English words can we grasp the “richness” of the thought that Jesus sought to convey in our “living relationship” with Him in our daily experience0 Leime take the word “abide” first, since it is the most frequent translation of meno, The word “abide” is used a number of times in the N,T, to indicate the physical act of staying in a certain home or place0 Jesus said to Zacchaeus in Lk, 19:5, “make haste, and come down; for today I must abide at thy house,” In John 1:38—39 we read about two of John’s disciples asking Jesus “where dwellest thou? He saith unto them, Come and see, They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day0” In this scripture, the words “dwellest”, “dwelt” and “abode” are all a translation of the Greek word meno, In Lk, 19:5, Jesus abode in Zacchaeus’ house, and in John 1:39, the disciples abode with Jesus in His house or dwelling wherever it was at that time, Hereisabeau— tiful illustration of the truth that when we accept Christ as our Saviour and ask Him to come into our lives, He makes His abode or home in us, and we make our abode or home in Him, Whenever you invite someone to stay in your home with you, you usually say, “make yourself at home”, because you want them to be relaxed, comfortable and to feel at home, It is possible to stay in a house and yet not “feel at home ‘~ With this fact in mind, let me paraphrase Jesus’statement “Abide in me, and I in you” as follows: “I want you to make yourself at home in me, and I want to make myself at home in you0” Read that several times until you grasp the stupendous and thrilling fact that we have found a “spiritual home” in Christ, and He ha~ found a “spiritual home”in us, and He wants us to Iearntobe “athome” in this wonderful living relationship, and this we do by learning to “abide”.,

Now what does “abiding” mean, and how do we learn to abide. Abiding is first and primarily the REST OF FAITH., It is learning to TRUST the Lord in everything, with complete submission to His will in all aspects and circumstancesof life. Jesus began His teaching on these truths by stating: “Let not your heart be troubled; ye believe in God, believe also in me” (John 14:1). The writer of the Hebrew letter says, “For we which have believed do enter into rest” (4:3). But there are DEGREES and DEPTHS of faith and rest, After calling the disciples to believe and put their trust in Him in John 14:1, Jesus goes ontosay, in verse 2: “In my Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you” (New American Standard). The word translated “dwelling” in this verse is from the Greek word meno, and is the same word translated “abide” in John 15:4, etc. The King James translation “mansions” is unfortunate, for it obscures the fact that Jesus has prepared many spiritual ‘‘abiding places ‘‘ in Him right here and now, as well as a future home. And as our faith grows and we learn to abide more fully in Him, we increasingly experience more of these abiding places, The places prepared for us in our present spiritual life are described for us in Eph, 2:6: “And hath raised us up together and made us sit together in places in Christ Jesus”. . . who hath~so)“blessed us with a spiritual blessings in places in
Christ” (Eph. 1:3). These are the aces”, which Christ prepared for us, that where He IS, there we may be also,

Notice that Paul says we have been made to SlT in heavenly places in Christ. This speaks of a position of REST, through faith, where we cease from our own struggles and labors and rest in the vicarious victory of Christ for us, trusting Him todo FOR us and IN us and THROUGH us what we cannot do ourselves, in our own strength or ability. When you go into your home, you sit down in a chair and rest your whole weight on it, trusting the chair completely to hold you0 You cease from your own muscular efforts as you commit yourself totally unto the chair and REST. You ABIDE in that chair, even as in our “spiritual home” in Christ, we are to ABIDE in Him through FAITH, “casting all your care (weight)upon him, for he careth foryou” (I Pet. 5:7), Take a look at Matt. 11:28—30, where Jesus invites all who will to enter into a two—fold rest, In verse 28he speaks to those who are “heavy la~~” with the burden, guilt and suffering of sin, They can find “rest” through His mercy and deliverance. But then in verse 29, he invites to a further rest. He says, “Take my yoke (my will) upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart (not a harsh task—master): and ye shall find rest unto your souls,” Our soul (the mental— emotional nature within)can be filled with much agitation and unrest (worries, anxieties, strivings, etc.) unless we learn to be “yoked” with the Lord in the REST of FAITH (total yielding and dependence upon Him, trusting Him in all of the issues of our life).

This two-fold “rest” offered by Jesus is pictured by type in the 0,1. by the journeys of the Israelites, Throughthe blood of the passover Iamb (Ex, 12), they were delivered from Egypt, and after crossing the Red Sea they “rested” from their past bon— dages, rejoicing in the Lord’s mercy to them; this was theirrest FROM something. But the Lord had prepared a land for them to journey to and ENTER INTO as their promised “rest”, and this required their crossing another body of water, the Jordan river, Forty years after the deliverance from Egypt, Moses spoke to the children of Israel and said: “Ye are notas yet come to the REST and to the inheritance, which the Lord your God giveth you” (Deut. 12:9), The writer of Hebrews says that God was greatly grieved with them because they would not learn His ways, so He sware they would not enter His rest (3:l01TY and this so clearly corresponds to what Jesus said about this second rest in Mt, 11:29: “Take my yoke (will) upon you and learn of me, , , and ye shall rest unto your souis,” But this unwillingness and failure to learn stemmed basically from a heart of unbelief (see Heb, 3:19, 4:2). They simply would not learn to TRUST the Lord completely, taking Him at His WORD, and commiting themselves and theirdestinytotallyin His hands, obeying Him even when they did not understand, and knowing that He would not fail them, but would KEEP them in every circumstance and time of trial, And we too, like the Israelites, will not experience God’s two—fold rest for us:both FROM that which would OPPRESS us, and INTO that which will BLESS us, until we learn to ABIDE IN FAITH in the “bosom” of our Savior and Lord, TRUSTING Him in and with every issue of life0

