It Is Christ Living In Me
“It is no longer I who live, but Christ living in me,” should be one of the most frequently spoken statements from the lips of professing Christians. Many Christians do not understand the riches found in the fore-mentioned statement. They know theologically what “Christ living in them” means, but lack the understanding to apply it to everyday life. They love Jesus and do their best for Him. Since their best for Jesus usually is not enough, their lives become lives of drudgery and burnout. Something is missing.
The something missing is not an “it.” The something is a person – Jesus Christ. “Christ in you” is our hope of glory. Jesus Christ is the Christian life.
The burnt out Christian is saved, but lives as though he is still spiritually dead. He lives like a dead corpse. A dead corpse does not need help; a dead corpse needs life. He needs the life of Jesus living in him to live His life through him. Only Jesus can. Only Jesus is qualified to be the Christian. The Christian is to be hidden with Christ in God. He is to take off his “dead” grave clothes (like Lazarus) so Jesus in him can be seen as a shining beacon.
A car cannot function without gasoline. A flashlight cannot function without batteries. To function normally, the Christian must have the presence of his Creator in him. Christ in the Christian puts God back into man. Jesus in him and living through him is normal Christian living.
It is the resurrected life of Jesus in the Christian that people must see. When the Christian permits Jesus to live His life through him, the fruit of the spirit comes forth. The Christian life becomes a complete joy. Being burnt out and overwhelmed becomes a thing of the past. He will have setbacks, but he gets up and grows toward maturity in Christ.
The Christian learns to rest in Jesus and lets Jesus worry about the results. Jesus is the vine; he is a branch. He rests totally dependent on the life of the vine to produce spiritual fruit through him. He simply bears fruit. A branch does not grunt, groan, or burn out to produce fruit; it simply bears fruit. Likewise, a Christian need not grunt or groan trying to live the Christian life for Jesus. He is to rest in Jesus, permitting Jesus to live His life through him.
Being free and enjoying our relationship with Jesus is normal Christian living. Jesus in us makes all things possible. Enjoy your life with Jesus in you, and apply daily, by faith, Jesus living through you. Continue confidently to say, “It is no longer I who live, but Christ living in me.” May people whom you encounter only see Jesus living in you.
(This was originally posted in Feb 2010. It is very applicable and appropriate to post it again. Be blessed and please share.)
Do not be deceived: “BAD COMPANY CORRUPTS GOOD MORALS.” —– I Corinthians 15:33
There are two questions I want you to ask yourself. Be honest. Honesty is critical for any healing and growth to occur.
1. How many times have you had knives stabbed into your back?
2. How many times have you stabbed some people in the back? Yes, you have to answer this question about yourself. To be honest with yourself is a must to ensure your heart is pure in that area. Hypocrisy must be avoided.
The term CHRISTIAN BACKSTABBING sounds like an oxymoron. How can two words be so opposite? Unfortunately, they do go very well together.
After personally experiencing Christian Backstabbing this past year and remembering my previous experiences, I felt it necessary to address this issue and bring it to the forefront of the Body of Christ.
CHRISTIAN BACKSTABBING needs to be recognized for what it is:
The Putrid Stench Oo The Flesh, From the Pit of Hell.
Christian Backstabbing needs to be dealt with appropriately —– crucified on the cross of Christ. One then needs to walk wisely to avoid future stabbings.
A Christian Backstabber will appear as a genuine friend. You will usually get to know the person over a lengthy period of time. The person becomes so trustworthy that you believe you have a true friend and brethren. Genuine brethren can occur for sure, but there is also the flip side to be aware of. Often, the person is not so genuine and you gradually begin to see more areas of flesh behavior come out.
The maturity of your walk with Christ will reveal how long a Christian Backstabber remains hidden from your knowing.
MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE
I have been a Christian 36 years. My immaturity with a broken heart permitted a few Christian Backstabbers to take advantage of my help. As I trusted two specific people over the years, I shared personal information about myself. (Not wise.) I also helped these people financially.
I have a servant’s heart and enjoy helping people’s needs be met. However, my immaturity and naivety showed because I went overboard with my sharing. These two people took advantage of my giving a hefty amount. When I finally confronted them about using me, I got the sweet smile that they will pay me back and help me when I needed it. They never came through. Instead, they actually started turning against me and accusing me of being ungodly. They gossiped about me and slandered me.
