But you, beloved, build yourselves up on your most holy faith; pray in the Holy Spirit; keep yourselves in the love of God; look forward to the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.
Here we find an admonishment regarding the faithful Christian walk. How do we keep safe in him? Jude makes it clear that we are to have faith. The mystery of the gospel will never be completely understood and so the element of faith remains. At the same time we are to be in prayer and this prayer is to take place in the Holy Spirit. When we are in the Holy Spirit we are ushered into the very presence of God and he fills us. This is how we can remain in the love of God. It is in the place of prayer in the Holy Spirit that we experience God in all of his nature of holy love and we become partakers or fellowshippers of God. Her we are held firm in the love of God. In this relationship, then, we press on and keep our eyes on Jesus and the eternal life we will experience with him. This is safe keeping.
Where is it that this process breaks down in our own lives?
Faith. Too often we are looking for answers to be black and white. Unfortunately that's not the way it works and having a personal relationship with God means that we have to step out on and act on faith. Without this faith there is no stepping out on the journey.
Prayer. What is it about prayer that we find so difficult? I'm guessing it's the amount of time that we think prayer takes, or possibly the fact that we've never experienced praying in the Holy Spirit. There is a big difference between simply having a time of perfunctory prayer or reading over a list of requests and praying in the Spirit. It is when we rest before God and slip into his holy presence that prayer becomes transformational. We become participants together in God's activity in the already and the not-yet of his kingdom. We begin to experience the heart and mind of God and no longer is prayer about what I want, but about what God wants and how I unite with him.
Keeping in love. This is certainly where prayer in he Holy Spirit takes us, to a place of experiencing the constant overflow of the love of God. This is the holy and sanctifying work of God in our lives through the presence of the Holy Spirit who unites us in holy love with the Trinity. We must keep ourselves in this place day in and day out. We must be intentional about this or it will never happen! God must have a place of priority in our daily lives.
Look forward. We do still await the return of Jesus Christ. There is more to come and as we continuously seek his face. Then we will anticipate his return when the already bursts in and the not-yet becomes once and for all the always.
In a world of continual change this is how we find safe keeping.
Lord, please lead me daily into this discipline. Amen.