Choosing to Abide by Graham Cooke

It is God that has established us in Christ. It is our choice to remain where He has so wonderfully placed us. Choosing to “Abide in First Love” was one of the teaching subjects in The Missing Piece conference. It literally means occupying the space between the Father and the Son and learning to abide in love. Abiding is concerned with maintaining a place of intimate connection with the Father and the Son, aided by the loving support and power of the Holy Spirit. “Keep yourself in the love of God.” (Jude 1:21)

When we do not consciously abide we suffer a disconnect in our fellowship with God. We must pay attention to the place of where we live from in the Spirit… and stay! It is vital that we understand the difference between relationship and fellowship, or we cannot walk with God in consistent passion and power. The true place of abiding is between these two points.

Relationship means we are of the same blood. It is based on the unconditional love that the Father has for the Son. This is the paramount reason why God put us into Christ. Now we are partakers of His holiness. Relationship is forever possible because of the sacrifice of Jesus. In relationship we stand in His righteousness and are given grace to conform to God’s image. It’s all about placement. God takes care of the relationship; we take care of the fellowship. Abiding is the practice of staying in fellowship. We don’t do anything to get into the Presence of God (salvation is a gift), but we must do everything to stay there. Fellowship is about developing, with the help of the Holy Spirit, the present-to-the-moment lifestyle of abiding… staying where we have been placed. The Father has put us into relationship with Jesus and He will not take us out of this placement. The work of the Holy Spirit is to enable us to stay in that place and enjoy the benefits of consistent fellowship.

The story of the prodigal in Luke 15 is a real testament to the issue of relationship and fellowship. The wasteful son thought he could return home and be accepted as a servant. He thought his sins had damaged his relationship with his father. The Father ran to the son because He had always carried the burden of fellowship. The Father celebrated because the fellowship had been restored. The relationship was never in doubt! Both sons did not understand that relationship and fellowship were very different.

God abides in relationship. We abide in fellowship. He maintains the relationship. We maintain the fellowship. Jesus stands before the Father as the Giver of relationship. The Holy Spirit works in our lives as the Empowerer of fellowship.

If you have not yet resolved the issues of first love; relationship and fellowship and identity through intimacy, the two talks from The Missing Piece conference will be a huge step forward in your development. There are huge breakthroughs to be received and processed into ongoing experiences as these messages begin to penetrate the layers of spiritual blindness that is the lasting legacy of a religious spirit. When the keys of the Kingdom are present then the truth that sets us free will open every prison door. It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. The love of God for us is the gateway to that freedom.

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