“Abiding” also means a conscious and constant dependence upon the Lord in our daily “walk”before Him, This means cultivating a continual and “living fellowship” with Him whereby we are “in touch” through communion in the Spirit at all times, Jesus emphasized this in John 15:5: “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” The branch constantly draws the sustainingandfruitbearingsap from the vine; even so must we draw on the sustaining and imparting grace of the Lord through “living fellowship” in the Spirit, Paul says in Gal. 5:25, “If we live in the Spirit, let us aiso walk in the Spirit01’ Our power for “walking” uprightly before the Lord and in the sight of men is the enabling of the Spirit, but we draw on this power as we “live” in the Spirit of personal fellowship with the Lord, with a conscious awareness of His presence; with the Spirit of love, praise and adoration springing up within from a joyful heart, communing with Him in the depths of our being as He abides there through the Spirit. In the Song of Solomon, chap0 8~37This question is asked: “Who is this that cometh up from the wilderness, leaning upon her beloved?” This is a picture of all who truly want to walk pleasing to the Lord; a recognition that in ourselves we are wholly without strength and need to lean (abide) upon our Beloved Lord. It is a picture of total d~ndence upon Him, as He leads us through the wilderness and out of the wilderness into the blessings of His promised inheritance. We are “kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready t&tWie— vealed in the last time” (I Pet0 1:5).

Jesus’ words in John 15:2 indicate that “abiding”alsomeans submitting to His pruning: “and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth (prunes) it, that it may bring forth more fruit. “The Lord desires a “bumper” crop of fruit in our lives, as indicated by 15:8:”Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bearmuch fruit;” “so shall ye be my disciples.” And much fruit can be produced within us only as those things that hinder are “pruned” away. This involves the Lord’s dealing with us in manydifferent kinds of situations, as He exposes through testings and provings what is not of Him, As in the macrocosm of the outer world, so in the microcosm of our inner being, God’s purpose is to “shake not the earth only (our ‘life’ actions and conditions), but also the heavens (our inner mental—emotional nature~’, and this He does so that what can be shaken will be removed (pruned away) and that which cannot be shaken may remain (see Heb, 12:26-27), The word “remain~~ in this passage is the same Greek word meno, that is the subject of our study. Not only here, but twice in John IS, instead of “abide”, the word is translated “remain”, to indicate that which is continuous and lasting, in contrast to that which must be “pruned away”. Jesus said: “I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should goand bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain (15:16), and then He mentions a specific fruit He wants to remain: “These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full” (15:11). His fruitincreasinglygrows and ‘‘abides’’ or ~~rema ins ‘‘ in us as we learn to ‘‘abide “ in Him, and this means yielding to Him in His dealings, that all hindering vestiges of carnality (the “works of the flesh”——Gal. 5:19— 21) may be “pruned” away.

Finally, there can be no complete “abiding”apart from the Word of God, Jesus IS the “living Word” of God (Joh 1:1, 14, I Pet. b23). To abide in Him is to abide in His Word, and if He is abiding in us, His words are abiding there also. “No.4 you are clean (purged——pruned) through the word which 1 have spoken unto you. Ifye abide in me, and myv~~ abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will,and it shall bedoneuntoyou”(John 15:3,7), Here is the KEY to a fruitful prayer life, for this twofold abiding means atunement, sensitivity, to the “heart—beat” of the Lord, and “this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us” (I John 5:14). Jesus admonishes us according to the pattern of His own life: “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love” (John 15:10), Keeping, or abiding in, His commandments (His Word) cannot be separated from abiding in His love, for if we love Him, we keep His commandments (John l4:l,~7~T). “As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you; continue ye in my love” (John 15:9), Here the same Greek word meno is translated “continue”, and we get the idea, not only of that which abides, lasts and remains (without ceasing or diminishing), but also the idea of progress, growth, and increase. We will continue to grow in His love and His love will continue to grow in us, And this isinextricablyconnectedwith the growth in the love of and obedience to His Word, which will increasingly “live” (dwell, abide, remain, continue) in us,

Learning to abide holds a further KEY: that which will prepare us for the “greater works”whichChristpromised His church would do (John 14:12), The pattern is founded in Jesus own life on earth, “Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me?. .the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works” (John 14:10). The word “dwelleth” is fr~~ the same Greek meno, that has been occupying our attention, The Father in Jesus and He in the Father was not just a fact, but a daily experience in the earthly life of Jesus, as He learned ~o “live in the Spirit” of that reality through perfectabiding fairr, ~ obedience, fellowship, yielding; with that perfection being wrought out and manifested in his earthly life through the testings, provings and sufferings He went through (Heb0 2:10, 18, 5:8—9), It was the perfect UNITY with the Father, and the total commitment (without reservation)to the Father’s WILL that made possible the giving of the Holy SPIRIT to Him without measure (John 3:34), and by the power of that anointing He performed His mighty works (Lk, 4:18), How much more then do we need to learn to ABIDE in Him, that He might ABIDE in us in the increasing power of His Spirit. John, in his Ist epistle, says: “the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you” (I John 2:27). But God’s purpose is to increase that anointing, so that a greater measure of the Spirit’s power can abide in and manifest through vessels Heispreparing. In IJohn 4:13, we read: “Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us CF His Spirit.” But surely a greater measure OF that Spirit is needed if we (as the spiritual Body of Christ) are going to do greater works than Jesus did.