I sure felt the backstabbing. I was so deeply hurt and betrayed. It was a good growth experience, though I must admit I wished often God would get them and get them good. Even to this day, they avoid me and will not even want to talk about it. I have reached out, but they have shut the door. So be it. It is in God’s hand.
Does God honor their praising Him and turning a blind eye to a brother they had a problem with? ABSOLUTELY NOT.
These are some of the habits that the Christian Backstabber usually displays:
They refuse correction, especially from biblical authority.They refuse to even acknowledge the possibility they are insincere and sinning.They will gossip, slander, complain, and covet about other people and what God is doing in their lives.They will boast publicly, looking for any ears to listen, about the great things God is doing in them.All the while, deep down the sinful flesh has taken hold and blinded them to the truth of God. Satan has much control over them.The biggest shame is how they walk around confidently showing themselves off with a puffed up pride. They also will have animosity and bitterness toward you.
Backstabbers are ravenous wolves and a ravenous wolf wants whatever you got. Paul talks about this to the leaders of the church of Ephesus. They will then tear you apart, shame you, and leave you stripped naked to die. They will also complain, gossip, and slander to you about others. Rest assured, they do it also about you to others. As much as you permit them, they will strip your dignity and your character. Remarkable is they will still think they are doing God’s will.
Therefore, you must be wise in whom you associate with.
First, ensure you are not a Christian Backstabber.Walk wisely. Be wary of the company you keep. Remember the Scripture from the top of the blog:“BAD COMPANY CORRUPTS GOOD MORALS.” There are genuine Christians and genuine Christian Backstabbers, disguised as genuine Christians. Seek the Holy Spirit to teach you and reveal the truth behind everyone you meet. PRAY FOR THEM.As wrong and evil what the Christian Backstabber does, you are not responsible for their actions. You are responsible for yours. If they have hurt you, it is mainly because you permitted it to go that deep. Walk wisely to prevent this in the future.
Here is the Biblical approach for conflict resolution:
16“But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that (N)BY THE MOUTH OF TWO OR THREE WITNESSES EVERY FACT MAY BE CONFIRMED.
The Bible mentions some strong things to be wary of regarding Christian Backstabbers. Here are a few.
A dog returns to its vomit.Don’t cast your pearls before swine.Wolves in sheep’s clothing.Masquerade as angels of light.A tree is known by its fruit.“BAD COMPANY CORRUPTS GOOD MORALS.”
There are more words to add on this subject. That will be for another time or for another person to share. I have shared what is on my heart.
An appropriate ending is to remember that ONLY JESUS can heal every broken heart. JESUS IN YOU is who takes over and grows you through every situation – away from being a Christian Backstabber and desensitized when a Christian Backstabber puts a dagger in your back. Christ in you makes you capable of forgiving them. KEEP THAT FOCUS ON JESUS IN YOU.
I know this blog is going to help many. I pray God will use it to help countless more.
I will be transparent in sharing some of the depths I experienced when walking through life with severe depression and a broken heart. Too many Christians want the victory without going through the painful walk of dying to self daily. I sure did not want to, but since I trusted God for everything, I knew I had to.
Fortunately, I now have the Victory Over Depression since 1996. Jesus in me grows more than ever every day.
Growing up through adolescence, I was not aware that I had such a poor self-image that it grew me right into depression. I wanted so much for people to accept me. I sought peer pressure approval often.
When one does not realize he has a broken heart, he unsuspectingly covers it up as he goes through life. If it is not dealt with, one day the broken heart will explode, usually like a pressure cooker.
God wants to help deal with the internal issues, heal the broken heart, and come take up residence in the person. This is what occurred to me. Being an adolescent in an adult body, I was not prepared for the challenges and seriousness of adulthood. My inside exploded (figuratively) like a pressure cooker.
Some of my depression symptoms were:
Fortunately on April 1, 1979, after searching and trying many things to get rid of the depression, God touched my heart. I will not go into details, but to say that God filled my deepest needs and gave me hope and a reason to live. I knew God now loved me unconditionally and was living in me. I was amazed that now I was enjoying life more every day.
The next few years grew me more in love with God. It was like nothing bothered me anymore. I was growing more in love with Jesus everyday and enjoyed reading the Bible (the Word of God) everyday. I was maturing as a Christian and proud of it. I memorized Bible verses and was actively involved in leading ministries.
A few years later, I was to learn the maturity I saw in me was just another facade to cover my broken heart. The maturity I stated in the previous paragraph was absent of the necessary growth through the road of Calvary, suffering, pruning, refining in the fire, etc. (Unfortunately, many Christians do the same thing. They think this is maturity, but is the opposite. God will elevate many and use them mightily, but one must go through the road of the cross for real maturity.)
