From Genesis to Revelation, there’s no doubt that all who set examples for us in our relationship with God recognized that we are laborers together with God (1 Corinthians 3:9). When God does his part, he expects us to do ours in order to bring about the desired outcome.
Jude 20-21 is a reminder that when God extends to us his grace, introducing us to his love to establish us in the Christian life, our Christian duty then is to make sure we remain true to it, making forward progress by building ourselves up spiritual. Jude tells in that passage–
But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,
Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
That most holy faith Jude speaks of is that same faith he mentioned in v. 3 that was once delivered unto the saints which we must earnestly contend for. It’s the faith that cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God and the faith that is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. The more we build up knowledge and wisdom from God’s word, the more we build on our faith to give it more substance and evidence in our lives.
When we join that faith with the act of praying in the Holy Ghost, it is then that our ability to keep, or guard, ourselves in God’s love is strengthened. We become encouraged within ourselves not to allow anything to turn us from the love of God, knowing our final goal is to see firsthand how the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ has given us the reality of eternal life.
Praying in the Holy Ghost, like building ourselves up on our faith, is so vital to staying in the love of God that it’s the type of prayer he must control. It must be prompted by him, guided by him on the subjects covered and parameters in which they are covered, and interpreted by him since we may not know what we should pray for as we ought. Then it’s necessary for the Spirit to make intercession with groans that cannot be uttered by our human capacity (Romans 8:26). Nevertheless, by his interpretation he can turn our lack of understanding of such prayers into praying with understanding (1 Corinthians 14:14-15).
In the end, we will discover that using all of these spiritual tools to keep ourselves in God’s love will have been worth it as we worship in his presence forever and ever. Amen.