In John 6:56, Jesus gives a further insight into the fusion that is needed as expressed by the Greek meno; and both here and in I John 4:13 just quoted the word is rendered by “dwell”. “He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.” To “eat His flesh” is to receive and masticate and absorb His Word into our inner being, so that it becomes “life” in us by the Spirit (see John 6:63), and “written upon the fleshly tables of our heart (see II Cor, 3:3). To “drink His blood” means to imbibe His Spirit (see John 8:37—39, I Cor, l2:l3)until we are so filled and controledbyitthatweincreas— ingly take on His nature, and live as He lived, John declares “He that saith he abideth in him (Christ) ought himself also so to walk, even as he wa ked” (I John 2:6), The question is: how much are we willing to become a part of Him, and let Him become a part of us, until there is an “atomic fusion” (abiding in Him and He in us)so that POWER can be released by the Spirit, and then “greater works than these shall ye do” (John 14:12).

And the “heart—beat” of this increasing “fusion “with the Lord is divine LOVE, shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, (Rom. 5:5). ‘~3od is love, and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him” (I John 4:16).

The Greek word meno is used a number of times in the Epistle of I John, and is translated “abide” (I Jn 2:6, 10, 14,17,24,27,28, 3:6,14,15,24), “dwell” (I Jn 3:17, 24, 4:12, 13,15,16), “continue” (I Jn 2:19, 24), and “remain” (I Jn 2:24, 3:9). Three of these words are used in I Jn 2:24: “Let that therefore abide in you, which you have heard from the beginning. If that which you have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, you shall also continue in the Son and in the Father.”

“And now, little children, ABIDE in Him; that when He shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed at his coming…for he that does the will of God Abides forever” (I Jn 2:28, 17)

“Abiding in Him” is the objective phase of our union in Christ; He abiding in us is the subjective phase. They are inseperable. But if we will concentrate on the objective, He will take care of the subjective. If we will “make ourselves at home with Him”, He will have no trouble in “making Himself at home” in us. So REST in the Lord ; cast your whole self on Him and begin to enjoy His fellowship; “suggle up” and begin to “gurgle” the praises of your Lord. Visualize yourself as being in Him as your spiritual home: in His protection, care, and love, with all the provision that a home impies.

“The servant abideth not in the house forever: but the Son abideth forever” (Jn 8:35)

“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever” (Psalm 23:6)


‘Abide in Me, and I in you saith the Lord. For only as you abide in Me, and let Me abide in you can you fulfill that which I require. And what does it mean to abide in Me? It means to remain in that position in which I have placed you; for it is a place and a position of rest from your own striving, and a place of security from all the devices of the enemy. For I would not have you strive in your own strength, neither would I have you fight your own battles; for I have made provision for thee, if thou wilt trust in Me and abide in Me. For if you will abide or rest in Me, I will protect thee and strengthen thee, saith the Lord.

To abide means to trust. Are you not willing to believe that I have made provision for all that you need to live a victorious and overcoming Christian life? Have I not made known My love to thee in that I have given My life for thee? If then I have provided for thy salvation, am I not able to preserve thee and keep thee and protect thee as thou does abide and trust in Me? For I am thy protection and thy covering. Thou host been provided a home, a resting place in Me, and as one lies down in restand security in his physical home so do I wont My people to abide, to rest, and rely on Me. For I am thy dwelling place. I have made provision for all of thy needs, if thou wilt put thy trust in Me, and let Me cover thee, and protect thee.

And if you abide in Me, will I not aiso abide in thee? I will take up My abode in thee, and through My Word and My Spirit I will remain in thee, and will perfect Myself in thee. For I am thy life and thy strength, but onlyas Iabide in thee can I do that which I purpose in thy life. Therefore study My Word, and seek My face daily, spending much time in praise and adoration. For only as you seek Me diligently can I fully abide in thee to do My perfecting. And now you can see why i say abide in Me, and let Me abide in you; for this is the secret of the effective and victorious Christian life. For I have made a home for thee in Me, and this is thy protection and security; and I have made My home in thee, and this is thy strength and vitality. Therefore, see and understand: by faith and trust you abide in Me, and by My Word and Spirit I abide in you; both ore necessary. For onlyas you abide inMe can I have free reign to abide in thee. Abiding in Me comes first, and then I can abide in thee; for the initiative is with thee.