I wanted to draw closer to Jesus and He was now ready to take me through some of my darkest days as a Christian. Before I knew what happened, all the depression symptoms came back. I could not understand it. As much as I rebuked the devil, prayed more, and quoted Scirpture, the depression overwhelmed me again. It made no sense. The depression was a vicious cycle the next couple of years. All those symptoms I previously stated were back and controlling me.
The deep pain in my heart was being torn open like never before. I could not understand why.
I knew God loved me. So the problem had to be with me and my thinking. No Christian understood the deep pain I was experiencing. They acted more like Job’s friends than a friend of Jesus. I felt more condemned and judged than relieved and comforted. (Sadly this occurs often in the Church of Jesus Christ. Instead many suffering with broken hearts choose to suffer silently.)
This was the painful road of maturity God was taking me through – the road of the cross, of suffering, to die daily to self, to be refined in the fire, to be pruned. Fortunately, with an open, honest heart, God showed me the answer.
The answer is CHRIST IN YOU. God was working on clearing out all the garbage of my broken heart so that all I could see was CHRIST IN ME. I was learning that God the Father ONLY sees His Son Jesus in me.
God healed my broken heart by giving me a brand new heart- the very heart of God Himself in Jesus Christ.
No wonder depression overwhelmed me. I kept looking at my broken heart and depression – what Jesus had already crucified and buried. God cannot help one who constantly looks at dead things. This was the victory I needed to see. I know it is the truth many need to see.
God cannot help one who constantly looks at dead things.
I quickly realized that it was Jesus in me living His life through me. When people see me, they are to see ONLY Jesus in me. That is the simplicity of the Christian life – Jesus in you living His life through you.
I began consistently having the daily victory. The joy came back. Every day for the last 18 years (even despite setbacks) I have been enjoying life to the fullest. Only because Jesus as God resides in me.
Today I learn to simply rest in Jesus and let Him live His life through me. I pray you see the same & learn to focus on Jesus in you for your healing and victory.
In His love and Grace,
Christ in you,
PS: God now trusts me with a Victory Over Depression ministry to simply point people to Him. I have developed a teaching presentation for any church, ministry, or group that may be interested. Let me know if anyone may be interested. Thanks all.
My experience having depression, helping others, and observing how others (including Christians) help those who currently have depression have given me invaluable insight in dealing with depression.
Only Jesus can live the Christian life through you. Only Jesus is qualified to be the Christian in you. Jesus is the Christian life. You have a new identity as a child of God. Jesus is your new life. You are a new creation. Now Jesus calls you to rest in Him so He can live His life through you.
It’s unfortunate that countless Christians are limiting their enjoyment in the Christian life. They struggle in certain areas. They also can become so focused on doing everything right as a Christian that the miss the simple joy of living as a Christian. Then they usually become arrogant, self-righteous, and burnout trying to be the “perfect little Christian”.
They are missing the significant, daily experience of CHRIST IN YOU. (I was one of these for almost 20 years as a Christian struggling with severe depression.)
I will be emphasizing the significance of understanding “Law and Grace”. It will assist you in enjoying daily your Christian life. The motivation of either law or grace shall either lead you into legalistic bondage (law) or enjoyable freedom (grace).
The central focus must always be CHRIST IN YOU living the Christian life through you.
The Scriptures we are looking at focus on giving. You should immediately see the significant difference between “Law and Grace”.
II Corinthians 9:6-8 “But this I say, he which soweth sparingly shall also reap sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man accirding as he purposeful in his heart, do let him give; not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loveth a cheerful giver: And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye always have all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.
God loves a cheerful giver, not one who gives grudgingly or under compulsion. We give to God because we want to (grace), not because we feel we have to or are obligated to (law).
“Law and Grace” always and only depends on the motives of the heart. I love Jesus so much that I easily trust Him. God always shows me how faithful He is.
Therefore, it is a joy to give my finances, my time, my services, etc to the Lord – all because I want to (grace), not because I have to (law).
See how easy it is to distinguish between “Law and Grace”. It all depends on the motives of one’s heart as to how to live the Christian life. The successful way is letting Jesus live the Christian life through you. The Father only qualifies Jesus to be the Christian in you.
Under Law – I must. I have to.
Under Grace – I want to. I desire to.