Life Abiding and Abounding were a series of addresses delivered at the early Keswick Convention as well as the Northfield Conference.
“ABIDE in Me, and I in you.” This is the clear command of our Lord. It is the last and culminating point of His will as revealed in the four great words: Come unto Me; Learn of Me; Follow Me; Abide in Me. It also expresses the intense desire of every Christian heart. “Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that Thine hand might be with me, and that Thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me!” (1 Chronicles 4:10). “0 that my ways were made so direct that I might keep Thy statutes” (Psalm 119: 5, Prayer Book Version). And since God never commands with- out giving grace to obey, and never prompts the heart to desire what cannot be granted, we may be sure that the command to abide can be obeyed and that the desire to abide will be satisfied.
But how? The present little book is an endeavor to answer this question by calling attention to the twofold secret of abiding in Christ; the Word of God, and Prayer. The Christian life is set forth in Holy Scripture as pre-eminently a life of fellowship with God, and fellowship has for its essential quality the privilege of reciprocal communion; God speaks to the believer and the believer speaks to God. This reciprocal communion is obviously summed up in the Bible and Prayer ; for it is through the Bible that God speaks to us and through Prayer that we speak to God. Everything in the Christian life, individual and corporate, is somehow or other associated with the Bible and Prayer. All the “means of grace,” private and public, are connected with the Word of God and with Prayer to God. Do we worship in secret? It must be by prayer and by hearing “what God the Lord will speak.” Do we draw near to God in company with His people.” It can only be as warranted by His Word and expressed in Prayer. Do we participate in the Sacraments of the Gospel.” They derive their spiritual meaning and blessing as symbols and pledges of God’s revelation of Himself; they are “visible signs to which are annexed promises.”
Thus the Word and Prayer are never absent from our life, and never far apart from each other. In the life of Old Testament believers they were always connected (Psalm 19. ; 119). In the life of our Lord they are constantly found together (John 17). In the life of the Early Church they are ever united (Acts 4:24,25; 6:4). In relation to the Holy Spirit they are inseparably connected (Ephesians 6: 17, 18). There is not a single channel of belief, not a single element of experience, not a single pathway of service, not a single privilege, not a single grace, not a single hope, not a single possibility which is not in some way associated with the Word and Prayer. When these two are allowed to occupy in our life the place they occupy in God’s purpose and plan for us, we have learnt the essential conditions, the blessed secret, the unspeakable joy of abiding in Christ and abounding for Christ.
The first chapter of this book is an amplification of an address delivered at Keswick. The second is a much-enlarged form of a Bible reading given at Northfield, which was subsequently issued as a booklet and is not now available in that form.