I am able to work in thee only to the degree that you submit to, and trust, and rest in Me. I have made a home for you in Me, but if you do not abide there how can I bring to pass that which I purpose? For when you worry and strive and try to work out everything yourself, and when you try to fight your own battles, you are in effect separating yourself from Me, and going outside of that protection and security which I have provided for you. You are exposing yourself to the enemy’s attacks,and you are unable to overcome because you are not taking advantage of that which I have provided. When you accepted Me, and were born of My Spirit, I placed you in a position of absolute protection from all of the wiles of the enemy; I placed you in Me. And do you think that the enemy can get through Me? I say not! But when you fail to abide and rest in Me in complete confidence and trust, you in effect go outside of Me and expose yourself to all of the attacks of the enemy. I am not able to protect thee because I must have your cooperation. If you refuse to stay where I have placed you, how can I defend you? If you take things into your own hands, and try to fight the enemy yourself, then I am powerless to come to your aid. It is only as you look toMe withcomplete confidence and faith that I am able to act on your behalf. Therefore, trust Me, My people, and abide in that perfect resting place which I have provided. For in Me there is complete deliverance and protection from all that the enemy would send against thee. And now consider further, to abide in Me is necessary for thy protection, but to finish and complete that work which I have begun in thee it is necessary for Me to abide in thee. Now I am perfectly willing to do this, but again I am limited by your willingness to let Me abide in you. I can abide only insofar as there is a complete yielding unto Me, and a continual seeking of My will for you. Only as you study My Word and meditate upon its precepts; only as you spend much time thinking of My ways and praising Me with your whole heart, desiring to commune with Me at all times, can I truly abide in you as I desire, and perfect My work in you. For if you will trulyseekMe and commit your ways unto Me, I will be faithful to abide in thee, and perfect My work in thee. You will find that as I am able to abide in thee, I am also able to perfect in thee all that I am. For I abide in thee to impart to thee that which is of My own nature; for I would bring into your inner-most-being My love, My joy, and My peace. I would impart to thee that meekness and gentleness which is a part of My being. I would infuse unto thee My holiness, and My righteousness, that you might be fully clothed and ready for the wedding which will take place when I gather My own unto Myself.

So My people will ye not learn that which I am seeking to teach you? Abide, do not strive. Trust, do not doubt. Surrender, do not be unyielding. Put thy full confidence in Me, and find that perfect resting place, and that place of complete protection which I have provided for you. And then let Me fully abide in thee, and possess thy every thought and desire. For surely you will find that I am the fullness of thy joy, and the fullness of thy peace, imparting unto thee the fullness of all that I am, and making thee into the perfection of My being.” (end of prophecy)



Will you trust the Lord to do what you cannot do yourself? Will you look to God and confess your dependency on Him in everything? Has He not said that He would do the work? Why do we continue to strive with Him and doubt, making the Lord out to be as one without power and ability to accomplish the purpose He wants in us?

When we strive with God then He must strive with us, and nothing is accomplished. We need to cease from our own striving and acknowledge His ways, seek His paths and forsake our own ways. When we make the Holy Spirit our guide, and not lean upon our own understanding, and in all our ways acknowledge Him, then God will make the path straight before us. He will put a hedge around us and protect us from Satan’s deceptive tricks. We need to acknowledge God and come to know the truth that only in God can have perfect peace and harmony.

When we strive we are playing a discordant note, which hinders the inner harmony that the Lord wants to bring into our innermost being. Why do we make the way difficult when it could be easy? Jesus said, “My yoke is easy and My burden is light” Can your flesh add anything to what God wants to do in you? Will you trust the Lord completely? Will you forsake your ways and heed the voice of the Lord and follow His ways? Will you confess with your mouth that He is all that you need and that He is your sufficiency? Why what He is able to accomplish by His mighty hand and power? We must acknowledge that our ways are far from God; turn from self-will and accept God’s way. We need to confess with our mouth that we are inadequate and seek God, by spending time in the secret place of prayer.

The burden that God imparts is not the heavy burden of striving, but the light burden of surrender and yielding, and confession of dependency upon Him. We will arise and go forth, not in our own inadequacy but in his strength and power. For as we confess, so shall it be established. First, acknowledge and confess our lack of trusting in the Lord and the weakness of trusting in our own self, and then to accept His cleansing and forgiveness. Confess that God has done cleansing work in your innermost being by the Spirit, and then arise to confess the all-sufficient power and enablement He has already provided; for as you confess so shall it be unto you. Speak the word of faith and it shall be the power unto you. Why do we walk in the weakness of our own flesh when you can walk in His power.

Do not count or remember the days that are past, or the failures in our lives, for God will turn His face from the past and look only unto the future; and take up the scepter of my divine appointment for thee and number the days that are ahead. Not in anticipation of trouble or of fear or of ease unto thyself, but of faith and strength, and of accomplishment through my mighty power. If you should stumble am I not there to pick you up? Will you then strive with me as if I am not sufficient to raise you and set you on the path again? Break not yourself upon the rock of my indignation by stumbling at my Word and making thyself a reproach unto thyself and unto those about thee by walking with downcast heart, as if I were unable to right that which has gone wrong. Only acknowledge the evil of thy ways and turn from them; confess thy faith in me and surely I will redeem thee from every folly and will plant thy feet more firmly upon the rock. I will lead thee through the barren places, and will refresh thy soul, and will lead thee to the fountain of waters refreshing from the throne of my being.

Take heed unto thyself and unto my Word that ye stumble not again, but make me the constant focus of thy attention and praise, fixing thy gaze steadfastly upon me, looking neither this way nor that, blinding thy gaze to that which would draw thee away, and making me the center of thy attention. Stay thy mind and heart upon me, that I might renew thee in the spirit of thy mind, transforming thee through the channel of thy mind as a wind doth blow through a channel, and as a whirlwind doth follow a path to uproot and destroy that which is in its path. Even so would I uproot through the channel of thy mind, dedicated and focused upon me with ever increasing attention and devotion, thinking my thoughts after me as I place them there through My Word and My Spirit, as thou dost attune thyself to me and seek to dwell on me in my own realm where I am seated at the right hand of my Father.

Set your affections upon me; love me with thy whole being; let my praises be in your mouth and in your heart. Confess me before men; talk of me in all your ways; speak of me as you walk before me in love and adoration so that others may know of thy devotion to me. Even so shall I transform your ways and make you a shining vessel to the praise of my glory.

