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.
LEARNING TO ABIDE
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)