I once did a rather long and drawn out study of this concept, not because my church was teaching it, but because the Master seemed to teach that this was the only way we humans could remain obedient to the principles that are required of us. I will share what I found, and it may take me more than one post. It is not an easy concept to grasp, nor is it easy to live.
What makes it somewhat easier for me, and still by no means a cake walk, may simply be that I know in my heart of hearts that my continuance in this body is bound up in my life with Spirit. I know that sounds terribly melodramatic, but on an everyday basis it really is not. Spirit actually does not need melodrama, that is from our side only. Service is a quiet thing, proceeding day by day with little fanfare.
I simply had a diagnosis that gave me roughly just a few years to live, as when they found the diabetes, it was a fulminating disease operating in my system at full rage. I was in hospital with a Klebsiella infection, once the AIDS people start getting those, the Drs tell them to get their affairs in order. That was 20 years ago. I still have diabetes, but it has not killed me, and I am still quite a ways from the final call. I once told my Dr, however, that I was ready to go, my bags were packed and the reaper would not have to knock twice. She understood.
Now, you would think that with such a sentence hanging over my head I would have planted my feet on somewhat safer ground than exploring the real meaning of Y’shua’s teachings, and let the theologians do the thinking for me. I am, however, too stubborn to do that, and I had already run into things that made me think the theologians were not quite “there”. Since it was my head over which the sword swung, I decided it was time to do or die.
I’ve been living an exploratory life since, and that was a large part of why I was intent on exploring the concept of abiding. One phrase in the OT that sticks out to me is the phrase, “I Am” used by Hashem regarding the eternal and immediate presence of G-d. I wish I could speak Hebrew, I have studied it, but I don’t have it as a language, I would like to combine the words for father and mother, sort of like Aba-eem, if I knew how, to convey this intimately caring ever present life force that is willing to be with each and every one of us if we seek it.
I know that there are many Christians who believe that this is only available through Jesus, but I do not believe that, simply because of passages in the OT indicating that in the Hebrew texts, The Spirit of Holiness, Truth and Wisdom was available to all who sought her. See Proverbs chapter 8. I do believe that the balanced following of the Path of the Rabboni is most definitely one way to find that presence in your life, but not the only one.
The passages in the Gospels that I question regarding Y’shua being the only way, could so easily have been improperly translated if the Greek scribes were not careful, since, if Y’shua frequently used the words for the “I Am”, it wouldn’t take much to turn it around. “The “I Am is the way, the truth, and the Life, no man cometh unto the Aba except through the “I Am.” (and the true meaning then, would be the Holy Spirit, which is the I Am presence of God) instead it was translated “I am the way the truth and the life, no man cometh unto the Father but by me.” Boy, that would be an easy slide, wouldn’t it? And we don’t have the original Aramaic to prove one way or the other.
I find that quite frustrating, as there are enough scholars out there, with enough moxie to challenge church doctrine that, were the originals available, and could be worked with, there would be no question about what was meant, or at least less question, as languages sometimes change within 20 year periods let alone 2000 year periods. Anyway, understand that if you are hungry for the presence of The Holy One in your life, you are not left with only one option.