Even so shall you not be downcast and in despair be- cause of your ways, but you shall turn unto me in confidence and in assurance, knowing that in me there is abundance of strength. Know that in that moment you cease your own striving and yield unto me in perfect attunement to my Spirit and my way. I will begin to blow upon you; and in the channel of thy perfectly attuned mind and heart, even as out of a whirlwind which follows a path that I set, so will I uproot out of thy innermost being that which is not of my planting. I will uproot it in my righteous indignation and fury; and even as thou dost continue to set thy mind and affections upon me, and seek me diligently in my Word, so will I plant that which is pleasing in my sight, and I will make you a well—watered and fragrant garden which I shall plant in truth and holiness. And many shall enjoy the fragrance that doth come from thee, as I make thee to abound in beautiful flowers of my planting, saith the Lord.

Do you ask how this can be, saith the Lord? Am I not thy Keeper? Am I not unlimited in my power to accomplish if you will be surrendered completely and look not to your own ways, your own failures, and your own strivings? For why will you look down when you can look up? Why will you look within when you can look to me, even into the very depths of my being and there behold the beauty of my glory, and partake of that which I am able to impart, to make you a glorious vessel for me?

For a moment only, I would have you look within that you might see the grossness of thy own being and the inadequacy of thine own flesh, confessing thy sins unto me; and then turn unto me with your whole heart that I might lift you into the heavenly spheres of my grace and glory, lifting you out of the mire of thine own reflection and condemnation into the glory of my immutable purpose for you, letting the light of my glory envelop you and uplift you and pervade your very being, to transform you and make you into that which shall transcend the very glory of the stars which I have made and set each in its own place. So look unto me my children, and heed my words. Look unto me and let me do that which only my hand and power can do. Strive no more in thyself. Let me bring you into that rest prepared for those I love. For even now would Igive you rest from all that which troubles you and bears you down; and I would lift you up, saith the Lord.” END.


This study in Abiding in Christ includes two different aspects of learning to come to a closer relationship with the Lord. These two points of view complement one another, as they present the positive and negative aspects of our relationship to the Lord. The first is Learning to Abide in Him and the second learning not to strive with Him. If you will read and meditate much on these two truths, with an honest desire to come to a more meaningful and fulfilling relationship with Jesus Christ, as Savior and Lord, your life will take on a new dimension in both faith and fruitfulness. I have received many comments over the years of the helpfulness of this teaching to the readers. I believe more people have been helped in a personal, spiritual way by this study than by anything else I have published.

The Lord began to deal with me concerning the various ways in which we “strive” with Him.

In Isaiah 45:9 we read:

“Woe unto him that strives with his Maker. . . Shall the clay say to him that fashions it, What do you make me?or thy work, He hath no hands?”

Jesus’ work was finished from the foundation of the world. We simply enter into His rest. The day has come for self-strife to cease. We only need to acknowledge our sins and receive forgiveness and then let the Lord remedy that which needs to be changed in us. It is His work in us that brings change. Do you think you can add to His work or what He has done? Do you think by some means or power of your own you can make yourself perfect in God’s sight? He has said that He will do it Himself. You would only contaminate that which He is doing. Let’s not make provision for our own fleshly striving. Are you ready and willing to be put in the hands of the potter to be the clay, which the potter would mold? We must cease to do that which only mars the clay in the potter’s hand, so that he must fashion anew that which He is making. When we seek His face, and cast ourselves completely on Him, then He can do the work and fashion us according to His will and eternal purpose.

The word “strive” here means to “contend, argue, accuse or plead.” Even without fully realizing it we are many times inwardly “contending” with the Lord concerning the various circumstances of our lives. And at times we are very consciously and vehemently “striving” with the Lord because of His dealings with us. I would suggest the following ways we “strive” with God.

To begin with, we strive with God when we question His destiny for us in placing us in the PARTICULAR CIRCUMSTANCES He has. God is the great PLACER and He has determined the time and place in history when we are born, the race and country we will be born in, the family, our sex, our physical characteristics, natural endowments, etc. NONE of these things have we anything to do with. They are all determined ahead of time by an ALL-WISE heavenly Father who knows exactly where and when and under what circumstances He wants to PLACE us. Yet many times we question God and “contend” with Him concerning the wisdom of “our lot.” We tend to impute injustice to God because of what we are and where we are.

I believe there are two factors which have entered into God’s choice for each of us. First, our “lot” and circumstances are chosen because of the PARTICULAR EXPERIENCES God knows we WILL NEED to learn certain lessons. Since all of us are DIFFERENT, we need different circumstances and experiences to SPEAK to us, for God SPEAKS and TEACHES THROUGH THE PARABOLIC EXPERIENCES OF OUR LIVES. Nothing ever just “happens”—-everything is designed to “get through” to us in one way or another. And ONLY GOD has the “foreknowledge” to determine the “bows” and “whens” and “wheres” of our individual lives. Such “foreknowledge” of God in no way interferes with our own “free—will” and choice. We can resist God’s dealings with us in our circumstances of life and go our way to ruin and destruction. Or we can submit and learn and yield–finding His salvation and His purpose for our life. God said to Jeremiah, “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee.” (Jer. 1:5). Even so does God “know” each one of us before we are ever born, and picks out the time and the ~ircumsfances for our earthly pilgrimage. Read all of Psalm 139 for a description of God’s “foreknowledge” of us and cli our ways. In Ps. 139:15—16 we read: “My substance was not nid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thirre eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.”

