The Christian life is altogether related to the living Christ in us, and the only thing that matters in our Christian life is how we take care of the living Christ in us.
Christ is revealed in us (Gal. 1:16), Christ lives in us (Gal. 2:20), Christ is being formed in us (Gal. 4:19), for us to live is Christ (Phil. 1:19-21), we grow unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ (Eph. 4:13), and we are being transformed into the same image as He is by beholding and reflecting Him (2 Cor. 3:18). The Christian life is nothing else but Christ living in us and we simply allowing the divine life in us to grow and be expressed.
our concepts versus the living Christ in us
At the moment of our regeneration the divine life of God has come into our spirit, and ever since it is continually growing in us. However, there are many obstacles to the divine life in us – every part of our being, both inwardly and outwardly, presents some obstacles to God’s life in us. This is why many times it is very difficult for God’s life to be lived out of us.
One obstacle to God’s life in us is our human concepts. We think we know what it means to be a proper Christian – and we may live according to our human concepts of how a Christian should behave. However, all our human concepts are in darkness – no matter whether we are wise or not so smart, educated or uneducated, our human concepts prevent us from knowing Christ as life! We need to learn to deny our concepts and pay attention to the living Christ in us.
The Christian life is not a matter of being zealous for God, doing our best to spread the gospel, forsaking the world and separating ourselves from it, or not caring for material enjoyment. Being a Christian depends not on doing something but on how we take care of the living Christ within us. We have a living Person in us, Christ Himself, and we need to fellowship with Him, open to Him, and take care of our personal relationship with Him.
For us to go on in our Christian life we need to put aside our human concepts and opinions and take Christ as our only goal. Many people have difficulty in their spiritual life after they are saved because they care for their own concepts and they don’t know the pathway of life, since they don’t take Christ as their life. Forget about your concepts and focus on Christ, the living Person in our spirit!
hypocrisy versus the indwelling Christ
Another obstacle in the way of the divine life in us is hypocrisy (see Matt. 6:2, 5; 7:5; 23:13-29). Pretending to be someone or something you are not intrinsically and having a facade of spirituality is not of life, but it is hypocrisy and it hinders our growth in life. Our spirituality is not determined by our outward appearance, the way we behave, the way we walk, etc – but by how we take care of the indwelling Christ.
Some people are naturally gentle, soft, modest, caring for others, compassionate, self-sacrificing, etc. After they become a Christian, they bring these natural virtues into the church – but these are NOT the living of Christ!
From the point of view of morality, we need to have these moral virtues toward others; but from the point of view of life (the divine life), these virtues are false if they are not the expression of the living Christ in us. We are not seeking to develop our human virtues or to improve our humanity – we as Christians care for Christ, for the divine life, in our spirit.
Anything in our living and behavior that is not of Christ is not life. Life is God Himself, life is Christ, and life is the Holy Spirit. No matter how much one meets the standard of morality, if he doesn’t care for the living Christ within and if his living is not Christ, that avails to nothing!
allowing Christ to operate in us
We all have to admit that we have many human concepts – good concepts – concerning how a Christian should be. Also, we may see some moral traits in others and imitate them / copy them, or at least when we are with others we may put on a facade for their sake, thus giving them a certain higher impression about ourselves. But this is not of the divine life!
The expression of life involves the rejection of our natural disposition and preference, and simply allowing the indwelling Christ to operate in us and even break us. Then whatever we do outwardly will be the result of the inner operation of Christ and it will be in the divine life.
Lord Jesus, save us from living the Christian life according to our human concepts! Lord, save us from living a life of hypocrisy! May we be those who care for the living Christ within, the Christ who lives in us! We want to allow You to live Your life in us – You are our very life! We treasure the divine life in us, Lord, and we want You to live in us. No longer I but Christ – not our human concepts or our hypocrisy, but Christ!
References and Further Reading
- Sharing inspired from, Knowing Life and the Church (ch. 3, by Witness Lee), as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, Taking the Lead as Elders and Responsible Ones, week 2.
- Buy the morning revival book online via LSM.
- Hymns on this topic:
# Live Thyself, Lord Jesus, through me, / For my very life art Thou;
# So be simple, don’t be hardened, / Drop your concepts — eat that tree!
# God’s intention is to have us / All conformed to His dear Son;
- Picture source: dealing with obstacles.
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