The second factor which determines our “lot” is the particular purpose which God sees that we can fulfill in His overall PLAN. In Isa. 46:10 we read that God declares “the end from the beginning.” It is such “foreknowledge” that enables Him to predetermine the particulars and forecast the success of HIS WHOLE PLAN, and this without any chance of miscarriage or failure. He KNOWS IN ADVANCE what each individual will do in every circumstance and thus it is simply a matter of PLACEMENT for the proper “effects” to be brought about. It is this “foreknowledge” that enables Him to “counter” and even to USE all the devices of man, even the wicked, to implement HIS OWN PLAN. Even Satan is being so “USED” to further the purposes of God. But since God in his “foreknowledge” can so use even the wicked, this in no way exonerates them from their wickedness. As Paul argues in his letter to the Romans, the fact that man’s sin serves to MAGNIFY the goodness and faithfulness of God in no way provides an excuse to sin “that grace may abound.” God is obsolutelyJUSl, and will deal with each man according to his own wayswrought out in time and experience, even though He knows in advance what each will do. God cannot very well deal with man according to what He KNOWS he will do, but rather what He has factually done.

We are all PLACED to fulfill a particular purpose in God’s over all plan. Even the “wicked” are so placed. This is brought out in Romans 9:11-16 concerning Esau and Jacob. (“For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calls;) It was said to her, The elder shall serve the younger. As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.” God did not ARBITRARILY determine what Jacob and Esau would be. He simply FOREKNEW what each would be and do under particular circumstances. Therefore He PLACED THEM in these circumstances that THAT which would be brought out in each of their lives WOULD FULFILL A CERTAIN PORTION OF HIS PLAN. You will notice the choice of words in connection with Jacob and Esau in this passage: “purpose,” “election,” “calling,” none of which have anything to’ do with personal salvation but with the


So further in Rom. 9: 17—21 we have the illustration of Pharaoh to whom God says: “For this very purpose I set you up high, to present in you the evidence of My power, so that My name may be famed over the whole earth. So then, He pities whom He wills and He hardens whom He wills.” (Berkeley trans.). God simply PLACED Pharaoh in the circumstances where the condition of his heart WOULD BE MANIFEST, therefore God in his placement and dealings with Pharaoh could be said to “harden his heart.”

God foreknew that a “Pharaoh” would do, but He also foreknew what a “Jeremiah” would do, so He says of Jeremiah: “Before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” (Jer. 1:5). Even so does God “place” each one of us, that each of us might fulfill a portion of His plan. Shall we then impute injustice to God? Shall we “contend” and ‘strive” with Him concerning the “lot” He has chosen for us in His INFINITE WISDOM and His FOREKNOWLEDGE OF US. Even as Paul says: ~‘Then you will ask me, ‘Why does He still complain for who is resisting His will?’ 0 man! who are you, anyway, to talk back to God? The thing that is being molded does not say to the rnolder, ‘why do you make me this way, ‘does it?” (Ram. 9:19—20, Berkeley trans.). DOES IT? Let’s not “strive” with God but REST and REJOICE in that He has placed us WHERE He wants us and “made” us just the way He wants FOR OUR OWN ULTIMATE GOOD as well as for the FULFILLMENT OF HIS PURPOSE.

We also “strive” with God when we question His dealings with us in the things He allows to happen to us. Again we tend to feel that God is not being “fair” with us. Certainly we haven’t done anything to “deserve” such “severe” treatment. Such was the case of Job. He wanted to “argue his case with God.” (Job. 13:3–Berkeley). He became embittered in his soul (Job. 10:1). He was “striving” with God. Even as Elihu says: “Why dost thou strive against Him? For he giveth not account of any of his matters.” Should we “strive” with God just because we do not understand? Are we stupid enough to require that God give an answer to everything? Are we not to TRUST Him and know that His WAYS ARE EQUAL (just). (Ezek. 18:29). How easy it is for us to find God’s dealings with us, which are designed to PROVE us, an occasion for stumbling, and fight (strive) against the very things that will MAKE us what God wants us to be. The futility of this is spoken of in the prophecy: “When thou dost strive with me then I must strive with thee cr~o – –accomplished.

Many times we mistakenly feel that God is “punishing” us for something. Certainly much that we “suffer” can be tre result of our own folly and is simply the consequence of our own doings (as cause and effect——sowing and reaping). But IN TYPE God shows us by His dealings with the Israelites in the WILDERNESS (bespeaking our journey in the “wilderness” of this world) that He deals with us in certain ways to TEST us and PROVE us. A study of the 8th chapter of Deuteronomy makes this clear: ”And thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments or no. And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna. . . that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live. that he might humble thee, and that he might prove thee, to do thee good at thy latter end.” (Deut. 8:2-3, 16). God put them in many circumstances which TRIED their faith severely, where it appeared that He had forsaken them, where it eared that there was no way out, and where they were in desperate need. WHY? Was he trying to “punish” them? NO, a thousand times NO! He was providing occasions for their PROVING, to show them what was in their hearts, and to let them know what they would do and how they would stand up under certain conditions of testing; that they might LEARN to TRUST and SUBMIT andCHANGE their ways. God does not need to PROVE us that He might know what we will do, but that WE MIGHT KNOW, for only as we know our strengths and weaknesses can we OVERCOME and gain the VICTORY through the power of God.

But in those very conditions that the Lord would PROVE the people of Israel, they would “strive” with Him, not realizing that it was necessary for their good, for their spiritual development, and for their preparation for that for which He had chosen them. In Numbers, chapter 20, we read of one such instance when the people found themselves without water and immediately they began to “strive” with God with questionings, complainings and murmurings. In Numbers 20:13 we read: “This is the water of Meribah; because the children of Israel strove with the Lord. “ “Meribah” means strife. Listen to their “strivings’ as follows: “Would God that we had died when our brethren died before the Lord! And ~4~y have ye brought up the congregation of the Lord into this wilderness, that we and our cattle should die there? And wherefore have ye made us to come up out of Egypt, to bring us to this evil place?” “Would God, “ “Why, “ “Wherefore,” are words which we use when we ‘strive” with the Lord in the midst of His provings. On this particular occasion Moses became angered and struck the rock twice, instead of speaking to the rock as God had commanded him (Num. 20:8-11). The rock had been “struck” (smitten) by Moses 40 years earlier just after they came out of Egypt when they were camped at Rephidim as recorded in Ex. 17. Since the “rock” was a TYPE of .Jesus(l Cor. 10:4)it was to be “smitten” ~nIy ONCE, for only ONCE was He “smitten” (crucified) for us. Thus when we “strive” with the Lord we ore fulfilling the TYPICAL action of Moses when he “smote” the rock CONTRARY to the will of the Lord. It was a “soulish” action——not an obedience to the command of the Lord. It was brought on by the irritation of the circumstances and the “anger” of the moment. Even so when we “strive” with the Lord under the pressure of testing circumstances we in effect “smite” the rock (Jesus) and are in a sense “crucifying” Christ afresh and putting Him to an open shame. (Heb. 6:6). We are instead to “speak” to the ROCK (Jesus) words of faith and praise even in the midst of the most trying circumstances.

A number of other ways could be mentioned in which we “strive” with God. But since this article is getting rather lengthy we will mention only two more, and these only briefly, because most of the prophetic word which we began with deals with these two. Study again this ‘word” carefully concerning our “striving” with God by (1) trying to do in the strength of our own flesh what only the Lord can do by the power of His Spirit, and (2) becoming discouraged and disheartened, walking in a spirit of condemnation and defeat.

So often we make the mistake of the Galatian Christians of having “begun in the Spirit” and then trying to be made perfect “in the flesh.” (Gal. 3:3). We make the Christian life a matter of struggling, striving, working, instead of yielding, surrendering and trusting. We are in effect contending that He is not sufficient to finish what He has begun (Phil. 1 :6)—-that we must add our “efforts” to what He is doing. We fail to “cease from our own works” and enter into the REST which He has prepared for us. There are three areas in which we enter into His Rest. In our Salvation, which is HIS WORK FOR US; in our sanctification, which is HIS WORK IN US; and in our Service, which is HIS WORK THROUGH US. It is ALL His work by His ~2j~jt. The formula for success is given in the prophecy in these words: “Why will you make a mockery of my word by striving in your own strength as if you could add one whit to what I am able to accomplish by my mighty hand and power? Only acknowledge thy evil ways, turn from thy self will and accept my way. Confess with thy mouth thy own inadequacy and seek me. Spend much time in secret seeking my face. For the burden that I will impart to you is not the burden of striving with thyself and with me, but the burden of surrender and yielding, and confession of your dependency upon me. Then will I have you arise and go forth, not to confess thine own inadequacy but to confess my strength and power. For as thou dost confess, so shall it be established to you.”

Again we “strive” with the Lord when we become discouraged and disheartened. We are inwardly “contending” that His Word is not true and that His Spirit is not the spirit of peace and joy and victory. We know that the “truth shall make us free. “(John 8:32). And the “truth” is that the Spirit of the Lord is not a Spirit of condemnation, defeat and discouragement. It is when we begin to accept the accusations and lies of the ENEMY (Satan) that we become imbued with this kind of spirt. And it is when we TURN WITHIN and become involved in constant “introspection” that the enemy is able to “outwit” us and overwhelm us and get our minds bogged down in the ‘mire” of condemnation and defeat. We need to “look away” to Jesus. ‘Set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth.” (Col. 3:2). As the prophecy says: “Set your affections upon me; love me with thy whole being; let my praises be in your mouth and in your heart. Confess me before merç talk of me in all your ways: speak of me as you walk before me in love and adoration.” “Why will you look within when you can look to me, even into the very depths of my being and there behold the beauty of my glory, and partake of that which I am able to impart.


I believe the Lord would have me add just a little to the. preceding prophetic word and article. We will always have a tendency to be “striving” with the Lord until we come to the place where we are fully convinced that the Lord knows what is best for us. “Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?” (Rom. 9:20). Paul speaks of those whom God has saved as “vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory” (Rom. 9:23). God is the “Master artisan”, molding and shaping each one of us as a particular “work of art” to be “placed on display” for the praise of His glory. We can admire a particular work of art for its beauty, but our praise goes to the artist himself, for it is the work of his hands. Recently I heard a speaker give this illustration. When an artist puts his paintings on display, he wants just the right frame for each picture. Those admiring the paintings pay little or no attention to the frames, yet the “right frame” for each picture is important. The speaker went on to say that our physical body is the “frame” for the work of art the Lord is producing within us. It is the “beauty” of the inner personality and character that God wants others to see, but for each work of art He has chosen the “frame” that seems best to Him. Yet so many are hindered in their relationship to God because of resentments they carry through the years; some of which stem from a continuing unwillingness to accept themselves (or the physical “frame” which God has given them. In this rejection of self, they are actually (whether consciously or unconsciously) resisting God and His purpose in their lives. And because of this, God is unable to develop the inner character and beauty which He desires within them.

The real “work of art” is what the Lord is doing and developing within us. I find that when I meet a person whose inner qualities shine through and I can see the “beauty” that they are allowing God to develop within, my attention is not focused on the “frame” of the physical body and its characteristics. I am aware of the real person within that “frame” and the developing “work of art” that God is “painting” or “molding”. But when a person is self-conscious and rejecting of himself, feeling that God has not been fair, and carrying resentments because of what he (or she) sees reflected in the mirror of their outer “frame”, then such negative feelings are projected to others, and one tends to be more aware of the “frame” of that person, because that is what they are conscious of and inadvertently calling attention to. Also because of the lack of real inner beauty and qualities shining through to “capture” attention, the “frame” stands out instead of fading into the background. Those who have such a negative “self image”, not being willing to accept themselves as God made them, tend to try to compensate for this by various means, frying to get the approval of others through various outward “tactics” which only tend to make them more unacceptable, instead of letting the Lord develop the inner beauty which will cause others to delight in “what God hath wrought”.

Paul says in Eph. 2:10 that “we are his (God’s) workmanship”. He is the potter and we are the clay, or He is the designer and artist and we are the canvas. And this workmanship began in the foreordained counsels of God, as He determined in His infinite wisdom the time and place for our birth (also our parentage, circumstances, environment, etc.), and the “frame” for the beautiful work of art He has purposed that we become. “Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them” (Ps. 139:16, see verses 14—17). But the KEY to the “finished product” is Jesus Christ, accepting Him and letting Him do His work in us. “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will finish it (marginal reading) until the day of Jesus Christ.. . .for it is God which works in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure”(Phil. 1:6, 2:13).

In Isa. 29:16, God accuses Israel of getting things “upside down” in their relation to God: “Oh, your perversity!—–You turn things upside down! Shall the potter be considered of no more account than the clay? Shall the thing that is made say to its maker, He did not make me, or the thing that is formed say of him who formed It, He hath no understanding?” (Amplified Version) But He sees a time of change when many would accept His will and purpose for them, and He declares of Israel: “For when he sees his children (walking in ways of piety and virtue) the work of my hands in his midst, they will revere My name; they will revere the Holy One of Jacob and reverently fear the God of Israel. Those who err in Spirit will come to understanding, and those who murmur (discontentedly) will accept instruction” (Isa. 29:23-24, Amplified Version). How God longs to put on display the “works of His hands”, and He declares by the prophet: “The people also shall be all righteous. . the work of my hands, that I may be glorified” (Isa. 60:21), and of this people he says: “Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God” (isa.62:31.

So let us stop striving with the Lord, and start thanking Him for His workmanship in us so far. We realize that His “work of art” in us is far from finished. The “canvas” of our inner lives shows much evidence of our own resistance to the Lord’s design. But let us ask His forgiveness, and yield ourselves to His will, trusting Him to gently and patiently continue His work in us, so that in time we shall be unto “the praise of His glory” (Eph. 1:12). In Gen. 6:3, God declares: “My spirit shall not always strive with man.” it is necessary for God to “strive” only when there is resistance to His will. Otherwise He is “at rest” even though working. “Rest” does not mean inactivity. It is a state or condition within the mind and heart. Consider Adam in the beginning. In the garden there was no “striving”. Adam was enjoying God’s “rest”, even though he was busy working together with God (Gen. 2:15, 19-20); and God was “at rest” because there was no sin or disobedience to His will. But this rest was interrupted when Adam and Eve decided to take things into their own hands arid act on their own apart from God. In their fallen condition Adam and Eve began to partake of unrest within themselves, for this is the chief characteristic of man who is alienated from God and out of His will. “There is no peace (rest), saith the Lord, to the wicked” (Isa.57:2l). Also, when sin began, God’s rest was ended and He had to begin to “strive” with man to bring him back into the paths of rectitude and submission to His will. But God said, “My spirit will not always strive with man;” in other words there comes a time when man becomes so set in His rebellious ways that God “gives him up” (Rom. I:28)to his own devices, as a vessel or “marred” work of art that “cannot be made whole again” (Jer. 19:11).

Read carefully the 18th and 19th chapters of Jeremiah. In chap. 18, God presents a picture of a vessel of clay that was marred in the potter’s hand, but which was remolded into another vessel, “as seemed good to the potter to make it.” The word then comes to Jeremiah from God: “0 house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the Lord. Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in mine hand, 0 house of Israel” (18:4—6). But in chap. 19, Jeremiah is commanded to take a clay vessel and go to the valley of Hinnom and there break the vessel in the sight of the people, to signify that The Lord would “break this people. . as one breaketh a potter’s vessel, that cannot be made whole again” (19:1—2, 10—lI). Ah, beloved, how awful to think that God has to give up on some of His “works of art”——to be destroyed in “Gehenna” (Greek for the “valley of Hinnom” and translated “Hell” in Mt. l028). Also called the “lake of fire” in Rev. 20:10, 14—15 . But God be praised, for though sin has marred us as vessels, the glorious!! news of the gospel is that through Christ each vessel can now be remolded and made new again, to become a beautiful work in the potter’s hand. So REJOICE! You can become a vessel of mercy prepared unto glory, instead of a vessel of wrath fitted to destruction (see Ram. 9:22—23).